Jeninni Kitchen & Wine Bar Shawarma Pork Buns

Middle Eastern Food California

Jeninni Kitchen & Wine Bar is a three-year-old southern Mediterranean bistro in downtown Pacific Grove, in the Holman Building. Owner Thamin Saleh is a man of Palestinian descent who originally hails from Jenin, on the West Bank. Saleh and his chefs have sprinkled Jeninni’s seasonal roster with many Middle Eastern spices, including za’atar, dukkah, and chermoula, which are all defined in a glossary at the bottom of the menu. One especially cool riff on the food of Saleh’s youth is Jeninni’s Shawarma Pork Buns.

This menu staple grew from late nights during >Pebble Beach Food & Wine. Jeninni’s team developed crave-worthy bites for participating chefs, including a Middle Eastern spin on the popular pork bun. Instead of roasting beef and lamb on a spit, they marinated pork belly with about a dozen shawarma spices, including nutmeg, cumin, allspice and turmeric. The meaty slab is cured, roasted, seared a la plancha, and served in fluffy steamed clamshell bun with sliced cucumber, pickled Fresno chile, and tangy yogurt. I can see why this dish was such a hit for chefs, and continues to please palates in Monterey County.

Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.

Address: 542 Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Jeninni Kitchen & Wine Bar Shawarma Pork Buns

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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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