1.08.2012

Food Review: Mazah Mediterranean Eatery (Grandview Heights, OH)

Let's start 2012 with a food review, shall we? Of course I wouldn't turn down an offer to try something new...

I was invited to test out the Mazah Mediterranean Eatery (1439 Grandview Ave., Columbus, OH 43212) by one of my blog readers. I was quite shocked (and yet not surprised) to hear from her that "nobody at work wanted to try this place because they were afraid they wouldn't like it."

Come on, that's always going to be a consequence of trying something new. Well, to all you guys who passed her up on that offer, you missed out on some good stuff! (Pointing and laughing off-stage.)

Mazah's simplistic exterior is friendly and inviting. There is outdoor seating on warmer days.
Speaking of the good stuff, we began with the small sampler appetizer that consisted of hummus, fava bean dip, three bean salad, Mediterranean potato salad, two pieces of falafel, and rice. The sampler was quite flavorful and each part of the plate carried a distinct flavor that had us scooping all sorts of goodness onto pieces of pita bread. The light and tender texture of the Mediterranean potato salad was definitely a change of pace from the stereotypical rib-sticking supermarket counterpart that usually overdoses on mayonnaise. If this is the "small" sampler, I wonder what the large one looked like as this could've easily satisfied three guests.

Starting from the bottom and going clockwise (Med. potato salad, fava bean dip, three bean salad, hummus). Falafel in the middle on top of a bed of rice.
Of course, my Greek food fans will ask about the falafel, which very tasty and obviously made from scratch in the restaurant. As falafel is a popular menu item in Greek restaurants, this place makes sure that you'll remember that succulent flavor. From my limited experience on eating at Mediterranean-style restaurants in Ohio, this is one of the best falafels I've had in the state so far.

For my main course, I went for the beef shawarma with sides of baba ganoush and tabouli. My friend went for the lamb kebob with the same sides. Both meats were placed on top of a small bed of rice and cooked to a tender, well-done texture. The beef had a nice blend of spices to it and the lamb was tasty and easy to cut (which isn't a very easy task to do).

Beef shawarma platter ($10.50)
Lamb kebob ($15.95). Okay, you can stop licking the screen now.
If you're looking for a casual dinner with friends or a great place to eat for a date (the $19.95 couples sampler - which includes one entree - is a great way to start a conversation), this restaurant fits the bill. Its small and intimate setting echoes the simplicity of their flavorful dishes. Prices range from $9.50-15.50 for a dinner-sized entree and $4.95-7.95 for a sandwich so dinner's definitely not going to break the bank. Weekends may have you waiting for a seat so I'd recommend a reservation for larger parties of 6 or more.

We finished our meal with a small and sweet baklava, a traditional Mediterranean dessert. It wasn't dripping in honey like other bakalavas I've had in the past, so it was flakier and tasted a lot lighter.
On an additional note, I was very satisfied with the customer service, bathroom cleanliness, and the friendliness of the staff. My only real issues was that the menus would definitely benefit from additional photos of the entrees. If I wasn't already familiar with Mediterranean food it would've been a bit challenging to choose between the kebobs and the shawarma, or for the absolute newbie, what is stuffed inside of grape leaves.

Mazah also offers numerous selections for those who are vegetarian, vegan, or prefer to eat gluten free. There's also a featured alcoholic beverage/cocktail menu that changes frequently with new concoctions.

Special thanks to Denise from Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue for discovering this great local place to eat right in the heart of Columbus. And if you have some ideas for new places to try out either in Ohio or for those cross-country motorcycle trips, shoot me an e-mail or place them right in the comments box.

For more information about Mazah, check out their website at http://www.mazah-eatery.com/ or 'Like' them on FB at http://www.facebook.com/MazahEatery.

Mazah Mediterranean Eatery on Urbanspoon

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