From the outside, there is no way you could tell that the Gold Medal Market and Deli, 1020 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, offers a first-rate selection of Middle Eastern fare, including a well-stocked deli counter and a weekday lunch buffet, prepared by one of the Twin Cities’ most talented Middle Eastern cooks.
For many years, Hayat Jermanous was the chef at Sindbad’s Cafe & Market, where she became famous for her lemon garlic chicken, as well as her renditions of such staples as stuffed grape leaves, baba ganouj, falafel, eggplant salad, kibbe, kofta, and baklava. After Sindbad’s closed, Hayat faced a tough six-year battle against cancer, but she has made a full recovery, and her cooking is as tasty as ever.
When I visited recently, I arrived too late for the $9.99 lunch buffet, but Hayat made up a sampler plate for me that included most of the above. A big selection of sandwiches is also available, both Middle Eastern (kafta, kibbe, falafel, and Midwestern (tuna salad, chicken salad, turkey bacon avocado, etc.) , all for under $7.