Late-night Middle Eastern street food spot Muncheez is ready to unveil its biggest location to date that encourages diners to crush French fry-filled cauliflower pitas after last call.
The nine-year-old brand’s third area location sits inside the former DGS Delicatessen space in Dupont Circle (1317 Connecticut Avenue NW), joining existing sites in Georgetown and Tenleytown. To celebrate its first day of business on Friday, August 23, the first 200 people in line will get a free bowl or signature pita.
The new two-story location plans to operate daily from 11 a.m. until well past midnight (2:30 a.m. on Sunday to Wednesday, 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, and 4:30 a.m. on weekends).
The budding non-alcoholic chain, founded in 2010, stars the same Lebanese street foods founder David Nammour ate while growing up in Beirut.
The colorful refresh of the long-vacant DGS space also reminds him of his homeland. A cityscape design of Beirut frames the register, and a graffiti-splashed staircase mimics street art found near his hilltop childhood home. An open kitchen, a popular restaurant feature in the Middle East, is also present.
Along with importing its chicken and beef shawarmas, slowly cooked and shaved off a vertical spit in front of diners, the menu includes familiar build-your-own bowls, mezze, and Mediterranean-style flatbreads.
Vegetarian-friendly items making their Dupont debut include a cauliflower pita joined by French fries, lettuce, tomatoes and tahini and a gluten-free lentil tabbouleh mezze. Fried cauliflower is also a new protein option, as are lentils and baby spinach bases.
Muncheez’s minced meat kofta offering is no more, in part, to reduce meat consumption and support its sustainability mantra, says the former clean energy exec. (The brand is big on going green, using 90-percent compostable packaging, composting food waste and recycling fryer grease across its locations.)
While customers can easily go the healthy route at Muncheez, he says the menu also caters to the diet-busting diner: “We can please that 3 a.m. person trying to get a Muncheez cheesesteak or Nutella crepe and curly fries,” he says.
The brand plans to open two more D.C. locations next year, with foot traffic-heavy areas like 14th Street NW being prime target markets.