The Halal Meat Market That Butchers and Grills Your Meat — Cooking in America

– [Sheldon] Sam is a fifth
generation Lebanese butcher that immigrated to Detroit 42 years ago. He found success in many businesses but after Detroit's
recession hit he lost it all. He decided to turn back
to what he knew best and opened what is now one of Dearborn's most beloved meat markets. (urban music) – [Sam] We sell the raw meat in here for the customers, they ask
for rib eye, New York, filet, short ribs. And in the meantime we have
a grill in the back … Goin' back there. So the customer's they come,
pick up whatever they like they take it back there to the grill and we are now the most
busiest meat market in the city of Dearborn. – [Sheldon] That's amazing. – [Sam] We do well in here. It was started for my kids. They say let's have a grill back there for them and their friends and my family. And then it started growing too fast and then boom! It's booming! (upbeat music) – [Sheldon] This style of cooking is very reminiscent of what ethnicity? Mediterranean, it's a mix of all really in the Middle East but
our concept is different because it's an all natural concept.

Somebody came from the New York Times and they wanted one skewer of kafta. I was kind of backed in here, busy. Runnin' around, runnin' around. And all of a sudden one
guy come from outside he said "I've heard about you, I wanted to buy one skewer of kafta." I said "One skewer?" and he says "Yes, one skewer." I say "I ain't got no time
for you, get out of here." (laughter) And all of a sudden I
seen the guy grab his iPad out of the car and start taking the photos I said "Ah well, I
guess I get in trouble." You never know right? You never know.

Then I called him back inside he says "I am from New York Times, and I heard about you too much but I just want a skewers to taste what it looks like." – [Abe] So sure – [Sam] And he start
eating and he loved it. They compared my Dad to the Soup Nazi but they called him the Meat Nazi. Yeah because I was kind of a … Too pushy on him.

I told him get out of here I ain't got no time for you. (upbeat music) How old were you when you left Lebanon? 18 years old. And then I came here, I grew up here. You been in meat your whole life though. In Lebanon you … I live it my … Your father was a butcher. My father's a butcher, my
grandfather's a butcher my grand grandfather's a butcher. They're all the family … My name is Hussein Saad,
when you see a Saad's in my town, that means meat. That's the sharp knife, this is the hook. We're gonna go and cut it now. This guy throwin' around knives. Come with me. This is the whole cows in here. Is a lot of work but it's worth it. It's worth it. This is like a nice rib eye. Look at that. Beautiful. New York, filet,
everything we have in here. New York strip, let's go outside and cut the bones and de bone it.

(urban music) – [Abe] So all our meat is halal meat. It's hand-slaughtered by the neck. We get the jugular which
drains all the blood so halal meat is cleaner meat. – [Sheldon] You're putting
it to the tenderizer. – [Sam] Tenderizer so it's
easier to put on skewers. This is the seasoning
here; salt, black pepper, Syrian spice and the seasonal salt. This is the kafta. Kafta is a ground beef mixed with three different
seasoning, parsley and onion. (upbeat music) And squeeze it a little
bit right on the skewers. Are you done with it? I did one and you did three! I do ten maybe. (laughter) I'll slow down a little bit. (laughter) Good kafta takes time you know. (laughter) You goin' put me out on national … Look at that, look at that. So when we kill the cow we literally get the whole entire cow from the organs to the meats
to the bones to the fat.

We got liver, kidneys and the heart. Let's go to the back to the grill. (urban music) First you start off with the bread, here's a piece of pita. So take a kafta and just
put it in your pita. (upbeat music) We have one recipe since we open up up to now still. The spice's just perfect come through.

Take our New York steak. Yes. That's something. That is … (laughter) I'm speechless. I didn't expect it to
be like tender like that you just bite right through it too. I'm gonna make a pita with all of the … Organs, let start right here. … all three of 'em. Are you gonna like that? Filipinos we eat everything but the hair. (laughter) This is the liver, straight up. You get the full flavor of it. Irony, beefy but again the key … – [Abe] Is the char. – [Sam] Is the grill Man that's some of the best
liver I had right there. This is the kidney right here. That's interesting how
you like the organs. I grew up eating all of this. We're taught to eat this
and celebrate all of this. Kidneys is the sweetest
organ in my opinion. And then the last one. This is the heart. So tender. (laughter) People need to learn how to eat organs Yeah. and just appreciate it. I left Lebanon and I flew for 18 hours I came here my first
job was slaughterhouse.

Oh man, you're runnin' away and you're facing it somewhere else. It was a slaughterhouse,
big one, big plan. Where they used to kill
like 14 000 hogs a day. Shoo, how many employees then? There're 4000, 4000 people. I started in there and
then I couldn't take it. Everybody works with knives. Everybody get upset and you know … It's a crazy atmosphere. It's a crazy atmosphere, too much stress.

So people are killing each other. One of my friend's get killed in there and when we left I said I'm
not going back there no more. I opened a meat market. I was the first meat market and Lebanese people open on
Warren Avenue at that time. In 1979 we grew up too much,
the store was too little for us and one of the customers
he said "Why don't you buy the building down the street?" We bought the building within two hours. We were partners, my
brothers, we were big. Butcher shop, everything. Butchers shop, grocery
store, dairy, everything. And then what happened? And then, you know, brothers
couldn't take each other. That was the disaster of my
life, when brothers split. So the market closes then you open what? I had an oil change and a car wash.

I got one of my friend he does clubbing He said "Why don't you
go and buy that building there up for sale?" When I walked in there
I see their equipments the dancing floor, the
hookah place, the coolers. Beautiful so I rushed to it … I ran! I wanted to buy it, I bought it. I spent like $300,000, $325 000 just for remodeling the place. It was a restaurant during the day. And then? It failed. It failed. The recession hit, all gone. But you chose to stay
here in Detroit City. You chose to stay in a
city that was in rumble and in a recession. I got my cousin he came to me he says "Let's go to Arizona to
do the same thing as here" And I said no, I want to stay here because my family, my kids, my sisters, my brothers, my friends, my communities the people that I know. I grew up in the area. I'm not going to give it up just like that and go somewhere else. So walking around he
discovered this place.

We live literally two blocks away. Right across the street. 2007 we're still in the recession. But I know I can do it. When did this place really
start generating popularity? Slowly with my friends, and word of mouth we started marketing on Instagram and Instagram was a
hit in like 2013, 2014. People couldn't believe
that this type of business was existing, you know
a guy cutting your meat in the front and literally grilling that same meat for you in the back. It's like you're sitting
in your backyard you know. – [Interviewer] It's very
unique, unique restaurant. I'm gonna sit down and
eat the rest of this. I'm glad that you came. Thank you. Thank you very much. Mahalo. Nice meeting you, what is it? Mahalo. Mahalo. Mahalo. That's how we say thank you. Thank you mahalo. (upbeat music) – [Interviewee] We are in
the Thai temple in Michigan in Detroit it's called
(foreign language), Midwest..

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The Halal Meat Market That Butchers and Grills Your Meat — Cooking in America

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