Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2018 archive)

Photo by David Carson (Post-Dispatch)

Medina Mediterranean Grill

As I write this, Medina Mediterranean Grill owner Ibrahim Ead has just opened a second location at 5 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End and plans a third in Grand Center. The restaurant business is too capricious for me to guarantee the expansion’s success, but that it’s happening at all is testament to what Ead has built inside an unassuming Washington Avenue storefront. Medina takes an excellent rendition of a classic Middle Eastern dish (beef and chicken shawarma) and seamlessly combines it with both the American fare Ead grew up with and the contemporary demand for fast-casual dining.

Hours: Lunch and dinner daily (closes at 5 p.m. Sunday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2015

Must order: Original Palestine beef shawarma sandwich ($6.95)