11.17.2008

Nazareth Restaurant and Deli

A couple months ago, the hubby and I were looking for some place to eat a quick dinner, and since we were near Cleveland and 161. I asked to stop in at Nazareth Deli. Becke from Columbus Foodie had recommended the restaurant a while back. I am always interested in trying new places - especially if they come highly recommended. So the hubby agreed.

We were seated and started looking at the menu. The gal who sat us forgot to tell our waitress we were there. We ended up waiting about 10 minutes before we flagged someone down to place our order. Not an auspicious start to our dinner... I order several appetizers: hummus ($3.95 for a full serving), falafel ($2.75 for three patties) plus the "Special Maza Plate" ($5.50 for a whole serving) . I figured if dinner took as long to come as it did to get noticed, I had better have some fortification.

Yummy - burnt falafel

The appetizers came pretty fast, but they were disappointment. The falafel was overcooked to the point where the outside was almost black, the hummus portion was extremely small for the price, but the item that took the cake was the Maza Plate.


Special Maza Plate

The "Special" consisted of 7 Kalamata olives, a couple of chopped up sweet pickles, a few peices of feta, some cucumber, some pickled eggplant and hot sauce. $5.50? Give me a break!

My hubby ordered the Super Gyro and fries for his main dinner and I ordered the lentils and rice with spicy grilled chicken - a dish that had been recommended by Becke. I also asked for tabbouleh as my side salad.


The food came quickly. The gyro was certainly large and the fries were pretty decent - nothing to write home about, but adequate. The gyro sauce was really runny though and didn't stay on the sandwich. At the end of the meal, Tony had a huge puddle of sauce in the bottom of his basket. Speaking with the waitress, I learned that the sauce was made on site - a definite plus -but that the owner insisted that it be thinned to a milk-like consistency to help control costs. A false economy if you ask me, since most of the sauce served with our meal ended up being wasted in the end.




The lentils and rice with chicken was good. It was very homey. I did a little research online and found out that lentils and rice is a down home staple in the Middle East. The chicken was not bad - white meat, spicy, but a little on the dry side. I think that thighs would have been a better choice. For $8.75, I don't think it was worth what I received.


The tabbouleh was ok - it lacked the traditional lemon based vinaigrette that you find in most versions of this salad and was replaced with the watered down gyro sauce instead. Also, I like a little more bulgar a general rule and flat leaf parsley instead of the curly type.


We declined dessert.

Overall, I don't think we will be returning to the Nazareth Deli anytime soon. The gyro was ok - I like the Gyro Shop on Henderson better. The lentils and rice, while very tasty, will be something that I will attempt to recreate at home. I might be tempted to return if I was in the area and didn't have any other prospects for dining, but considering that MiMi's (MiLi's) cafe and Smackies is right around the corner, I kinda doubt it.


Nazareth Restaurant & Deli on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

Columbus Foodie said...

Sorry to hear that you guys had a bad experience - we've never really strayed outside of the lentil rice/special rice dishes ourselves. We haven't been since April or so, it sounds like it's gone downhill a bit since then...

giz said...

Not a great review on this restaurant. These days mediocre just doesn't seem good enough. I can get mediocre at home.

food2thought said...

I read good reviews in numerous spots around the internet, but also found this place lacking. I went back with a friend just to see if they were having an off day on th first visit, and he mentioned that he thought Aladdin's was better. Overall, I much prefer the Mad Greek on E. Broad for the food, service, and value. The next spot I'm going to check out along these lines is Anna's, and after that, the Pita Hut Grille. Thanks for the reviews.

Yanni said...

Sorry to hear you guys having bad luck with the restaurant scene these days. The sure good recipe for a good place to eat is a hands on owner that is from the same country as their restaurant's cuisine. Most Ethnic restaurants lack both. King Gyros has both all day long and you get what you pay for.

Rosie said...

Foodie - It happens. Sometimes there is just one or two good things on a menu. In this case, the lentils and rice are just not a strong enough pull to get me back there. Maybe we should try it at home...

Giz - If I am gonna lay out my hard earned cash, I expect some bang for my buck. I go out to eat certain items so I don't have to eat crap at home.

food2thought - My friend Moose seconds your opinion of Mad Greek. The one time I went to Aladdin's I was not too impressed. It was good, but not that good. When you try Pita Hut, go earlier in the day when they still have the meat turning on the spit for the schwarmas. Later at night they take the already cooked meat and rewarm it on the grill. It's just not as good.

Yanni - The owner for the restaurant is from the Middle East. The problem is, when you cut corners, it shows.

Anonymous said...

I think you're all on crack. Nazareth has incredible food.

Rosie said...

Anonymous-
You are entitled to your opinion - everyone is. But what I had was not incredible. It ranged from OK to really really bad. So either I hit them on a bad day or you are the one with the crack addiction...

Karin from Nazareth said...

First, as General Manager of Nazareth Restaurant, I would like to apologize for your bad experience. When I saw your photographs of our falafel I was discusted. No one should have let that be served. Everyone has bad days and I guess this was one of ours. I ensure you that whatever the server told you is false. The owner of the restaurant in no way cuts costs in that manner. If you speak with our hundreds of regular customers you will find that Hany (the owner) is almost to generous for his own good. I hope that you will give us another chance and if you do I will personally see to it that you have the best experience possible. Thank you for your comments.