A Conversation with Abe

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Tasty Food, Pushy Owner.

That was one of the first reviews I came across for Grape Leaf in Morro Bay. I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t feel a sense of apprehension over that review. Sure, the food is good. It sounds amazing. It certainly looks incredible, but I’m not sure if I want to enjoy fine Middle Eastern dining at a restaurant with a “pushy” owner. But I decided to push ahead and live dangerously.

I would learn that Dr. Ibrahim Abuhilal, or “Abe” for short, would be a lot more than what some reviewers timidly described him as. Turns out he’s larger than life, certainly a force of nature that’s a cross between a fast-talking hurricane and an improv comedian. Once you get to know him, you’ll notice his big heart and radiating kindness. And sure, he’s assertive, but it’s clear to everyone who knows him best that he’s fully dedicated himself to everyone’s happiness. If a young person can’t find something on the menu, he’ll make them a hamburger. If a homeless person is hungry, he’ll make them a sandwich on the house. If you’re looking for someone to talk to, he’ll sit down and give you the support you need. That’s the kind of guy Abe is.