The much-awaited Lebanese Bistro has finally opened after more than a year of rumors and buzz. Located in the former Careyes Grille (and a number of other restaurants in the past couple years), the Lebanese Bistro shouldn't have had a hard time surpassing the quality of its predecessors, but unfortunately, I think it, too, fell flat.
With all the time this place has taken to open, I was expecting a lot maybe. I would walk by it nearly every day since it's right near work. And when I saw the grand opening on Facebook, I convinced my coworkers we had to go immediately.
Candace, haven't you learned to not go on opening day? Or opening week? It's never as good.
No, I'm an idiot.
So we go in. They have a lunch buffet. Sign me up - get to try a little of everything. It is nice inside - some exposed beams and an open area. We were seated back in a corner area, and we made our way to the front for the buffet. I should note they did have a small lunch menu to choose from, but since they seemed to be touting the buffet, most of us ordered that.
The front bar had cool offerings like hummus, tabouleh, baba ghannouge and more. They had a couple soups, including a lentil soup and a single bar full of items: green beans, chicken with onions and green peppers, kefta, falafel and fries - the fries kind of threw me. But what do I know.
This is the first time - I think - that I've had Lebanese food. So from those of you who actually know what you're talking about, please enlighten me. But I wasn't impressed. Most of the things I tried were extremely dry. That could be because it was buffet quality, where they make large batches and don't always measure out seasonings precisely. It could've been a rough day because it was when they were brand new. It could be this cuisine of food.
The hummus is probably my most favorite that I've had anywhere. Falafel was hard and dry. Chicken was okay. Kefta also dry.
Desserts - they have honey cake, two kinds of rice pudding, baklava, etc. The best one I had was the baklava, for sure. It was tasty - NOT dry. Rich, moist, flaky. I also liked the light rice pudding. The dark, not so much.
I'm very meh on this place overall. Yes, I know, I'm good with the words. But it's hard to get inspired to write about food that just wasn't... inspiring.