Naf Naf Review


What is a Naf and why are there are two of them? These are just a couple of the questions I had when I found myself facing the doors of the new restaurant.

It was a bold choice, for it meant I had to stray from the highly beaten paths of Chipotle and Noodles & Co. I was accompanied with a friend who also had never experienced this quietly established business.

I went in with an open mind and an empty stomach. When I reached the counter, it was apparent to me right away that the workers there knew very well all of the obstacles the restaurant faced. They bombarded me with several cups of samples, assuming (correctly) that I had no idea what shawarmas and falafels were.

Holy Naf Naf was it good! All of the flavors are very distinct and delicious. The food seems to be a subtle version of Middle Eastern food that introduced me to new flavors without being overpowering.

Located right next to Chipotle, Naf Naf Grill has a similar set-up as its new competitor, yet is more transparent in terms of the making of the food. The chicken, steak, falafels, pita breads, etc., were all out in plain sight behind the servers.

I got to choose between pita and salad (similar to a burrito or bowl) and pick one of three “meats”. I put quotations around meats because falafel is not meat. It is fried chickpeas. The two actual meats are steak shawarma and chicken shawarma. Shawarma refers to how they marinate and season the meat.  Next are the fillings. The fillings reflect the basics of a Middle Eastern diet, including hummus, s’khug, and tahini sauce, all more interesting than guacamole.

Naf Naf is Chipotle with foods that are less familiar to most living in Eden Prairie. If they get people in the doors, they will have no problem getting them back. Getting people to pick something they have never heard of over the dynamic duo of Chipotle and Noodles & Co. is going to be one tough task, however.

What is a Naf and why are there two of them? I still do not know, but it is tasty.