Mediterranean Food

pita and hummus
Fresh hummus, fresh pita, so garlicky and good.

We had intended, after my event yesterday, to head over to our favorite schwarma and gyro place and fill up there. Sunny Mediterranean food on a grey November day sounded fine. We were close to it, and as I packed up, we chatted about other possiblities. Sure, we could go with the reliable restaurant, but why not take a chance? I saw a sign that proclaimed Mediterranean Food, and pulled in.

The parking lot being almost full was a good sign, as were the pretty tables we glimpsed through the windows as we walked in. Unlike the Chateaux Beirut, our standby, which has an ambiance of broken-down middle-eastern Diner, this place was ritzier. Which doesn’t always translate to better food, I will freely admit. Both the First Reader and I are fond of the working-mans eateries. For one thing, we can afford to indulge in eating there more often.

spinach and meat stew
Kiymali Ispanak

Sultan’s Mediterranean Cuisine in West Chester, Ohio, is worth a visit. I told the server that it was our first time in her restaurant, and she brought us a little plate of hummus and fresh pita. Now, the First Reader has told me a few times that he doesn’t care for hummus, he’s had it, and it was bland. This was not bland. I’m fairly sure it was freshly made, as unlike the commercial dips, it was chunky. It had a really nice nutty flavor, and garlicky enough to make us both happy. Along with the fresh hot pita it was great, and I’m so grateful she made that gesture. Now I’ll try my hummus on the First Reader soon!

We had trouble ordering, because there were so many good looking options. We decided not to do an appetizer simply because we knew that the entrees would likely be more than enough to fill us up, after a couple of days of holiday overeating. I finally decided on the Doner kebab, a thinly sliced mixture of lamb and beef. It was beautifully seasoned, the tzatziki sauce was perfect on the rich meat, and the interesting little shredded salad was dressed with a light but flavorful dressing. The only thing on the plate that was bland and unexciting was the rice pilaf. Fortunately, most people don’t expect much from their rice. Just because I’m a rice snob…

lamb and beef kebab
My kebab meat, with sides.

The First Reader ordered Kiymali Ispanak, which was ground beef and lamb, sauteed with vegetables (onions and peppers at the least) and served over wilted spinach, with a yogurt sauce. (I found a recipe, but I don’t read Turkish.) It was very good, and he ate all of it, which surprised him as much as me! We decided we will have to go back, so we can try some of the other things on the menu.

As we were eating, I told him that unlike many of my restaurant blogs, this one will appear without a recipe. I have made something like the kebab in the past, and tzatziki is no problem to whip up, but I’d rather come back and have Sultan’s do the cooking for me. So much easier with my schedule, and besides, something about the spices they used was just so good. While it was a bit pricier than our usual haunts, it wasn’t outrageous. And their hummus was yummy!