The residents of Van Alstyne and surrounding communities will now be able to cure their craving for Mediterranean food. On Oct. 20, Jafar Abdallah opened Jafar’s Mediterranean Grill on Marshall Street.

Abdallah, who is now in his mid-thirties, is originally from Jerusalem but has been in America since he was 10-years-old. He said his passion for food is related to being in a family full of restaurant owners.

“My passion comes from growing up in the restaurant business,” Abdallah said. “My family owns restaurants in the Garland and Richardson area.”

The food at his restaurant is authentic and homemade, Abdallah said. “All my recipes are old family recipes,” he said. “You get authentic Mediterranean food.”

Abdallah said the restaurant has an open kitchen, so patrons can see their food being prepared.

Abdallah lives in Anna with his wife and two children, with their third child on the way. He said he picked downtown Van Alstyne as the location for his restaurant due to the city’s history.

“I originally looked at McKinney and a few other places, but the historic part of Van Alstyne drew me in. I fell in love with it,” Abdallah said.

He also said he chose Van Alstyne for the potential. “There is growth all around us in Van Alstyne. There is so much potential.”

Abdallah said an interesting piece of history about the restaurant building is that it was once a bank. “I use the vault as my dry goods storage,” he said.

The opening of Jafar’s is a part of history by itself. It is the only Mediterranean restaurant in Grayson County.

The menu boasts Mediterranean goodies such as falafels, kibbie, dolmas, kabobs, pitas and different flavors of hummus.