It’s been a crazy weekend for me. I decided to have a cookout at my mom’s house Sunday night (since she has a grill…and a deck…and a backyard i.e. all things I do not have) and I’m smoking a pork butt and a pork belly for the first time.
Let me say that as I sit here writing this I’m mid smoking process and I’m having issues controlling the heat level on the grill. I’m doing a two zone method but I’ve got the one side dialed as far down as it will go and it’s still way too hot. I’m trying to keep it in the 225 range and it keeps dialing up to 300 so we’ll see how this all ends up *fingers crossed*.
So if you have any tips of tricks for me, it’d be much appreciated.
Anyway, so I meant to cook dinner Friday night but I had planned a pretty time intensive meal (again) and I still had to go grocery shopping so we ended up going out to dinner (we actually also went out to dinner on Saturday night for one of our friend’s bdays which is why there’s been a dearth of posts).
Our favorite Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant (Taz) has closed its physical location is closed now. When I called and spoke to them they said they were working on getting a food truck up and running but I have no clue on the status of that.
So I was craving Middle Eastern food and we decided to give a new place (to us) a shot – Sultan’s Mediterranean in Tylersville.
** A note on the image – it was taken from deals.pricegrabber.com (if the snow didn’t clue you in considering it’s currently August). So that means it’s not my image and is being used from there.
First off, the décor inside is really nice. It’s all done in muted jewel tones with artwork adorning the walls.
The servers wear all black uniforms; black upholstered booths line every wall (which makes sense considering people always, always want a booth) with nice wooden tables to fill the middle of the floor. It’s not as fun as Taz’s inside was which almost made you feel like you were in a tent, but all combined it gives the impression of a nice and very pricey restaurant.
The hostess greeted us and we were promptly seated in one of the open booths. We were on the bar side and our server was also the bartender since the bar itself was basically empty. Personally, I don’t understand why some restaurants don’t have their bartenders taking tables; otherwise you end up with watching a bored person stand there so I was fine with that aspect.
Our server was at the table within 30 seconds, and filled both of our water glasses and then returned with the Coke I ordered. We decided to skip the appetizer since I wanted to get two different entrees to try out, especially since I was reviewing the restaurant. When we asked our server for recommendations he recommended something like 8 different entrees, which considering how indecisive I can be when faced with a new menu (I want to try everything) wasn’t the biggest help but at least he was enthusiastic about the food offerings.
After we decided and placed our order, he brought us out a basket of warm pita bread and a side of oil with balsamic vinegar swirled in. I thought it was a bit odd that it had balsamic vinegar. I had expected a sprinkling of za’atar but nevertheless I did enjoy snacking on it while we waited for our food.
The first item we ordered was the Sauteed Lamb for $15.95 described as, “Cubes of lamb sautéed with mushroom, green and red bell pepper, Tomatoes, onions, garlic and chef’s sauce.” First off, the portion on the plate was huge, I read some other reviews complaining about the lunch sizing and maybe there is a big difference but as far as dinner these are pretty generous portions. I also appreciated the amount of vegetables that was in the dish, whole mushrooms along with big chunks of peppers and onions. The chef’s sauce was actually on both of our entrees and it had a tangy tomato base. I thoroughly enjoyed the dish, although both my husband and I both agreed that our other choice was better overall (and probably also way higher in calories/fat which may be why we both enjoyed it more).
Our second entrée was the Iskender Kebab also for $15.95 described as, “Layers of doner, diced pita bread, garlic yogurt and fresh tomato sauce.” Doner is a mix of lamb and beef roasted on a spit. First off, the meat was extremely tender, moist and well spiced. They also didn’t skimp us on the meat, it completely covered the plate. I saw the garlic yogurt but I’m not sure how much flavor it actually added to the overall dish. Honestly I didn’t really care because the diced pita bread layer was crispy and delicious and when mixed with the meat and sauce tasted amazing. We actually both had a hard time not finishing the plate and I was glad we had gotten the baked sautéed lamb in order to get some vegetables into our meal.
A note about our service. My husband drinks water, a lot of water and we understand that he basically chugs it down and never hold it against a server when they can’t keep up with him (unless of course they completely ignore us which thankfully doesn’t happen too often). That being said, the various employees there were pretty much on it, refilling his glass 5 times (yes FIVE) and I think the longest it ever went empty was maybe two minutes.
Our server boxed up our food for us along with extra pita bread (greatly appreciated) and we enjoyed his pacing of the meal, where he let us set the timing. The food also came out really quickly, I think within 10 minutes or so of us placing our order. With our two entrees, a coke, and tax our bill was around $36 before tip. It is a bit of a splurge (i.e. it’s not a McDonald’s value menu) but for the level of service, atmosphere and quantity of food we felt like we got a really good deal. We each ate part of the meal there and had enough leftovers for two more lunches so all together we thought it was worth it (although I guess that depends on how much you eat in one sitting).
Long story short, we enjoyed the food and our visit. The restaurant feels more expensive than it actually is and there’s a good value there for your money. We’ll be back!