How does a small Middle Eastern deli end up with a city holiday named after it? Well, as Wajdi Wadi learned, the first step is to make the venture a family affair. When he moved to America from Kuwait, Wajdi brought with him his grandfather's century-old recipe for pita bread. He also brought his mother and father, who contributed memorable personalities and cooking expertise to Wajdi's new business, known as Holy Land.
Holy Land really started growing when Wajdi's brother Majdi joined the business. Majdi's marketing background helped the family launch multiple expansions and earned them the aforementioned holiday: August 21, 2002, known in Minneapolis as Holy Land Bakery and Deli Day. The family has since seen the rise of their very own hummus factory, whose flavored creations have been featured in the New York Times.
Their deli location, meanwhile, remains committed to old-world cuisine cooked over wood-fired grills, in tandoor clay ovens, and on rotisserie-style spits. It fills bellies with a variety of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, everything from tender lamb kebabs to sweet baklava. Minneapolis Eater particularly enjoyed the deli's falafel and kebabs, and the food magazine Heavy Table praised its rotisserie chicken, calling it "sensational" with "flavor [that] penetrates all the way down to the bones."