Bottom line: I can’t get enough of this place!
Over a year ago I had the opportunity to go to Turkey. It was an amazing trip where I fell in love with the people, culture, and food of Turkey. The moment I landed in the USA (ok, the next day) I attempted to find Turkish/mediterranean food in the Charlotte area. My search lead me to many restaurants, some of them were affordable, others were pricey, but nothing came close to the food I had in Turkey until I stumbled upon Zeitouni. Granted Zeitouni’s is Lebanese food but you will find many similarities in Middle Eastern cuisine.
I have been to this restaurant several times. Every time I enjoyed my meal. I have only been there during lunch time and there is always a nice crowd. It’s a small restaurant with some tables inside and a small outdoor area with tables out front. It has a simply menu where you get to pick your main plate and sides, you then pay for your food and they take your name down and later bring it to the table. Every time I have been it has taken a little longer than most places to get the food. I don’t mind though because I know that my food is coming straight off the grill.
Last time I was there I had the shawarma platter. This dish is sliced beef seasoned and slow roasted with tomatoes, onions, topped with tahini sauce.
The beef dish is savory and the meat is tender. I love combining it with my sides and also making little wraps with the pita that comes on the sides. One thing I would say about the pita is that the shape makes it difficult to fill and the type of pita used is a little dry. For my sides I got the baba ghanouj and the tabbouleh. The baba ghanouj is a nice change to hummus. It is roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. I really love eggplants so this is one of my favorites. The taste is not as strong the typical hummus dish but it is still savory. The tabbouleh is chopped parsley (tons of it so stay away if you don’t like parsley), tomatoes, mint, green onions, bulgar wheat, with a olive oil and lemon dressing. I wouldn’t really eat the tabbouleh on it’s own but I love combining it with my main dish and sides.
On that same visit one of my friends had the chicken gyro (pictured above). The chicken gyro is chicken on Greek bread served with lettuce, tomatoes, and yogurt sauce. He mentioned that it was savory but that he prefers the beef gyro. The bread that is used for the gyro is heavier than the one served with the platter. He mentioned that he would get the platter more often if it was served with the bread used with the gyro. I wish I could tell you more about this dish but it’s on my list to try once I come back. I have also tried their baklava and it was close to some of the varieties I had in Turkey.
On my quest to find Mediterranean food this place wins over any other I visited in the Charlotte area. There menu is not very extensive but it is simple yet delicious food at affordable prices.