By Sarah Newberry / Staff Writer

The Traveling Bowl and Sam’s Southern Eatery, two completely different restaurants but located next to each other on the 2200 block of North Lorraine Street, came together to form an alliance and friendship, which at first glance, you’d never think that would happening.

The restaurants bring a home-cooked meal feel to the table, but both have different things to offer. Unlike The Traveling Bowl, Sam’s offers southern fried food, which many wouldn’t consider “healthy” food.

The Traveling Bowl offers foods like salads but mainly offers comfort food, which some consider better for you.

Regardless, the neighbors both stand out. Sam’s undoubtedly does, with its atmosphere, and bringing something new to this area. It has drawn huge crowds which was unexpected by Mo Ghazawneh, the owner.

“When we first opened here, we never expected it to be like this, and the customers love it,” Ghazawneh said.

The restaurant, for the first few weeks, was so popular that it ran out of food.

The popularity brought a whole new crowd to The Traveling Bowl. It made business for them bloom like never before, and it only went up from there.

“They have brought us a ton of new business, and they bring in a whole different crowd from Hutch,” said Gina Emel, who opened the restaurant with business partner Mike Cole.

Right from the beginning, the relationship between the two restaurants has been good. Both restaurants hope to collaborate someday in a food truck-like way.

Another thing that helped The Travelling Bowl out was the questions they had. They weren’t from the area, so they didn’t know much. Also, being neighbors helped tremendously for their friendship and relationship with each other.

“Being neighbors in itself is a collaboration; we have a good support system,” Emel said.

The main difference between Sam’s and The Traveling Bowl are that Sam’s is a franchise and locally owned and created.

All in all, however, they are both about community and family. Sam’s is a family business that Ghazawneh has been a part of since he was 18. It originated in Louisiana and spread from there. Lorranda Shepherd is Ghazawneh’s sister and has been a part of Sam’s since April. She loves it there, which is working and the people she sees every day, whether customers or coworkers.

What helped their friendship with The Travelling Bowl was Emel’s food-truck mentality. She brought with her that she learned to have a food truck. It’s like a little widespread community in itself.

“In the food truck business, is which is what we’re used to, food trucks stick together when there’s a new one in town, you want to get to know them and taste their food, it’s like a community. All the food trucks know each other, and they brought that sense of community with them,” Emel said.

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