If you want to feel loved — and you really like a good side of baba ganoush — there is a place for you in downtown Atlanta.
Stroll down Peachtree Center Avenue, go up a flight of stairs to the food court inside the Mall at Peachtree Center and you will find Aviva by Kameel, a bustling Mediterranean restaurant with light green walls. Grinning behind the counter in his crisp white chef’s jacket is the proprietor, Kameel Srouji.
As he and his staff serve heaping helpings of hummus, falafel and kibbe, Srouji greets each of his customers the same way, whether they are regulars or first-timers, men or women, young or old, black or white.
“I love you,” he tells them.
There is no hint of irony in it. He says it sincerely, even forcefully. And he often sprinkles in compliments, while addressing customers at his three-year-old restaurant as his brothers and sisters.
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