Wednesday, October 1, 2008
On Sunday Matt and I went with my grandmother to try a middle eastern restaurant she loves. We went to the DeMassi's on Richmond. As we waited for her outside it was undecided whether we were smelling delicious garlic from DeMassi's or from the "fresh baked" loaves at the Subway next door. Once my grandmother arrived we opened the door. I was immediately taken back to my trip overseas this summer. I leaned over to Matt and told him, "this is what Israel smells back, but cleaner...and newer...". We paid for the meal (about $10 for the buffet which includes dessert and a drink) and proceeded to the line. The selection was a little overwhelming. I agree with a review that I read of the the restaurant that comments about the restaurant being a good place to start if you have never had any Middle Eastern food. We grabbed a little bit of everything and I was ready to descend back to my Israeli adventure. I will be honest, some of the stuff was great, some of the stuff was not so great. I was not a fan of the hummus. It had a very weird taste to it. Maybe I only like American hummus. The hummus in Israel tasted burnt and the hummus at this restaurant (supposedly owned and operated by a Syrian couple) had a strange flavor to it. Moving further down the line, the flat bread was soft, warm, and acceptable. I was a little confused by the okra stewed in tomatoes because I am pretty sure that I did not run into any okra in Israel, but they were delicous none the less. The three different kinds of rice seemed promising, but lacked a lingering mouthfeel that is often found with Middle eastern types (probably because of the copious amounts of oil often added). The meat selections were wonderful! I really enjoyed the lamb which was braised in a very light tomato and spice sauce. The pulled beef was good, kind of like a shredded barbeque (yum bbq) with Israeli spices. I enjoyed eating the pulled beef with the soft flatbread. The desserts were acceptable, but nothing to write home (or in a blog about). McKay if you read this, there is definitely better baklava out there! Soda selection was good and they brewed peach tea (ala (haha- Allah) Cafe Eccel). All in all, I am sure there are better Middle Eastern places out there, but for a starter place (or if you are hungry for a buffet) it is a good find.