Tierna Unruh-Enos is publisher at The Paper.

Nob Hill restaurants are slowly creeping back from the pandemic, and a few new joints are popping up around town–most notably, just down the street from your favorite weekly newspaper.

Habibi House is the newest Middle Eastern eatery to join The Village at Nob Hill in the spot formerly occupied by the French restaurant P’tit Louis Bistro. Habibi House took its sweet time to open as well. Partners Abu Abdullah and Muhamed Darby ran into one city permitting snafu after another, a familiar lament from many restaurateurs in Albuquerque.

Abdullah came to Habibi House as the head chef after a brief stint owning the Mediterranean Kitchen food truck that was permanently parked at Yale Blvd. and Silver Ave. SE. Abdullah brings decades of cooking with Middle Eastern spices from Amman, Jordan. The food at Habibi House is infused with love.

Settling into my table just two weeks after its opening, I was greeted with a bright smile and classical Arabic music by Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, (if you know, you know). Our proprietor proceeded to bring out nearly every dish on the menu, making sure to tell us the ingredients in each and how it was made as he set it down.

Baba Ganoush, hummus, tabouleh, chicken schwerma and beef and chicken kabobs were just a few of the dishes we sampled at Habibi House.

The presentation of the hummus as a Zia symbol was kitschy and cute, but hands down the best dish was the chicken schwerma wrap ($11.95). Habibi House sears their wrap for a nice crisp on the outside, while the garlic sauce and pickles pair so well with the tender chicken on the inside.

Habibi House is located at 3218 Silver Ave. SE and is open Monday-Saturday 11-8 pm and has a lovely patio for outdoor dining and people watching. They offer Grub Hub for delivery, but The Paper. highly recommends dining in person.