On Friday, I headed out for a Daniel Island lunch and noticed that Miss Ellie’s Island Soul was closed up tight.  There was no sign on the door, and midday calls to the restaurant number got only an answering machine, so I can only sadly assume it has closed its doors for good.

But, not to despair, just down the block a new restaurant has opened: Ali Baba Mediterranean Deli.  I waited in a line twenty deep for a “Mixed Grill Platter” that included unbelievable chicken souvlaki and lamb & beef gyros alongside perhaps the best hummus I’ve ever tasted.  Ali Baba is a new venture from  Samir and Yasmeen Elzabidi, natives of Jordan who have been running the Subway franchise on Daniel Island since 2004.  This new restaurant, designed by the same architect responsible for Oak, Mercato, and Peninsula grill, is definitely several unique steps away from a franchised sandwich shop.

Net/net, I call it an overall gain for Daniel Island.

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