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.
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.
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.