As you know from my posts, I spend a lot of time In theKitchen. When I manage to get out of the kitchen—I can guarantee that someone else is doing my cooking! Since one of our three daughters is a bit picky where food matters are concerned, trying ethnic restaurants as a family does not always go positively—so we generally avoid it. This week found us with a childless morning while all three girls were off to school. It was a perfect time to venture out and try out a new restaurant! Mezze, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant in Gahanna--a Columbus eastside suburb--was our choice. What was our review of Mezze Middle'Terranean Cuisine Restaurant?
A look at Mezze’s Columbus area location. Gahanna is a really nice suburban city. It was actually ranked as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live by Money Magazine in 2007. The North Hamilton Road area where Mezze makes its home has grown so much since we moved here 12 years ago. Mezze is a small, strip mall restaurant—but, don’t let that put you off on giving it a try! I continue to be impressed and even amazed by incredible, non-chain restaurants that pop up in strip mall venues.
A peek into Mezze’s atmosphere. Mezze is small—but, the seating is adequate. There are tables as well as a granite-like bar flanking the restaurant’s front windows. Patrons order at the counter from a simple menu, take a seat and pick up the order as it is prepared. Mezze uses a Chipotle or BW3’s style ordering/pick up station. Drinks are self-serve. Mezze isn’t quiet or romantic—it is essentially Middle Eastern/Mediterranean “fast food”--but, it does have a casual, upbeat feel that made it fun to visit as a couple.
How was the food at Mezze? We went inside with small expectations. We have both eaten Meditteranean foods frequently—but, have slightly more limited Middle Eastern food experiences. I can only say that Mezze was amazing. When we entered, we were faced by the overhead menu board and a smiling guy behind the counter who probably knew that we had never been there before.
My husband graciously let me order first. Since we were sharing our meal selections, I chose an appetizer: the spicy feta. It is essentially a cold dip made from feta cheese, jalapeno, roasted red peppers and spices—served with warm, salty pita bread triangles for dipping.
|Spicy Feta from Mezze in Gahanna|
While the husband says that I “chickened out” and played it “safe” on my menu selection—I would have a tough time NOT ordering it again. It was spicy—but, not overpowering and the flavors blended perfectly with the strong feta. It was delicious—and I can honestly say that the pita bread was some of the freshest that I’ve ever had with an appetizer.
The husband chose to build his entrée from the restaurant’s fast-food-like, 1, 2, 3 menu options. He had a pita, topped with a ground beef kafta kabob—customized with lettuce, banana peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. He was also guided by the young man behind the counter to select the House Sauce and to opt to “spice it up”.
|Pita with kafta kabob and customization at Mezze in Gahanna|
It was huge! It was a massive pita bread round, loaded with the kafta kabob and tons of toppings. I cannot say exactly what the house sauce is—or how “spicing it up” compares to a non-spiced-up version—but, I can say that we both agreed that it was amazing.
Final thoughts on Mezze? We loved it. It is unique, it’s affordable (We shared our two dishes and had water for around $12), and it is undoubtedly the best food and service we’ve had out in the city in a long time. I do see us sharing lunch there in the (very near) future—and taking friends and family. We probably won’t go often for dinner—I don’t think the little girls would like it much—but, I can guarantee that we’ll be phoning in an order for dinner carryout to accompany an occasional Friday night movie at home!
It’s one of those places that I think everyone should know about—it was really that good. Check out Mezze’s website or on Facebook . If you are near Columbus, or even just visiting—it’s a quick trip from the airport to Mezze and it’s worth it.
Disclosure: I wrote this review simply because I found a restaurant that I love and I think everyone should know about it! I was not compensated for this review in any way—and the restaurant/staff did not even know I was reviewing. I like it that way. As always, all of my opinions are my own.