It was a hot, muggy day that some friends and I went down to try Tarbouch out. Despite the weather, we sat outside and found the food refreshing enough to balance things out nicely. We only scratched the surface of the diverse menu so I'm very interested in going back.
Together, we tried:
Laban-wi-Khiyar as the appetizer,
Fattouch, Chicken Sheesh Tawook, the Chicken Schwarma plate, and a Gyros wrap,
with a taste of a Lebanese brew, Almaza, and Lebanese style coffee.
The Laban-wi-Khiyar with pita bread didn't last long. Laban-wi-Khiyar is a traditional dip that is perfect for summer days. With cucumber and mint, it seems to cool you down as you eat it and the rich yogurt is very satisfying. It also worked really well as a compliment to the heavily spiced entrees.
As for my favorite entree, I'm torn between the Fattouch and the Chicken Sheesh Tawook. The Fattouch (as seen in the picture) was definitely light but immensely flavorful. I recommend eating with your hands and the bread, as opposed to a fork because the lemon becomes a bit overwhelming without the bread. The Sheesh Tawook paired amazingly with the hummus it's served with and it was a nice change from Chicken Schwarma which has been my tried-and-true for a while.
The wraps here make perfect lunch items since they're hand-held and even come with a tasty salad. But what's on my list for next time is their Vegetarian Plate. Since it's got nearly everything on the appetizer menu as well as a salad, it would be great to share, or a great way to try a bit of variety.
Over the past year or so, my interest in beer has been growing, so I was very interested in trying Almaza. Predictably, it was light and refreshing. There was a citrusy note--mainly lemon--which made it pair with every dish very well.
And the coffee was a great way to finish off the meal. Lebanese coffee is ground very fine, finer than espresso, and is incredibly strong. Because of that, it only is served in a small espresso cup. The finely ground coffee sits at the bottom of the cup and it's important not to drink that part, unless you like coffee grounds. There seemed to be an extra flavor to it--my guess is cardamom or clove--that made it seem a little more exotic and wonderful.
I highly recommend coming to this place with friends. It's got a good atmosphere, and people kept bringing super cute dogs while we were there. A lot of the dishes can be easily shared, which always makes for a fun meal. And if you're willing to relax away the afternoon, they offer a variety of shisha . Carpool if you can because the parking lot gets pretty full around lunchtime, but despite that, the patio doesn't get cramped at all. They have a website where you can find their menu, hours and address as well as a Twitter feed and Facebook page for menu updates and deals.