Alhambra Palace

Alhambra Palace
1240 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

IMG_0251 copyThe Alhambra Palace in southern Spain was the inspiration,
for owner Dr. Nasar Rustom’s dedication
After spending several years traveling throughout the Middle East,
From Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco,
with each country he visited his collection of artifacts increased
It’s these relics that are used to furnish his dream come true,
To create an Arabian palace that you can find in Chicago
The interior design is admiring, grand, and unique
With an exotic feeling, the ambience is charmingly mystique
A two story lounge and a stage on the first floor below,
here belly dancers entertain you with dinner and a show
Arabian music is playing while the entertainment continue to perform different acts
It grows intense, where fire and swords are included in the climax
The audience remain seated either smoking hookah or enjoying the various dishes
with choices from Mediterranean to Italian,
the tastes are sure to grant all of your wishes
The hummus appetizer is said to be addicting for a heavenly start
And the Mezza Platter,
which is the one I have pictured,
is a top choice for those who are smart
It consists of a little bit of everything but still does it’s job in making you full
From the falafel, hummus, tabouli, and more,
each portion is sure to feed a party of six a mouthful
All in all, Alhambra Palace succeeds in it’s goal to transport you out of Chicago
And take you to an Arabian night in the Middle East…
with majestic decor, extraordinary food, and an exciting show!

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Zen Forrest

Zen Forrest
4148 Rowan Rd, New Port Richey, FL 34653

unnamedHow to celebrate the Equinox of Fall
Didn’t want to eat pizza at the mall
Craved gifts from the moistened Earth
Zen Forrest’s vegetables, never a dearth

Began with a pot of Jasmine tea
First tasted when I was a hippie
Then Zen Forrest chicken or veggie roll
Crisp and tasty for body and soul

Lunch for me was a healthy stir fry
Chose tofu, can’t make it this good though I try
Several sauces to choose but coconut is for me
A delicate taste and gluten-free!

A fiery wok of delectable vegetables
Completes this meal of healthy comestibles
Looking at the menu I plan what next to eat
I must return again for a peerless treat!

Contributed by: Clarissa Simmens, Poet. Romani drabarni (Gypsy herbalist/adviser). Ukulele player and wannabe song writer. Music addict, mainly  60s-70s rock, folk, Romani (Gypsy), Cajun, most guitar and violin music especially in the minor key…

You can find her on social media right here! WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Author 

if you would like to also submit a contribution to dineANDrhyme, click here for submission requirements!

Original Big Island Shave Co, Inc.

Original Big Island Shave Co, Inc.
61-3616 Kawaihae Rd, Kawaihae, HI 96743


Ode to Original Big Island Shave Ice Company

This is original

That’s the name

Original Big Island Shave Ice Company

Of shave ice fame

They are so famous

People far and near

Kama’aina and malahini

Slurp with good cheer

They serve ice mounds

People come out

Cold ice and ice cream

So brok da mout!

Onolicious toppings

With portions extreme

Strawberry sundae or halohalo

With a mound of whipped cream

Sink your teeth in

A cold Noelani

Or a Kimrah Special

To share with your honey

Want something strange?

Or a bit weird?

Slurp some Green Tea

To drip on your beard

A day at the beach

Lying on the sand

Shave ice and ice cream

Go hand in hand

Or a hard day’s work

Your body is shot

Shave ice and ice cream

Just hits the spot

So come on down

To Kawaihae Road

Original Big Island Shave Ice Company

This ends my ode.


Kama’aina: Locals from Hawaii
Malahini: Tourists
Brok da mout: food is so tasty
Onolicious: a combination of a Hawaiian word, ono, the word for delicious, and the English word delicious.

Contributed by:  Jada Rufo, a former English teacher in China. She is the author of Banana Girl: An Asian American Woman’s Life in China. Although she has been back in her home state of Hawaii for four years she still finds it difficult to re-adject after living abroad for fourteen years. You can read some of her poetry right here! WordPress

if you would like to also submit a contribution to dineANDrhyme, click here for submission requirements!

Philly’s Best

Philly’s Best
6800 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626


Straight from Philadelphia,
there’s no place in Chicago like Philly’s Best
With the most authentic cheese-steak sandwich in Chicago,
this place is better than the rest
Quality beef, hot cheese,
all in a soft Philly made bread
And imported right from Philadelphia,
all this good flavor will make you go crazy in the head
With not only the large portions…
but menu items such as Philly fries!
Served with their white cheese Philly sauce…
something your taste buds would love to give a try
Your cheese-steak sandwich could be served on garlic bread if you choose,
with each bite you gain a taste of Philly and there’s nothing you lose
All sandwiches come out piping hot and ready to eat,
and they have classic Tastykakes…
if afterword you’re looking for a sweet Philly treat
This is a home away from home and in four locations throughout Chi-city!
Put on that Eagle’s hat,
finish reading this poem,
and get down to the Philly nitty-gritty!

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Sea Sweet

Sea Sweet
Beirut, Lebanon

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-5-42-42-pmNaeem Maalouf, like most of us, one day had a dream
To have a sweet shop of his own,
and he started this dream by having his brothers on his team
In 1966, they opened their first small bakery and their skills they combined
Although it was a success,
after some time each brother had his own goals, so they left it behind
But Naeem opened his own shop in 1976 and named it Sea Sweet
And with dedication and hard work,
it became one of the top dessert shops in Lebanon for treats
From Arabic and French pastry, to Italian ice cream,
and a variety of other selections like cakes and croissants
But the number one go to is the Kneffe,
which is what everyone in Lebanon wants
The Kneffe is well known at Sea Sweet,
especially in the morning
Most locations only sell it at certain times,
so that’s a warning
Kneffeh is a cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup and is highly popular in Arab countries
And here at Sea Sweet,
the Kneffeh is common in Lebanon as the bagel is in NYC
The dessert is stuffed and served in a Kaak, a Lebanese street bread with sesame seeds
It is freshly prepared,
warm and dripping with sugar syrup,
and most likely you will eat it with speed
With nine branches across the country,
Sea Sweet has a lead name in the sweets world of Lebanon
And with the same persistence it has used from the beginning,
it is sure to be a name that lives on!

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Casino Kraitem

Casino Kraitem
Berdawni, Zahle, Zahle District, Lebanon

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-12-48-32-pmA walk beside the Berdawni River in Lebanon on a beautiful summer day,
Passing small carriage shops that have many things to sell on display
Homemade sweets, and handmade small souvenirs
And in the background there’s low music playing that sounds good to the ears
As I walk,
a small carnival-like amusement center catches my eye
Old fashioned classics,
but with a hungry stomach I just keep passing by
Until Casino Kraitem comes into view,
an outdoor dining restaurant
With a wonderful view next to the Berdawni river waterfall,
this is exactly what I want
What makes it even better is that this restaurant is 100% Lebanese
Meaning it has any Lebanese dish you would like,
everything from A-Z
The classic Middle Eastern Mezza spread is my top appetizer food
And with service that’s professional and fast,
it puts me in a good mood!
Waiters are friendly,
always near the table to assist no matter what the need
Although I can speak Arabic,
for the foreigner,
their English is well indeed
Homemade Arak that is prepared and provided is a Lebanese tradition with dinner
And when I try the Kabob and Chicken,
that’s when I hit the ultimate winner
A fresh and natural taste that you can’t find in the States
And as I eat each small food like hummus, tabouli, and potato fries…
I keep refilling my plate
As soon as I feel like my stomach can’t take anymore…
complimentary fruits are served, a custom in Lebanon that I adore!
With the breeze from the river,
and food that brings a smile to my face
If you’re looking for authentic Lebanese food in Lebanon,
Casino Kraitem in Zahle is the place!

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for the past 3 weeks, I have spent the end of my summer in my country Lebanon. so, aside from posts from contributors, my next couple posts will be about restaurants from there. here are some snapshots from the beautiful views in my beautiful country!


District Social

District Social
252 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018


House Cured Salmon at District Social

it is another Friday night
in New York City
and I feel like socializing

started to walk up the
street a block or two
like an interesting sight
like a demure lady refined
it’s window caught my eye

the doorman saw me staring
thru the panes
and he opened the door
and he said come in
and take a seat

I did…

and i was NOT…

i decided to sit
at the bar
the bartender was
friendly, very engaging
just like the doorman

i sat and felt

i asked for the drink list
promptly it was laid
before me
it was professionally printed
and the list was huge
the bartender let me sample
then I made my choice
a 212 Flatiron Ale
smooth with a little sharpness
just the way I like it

i was not hungry
but I asked for the menu anyway
the house cured salmon,
salmon roe, tzatziki
caught my eye
though not hungry
It would not be too much

i ordered, soon it came
and it was awesome
i’m so glad the doorman
invited me in

I topped off the night
with an IPA

and I plan to return

so if you are in NYC
on or near west 37th
between 8th & 9th
look for the District Social

if you look in the Windows
i’m sure the doorman
will open the door
and invite you in
for a sit down
and a socializing …



Contributed by: Jerry T. Johnson, a new writer to the Connecticut/New York area. Jerry published his first poetry chapbook, “Good Morning New Year!”, in 2015.  Jerry’s work has been published in Catalyst magazine (“I Be a Bad Dude”) and in Burningword Literary Journal (“The Ways of Peace”).  Jerry also performs spoken word in a variety of venues in the New York City area. You can check out his website here!

if you would like to also submit a contribution to dineANDrhyme, click here for submission requirements!

Pasta Palazzo

Pasta Palazzo
1966 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614


Calling all pasta lovers!
Introducing Pasta Palazzo…
a pasta place that I’m so thrilled to have discovered
The ultimate comfort food in a place that’s cozy and small
The staff treats you like an old family friend,
the kind where you just show up and don’t have to call first at all
Home-cooked pasta and an open kitchen to watch the cook
So as you’re enjoying the complimentary warm bread, you can decide if you’d like to take a look
With different pasta choices it’s hard to pick just one
A go-to for gnocchi lovers…
and if you like gorgonzola, the Conchiglie Gorgonzola will leave you stunned
The pasta is served hot and fresh and ready to dig in
And with all entrees $10 or less,
each bite will give you a grin
With a place like this that’s so warm and inviting…
It’s no wonder that for 15 years on Halsted, Pasta Palazzo has made pasta exciting!

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Columbia Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant
 2117 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-12-29-36-pmAt this table, in this room
sat all walks of life:
cigar makers, cigar smokers,
cigar box makers, All of
Ybor City mingling in
mixture of tongues, creating
Tampa every day, every meal.

Chinese influence met Spanish
back in the kitchen. Salteado
and much more filling mouths
that spoke Spanish, Italian,
German, Yiddish, and English.

Tuxedoed waiters
swirl dancer-like between
tables in unending succession
bearing delight and grace
time and time again.

Now the world comes
to the Columbia to savor
the splendor of Ybor City.


Contributed by: Arthur Turfa, a second-generation American who has lived in several states and in Germany. Originally from Pennsylvania, he now lives in the Midlands of South Carolina. His poetry reflects his travels, people he has met, and his careers in the Church, education, and the military. His first book of poetry, Places and Times, was published by eLectio Publishing in 2015. Currently he is editing a second book of poetry. He has been published also in various US and international publications. You can read some of his work right here! BloggerFacebook

if you would like to also submit a contribution to dineANDrhyme, click here for submission requirements!