Merna's Cafe Brings International Flavor to Menifee

Advertorial supplement: Belly dancers entertained guests at a Mediterranean night on May 29. Merna Ibrahim grew up in Boston Billie...

Advertorial supplement:

Belly dancers entertained guests at a Mediterranean night on May 29.

Merna Ibrahim grew up in Boston Billie's restaurant -- literally.

From the age of 5, Ibrahim practically lived at the restaurant operated by her parents, Abe and Eva, in the Sun City Shopping Center in what is now part of Menifee.

"I used to do everything in here," said Ibrahim, now 26. "I started following the waitresses around. They always called me a brat because I used to tell them what they were doing wrong."

But Ibrahim (second from left) learned more than just the proper way to wait tables. From her father and mother, she learned values about how to treat guests as people, not just paying customers. And she has carried on those values in converting Boston Billie's following the retirement of her father into Merna's Cafe & Grill at the same location.

"The values that this was based on, I won't change," she said. "That's what made my dad successful -- his honesty and how humble he was. Never think you know everything. Every day you learn something. Always listen for advice.

"If you do everything with the intention that you heart is in it ... it's about how you want to be treated. You always try to make people happy. Do your thing and do it right and always do your best. Do whatever you can to help other people. God will bless you, and that's how you will succeed."

Ibrahim has been working for months with minor renovations to the restaurant and has already held several special events highlighting an expanded menu that features international cuisine while maintaining the restaurant's popular American home-style selections. On May 29, she opened up the facility's banquet room for a Mediterranean night, featuring food and culture from her Egyptian background.

While guests sampled the Mediterranean cuisine, belly dancers performed. Guests, young and old, joined in the dancing and fun.

Tickets are now on sale for an "International Extravaganza" June 19, featuring an "all you can eat" international buffet, music, entertainment and dancers. In addition, tickets are on sale for a special Father's Day event June 21. Dads will receive a complimentary "Manmosa" beverage with breakfast. Special menu offerings for lunch and dinner include a Mediterranean burger, filet mignon kabob and lobster.

"I want it to be where people can come here and have fun," Ibrahim said. "They can have a family experience. It's not just a restaurant. I'm keeping it home style but I want to bring in the Mediterranean flavor. It's my background and it's fun."

Merna's Cafe
26850 Cherry Hills Blvd.
Menifee
951-301-8870
Open daily fron 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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