A Fresh Take on Mediterranean Food

At Sassool, you can order dinner for tonight and stock up on fresh salads for the rest of the week.

Even though you’re stuck at home, your taste buds can still travel the world. So, move over microwave dinners. Tantalize your tastebuds with fresh pita bread, hummus, salads and more from Sassool, voted the Best Mediterranean Restaurant in western Wake County. The restaurant is also a store, so you can stock up on your favorite dishes in bulk to enjoy in the weeks to come.

“We’ve see that our dinner orders surpass our lunch orders by about 300 percent,” said Simone Saleh Lawson, who manages the Cary location. “When business is operating as usual, it is often the other way around.”

Soon the restaurant will implement the Sassool Support Package meal option for customers to buy  food and pay it forward, Lawson says. It offers options from each food group in two-person serving containers, so a couple of people could be fed for about three or four meals with plenty of variety and flavor.

Named for family matriarch Cecilia “Sassool” Saleh, the third-generation restaurant and bakery serves up authentic Lebanese dishes that are also healthy, fresh and delicious. Founder Mounir Saleh is the driving force behind the restaurant, and the day-to-day operations are handled by his daughters. Lawson’s sister, Noelle Scott, runs the North Raleigh Sassool. A third location is at the Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh.

“Cooking and making food is part of who we are. It’s part of our identity,” Saleh said. “Every time we’re feeding somebody in the Lebanese culture, it’s like we’re showing how much we enjoy people and how much we love their company by having that pride, that connection with food. It’s not a way to make a living; it’s not a way to make money. It’s a joy.”

The restaurant is popular with vegans and vegetarians, who can find several dishes to suit, including the popular fava bean salad. Lawson says everything is made fresh, so they can satisfy special dietary needs.

“Everything we do is mimicking the way my grandmother, my aunt, my dad host people at their home,” she said. “You’re supposed to have abundant food, everything very fresh, very tasty, and your guests or your customers — you’re there to satisfy their every request.”


Sassool founder Mounir Saleh with his family at the 2020 Maggy Awards party.

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