Taza: A Lebanese Grill - Cleveland, OH
The first time a friend and I tried to go here they were closed down for a private party. You kind of have to think the food is pretty good if someone is willing to pay to close the place down. They were super nice about it and even recommended someplace around the corner. However, I knew I had to go back and try it.
Taza has two locations in Cleveland, Downtown and Woodmere. They serve authentic Mediterranean cuisine with dishes like Shawarma, Falaffel and Kafta. It's a nice restaurant that has a relaxing atmosphere. You can easily enjoy a small table for two and yet it is big enough to accommodate a large party.
You start with warm pita bread to dip in their Zaatar. The Zaatar is not just some everyday ordinary bread dip. It was olive oil mixed with thyme, sesame seeds and sumac, a dried cherry spice. It had great flavor and I could have continued eating just that for the entire night. I also love warm bread and can't get enough of it, especially when it's soft and fluffy.
I ordered an appetizer, the Makanek (bottom left), which were beef and lamb sausages sautéed in a lemon pomegranate sauce with pine nuts. The lemon pomegranate sauce is was caught my attention. It was a tart sauce and complimented the richness of the sausage. The pine nuts added a good crunch as well.
The star of dinner was of course the shawarma salad. I wanted to eat "light" so I thought ordering a salad would be a good idea. The salad was huge! However, that was OK because it was topped with super delicious grilled beef. It was tender and seasoned perfectly, like it was roasted all day long in one of those vertical roasters.
I definitely recommend trying out Taza. I haven't been to the one in the 'burbs off Chagrin Blvd. However, since they are the same restaurant I would imagine their food is just as tasty. I will definitely be going back to try other items on the menu.