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A chef and restaurant manager takes the plunge in opening his own restaurant in Spotsylvania County
Mahmoud Morsi hopes to open Morsi's Mediterranean Grill in Southpoint II in Massaponax next week.
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By Cathy Jett
AFTER 24 YEARS as a chef and restaurant manager, Mahmoud Morsi decided it was time to go into business for himself.
The Spotsylvania County resident and his wife, Donna, spent a year searching for the perfect location. They found it last month when they peered in the window of the former CJ's Dawg House in Southpoint II in Massaponax.
"As soon as we saw the brick wall, I said, 'We can do something here,'" Donna Morsi said, referring to the exterior of the open kitchen's counter.
Yesterday, workmen put up the black, gold and green sign for Morsi's Mediterranean Grill at 10219 Southpoint Parkway as the couple waited for the health inspector to arrive. They plan to open the 1,600-square-foot space sometime next week. When they decide on the date, I'll post it in my blog, blogs.fredericksburg.com/whatsinstore/.
Mahmoud Morsi has worked for luxury hotels in Cyprus, Kuwait, Malta and the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as Italian and Mediterranean restaurants in the Fredericksburg and Woodbridge areas. He said he decided to focus on Mediterranean fare for his own restaurant because of the trend toward eating more healthfully and the dearth of Mediterranean restaurants in the area.
"I didn't want to be an Italian pizzeria. There's too much competition," he said. "There are five or six here. I'd be No. 7."
Morsi's menu will feature beef, chicken, lamb and veal kabobs with flavors from several countries ringing the Mediterranean. The Greek version, for example, will be marinated in yogurt, lemon, garlic, herbs, green peppers and several other ingredients.
The kabobs will sell for $8.99 with three sides, although a lunch special of chicken kabobs with rice, mixed vegetables and a drink, or any wrap, a drink and fries will be available for $6.99.
The restaurant, which will be open for lunch and dinner, also will serve a variety of appetizers, including two kinds of hummus, calamari and herb-flavored goat cheese served with pita chips; and such casual fare as salads, burgers, wraps and "pizza cones," a unique, finger-friendly twist on the pizzeria staple.
Some of restaurants where Morsi used to work served the cones because people could carry them as they walked along the beach. He'll serve his in cone-shaped, metal french-fry holders lined with food-grade paper.