Jerusalem Market – Nothing’s Changed in 1,000 Years for a Reason
Long-time residents of the Triad are most certainly familiar with Jerusalem Market, which has been a Sedgefield staple since March 1989, but may not be aware that there is a NEW twist to an old family tale in the heart of downtown GSO. Brothers Easa and Omar Hanhan opened not just a new location, but a new concept that is different than the original deli and market, on Elm Street in downtown GSO in November of 2016.
Easa and Omar had been interested in opening an actual restaurant that bore the name Jerusalem Market for a while, and set about looking for the perfect location that would fulfill that dream. They visited many different locations before the spot where they are at 310 S. Elm Street in downtown GSO came open. Knowing they wanted to be a part of the change that was happening in downtown, they immediately knew that this former restaurant was going to be where they hung their aprons and called “home”.
While the name is the same and everything is still made from scratch in the traditional manner as the original market, that’s where most of the similarities end. Whereas the original location was a deli and market, their vision for the new location was for it to be a place where their customers could order from a full menu seated in the restaurant. In addition to the full service restaurant, they also offer full catering and pick-up party trays.
When I asked Easa what the most popular dishes his customers ordered, without hesitation he listed the Falafel (which they are known for), Shawarma, Jerusalem Classic, and the Spinach Pie. The Shawarma is made twice a day and only available until it sells out, which it always does. While many of their menu items are vegetarian and vegan, Easa says meat eaters in the area shouldn’t shy away from that because of how hearty and filling those options are. As he puts it, “1,000 years ago, meat was a luxury, so the dishes without meat had to use a lot of flavors and cooking techniques to make the food flavorful and filling”.
Proteins that are on the menu are butchered onsite – a whole leg of lamb will be used in several different menu items such as in the kabobs and in the shawarma. All salads are made to order, and you will never find canned beans–the classic Hummus that everyone loves, started in their kitchen as a simple, dried, Garbanzo bean.
The brothers are committed to the community they’re servicing and being downtown gives them so many more opportunities to do that than before when they were only located in Sedgefield. To date, they’ve worked with GSO Urban Ministry’s recent annual Serving GSO Together event, Goodwill Industries Rock the Runway, and FaithAction, just to name a few. In the future, they will continue to give back to the community they’ve lived in their entire lives.
Of course, with the new location experiencing such great success, I had to ask if there were plans for other new spots. While they don’t have any plans in the foreseeable future, Easa isn’t ruling it out completely. He said they’re definitely open to the idea and considers it a great compliment when customers implore them to come to different cities. But if and when they do, you can guarantee two things will lead the way–the name Jerusalem Market and the same commitment to making delicious, traditional food from scratch and by hand–the way that it should be and how they’ve been doing it for more than 30 years.
About Jerusalem Market on Elm:
Address – 310 S. Elm Street, GSO, NC 27401
Phone – 336-279-7025
Online – www.Jerusalemarket.com
Facebook – facebook.com/JerusalemMarketGSO
Open – Monday – Saturday 11:00am – 9:00pm