Deep Fried Meat Ball Sandwich at Alyan’s

With promises of cheesesteaks I lured my New York friends to come visit me in Philly, so I had to deliver.  But that didn’t mean I had to wait in that line with them. I was hungry! I spotted Alyan’s Middle Eastern Cuisine across the street and figured I could pick up something quickly, and then hang out in the outdoor seating while pointing and laughing at my hungry friends on the long line.

Instead of ordering a falafel sandwich like I planned, I noticed the kibbe sandwich ($6.25). Fried meaty, bulgar balls INSIDE a sandwich is total overkill; I love it. Varieties of kibbe can be found in many Middle Eastern countries. At Alyan’s it consists of “deep fried bulghar wheat patty stuffed with ground meats, spices and pine nuts” inside of a pita with lettuce, tomato, and tahina. As you might imagine, it was excessive and delicious. If the idea of fried carbs inside is too much for you, get the kibbe as a platter, but it is over $10.

Oh, I finished my sandwich before my friends even got their cheesesteaks. And then I stole bites of theirs- I am a good friend?

Alyan’s, 603 S 4th  St (@ South St), 215-922-3553



  • Kibbe. Why hello there.

    Kibbe is often considered the national dish of Lebanon. So kibbe-licious. My mother would tell stories of eating the raw version with onion petals like a kind of dip. You’ll also find these as pretty popular street snack in parts of latin america, particularly Brazil and the Yucatan, which both have large populations of Lebanese/Syrian descent. Keep an eye out.

  • I had a pretty decent falafel there once. Kibbe looks better!

  • Wow, you sure seem to like falafels. But I too would choose a falafel over a cheesesteak any day. I recently tried my first one at Jim’s and didn’t like it that much…

  • I was introduced to Alyan’s by an Egyptian friend. They also do a great kebab and fries with onions and peppers. Jim’s is terrible; uou definitely got the better of the deal.

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