Opa Opa in Sacramento, CA

Opa Opa salad

Opa Opa
5644 J St.
Sacramento, CA

wow!

I’ve driven by this place numerous times but have never been able to stop by cuz I’v never seen a parking spot until today! I asked the cashier about the parking situation and she told me we can park in the neighboring lot after 6 pm! sweet! When I stepped in, the first thing I noticed was this wall of awards! No wonder I can never find a parking spot here!

Opa Opa salad

Mixed green salad with crispy cucumbers, marinated onions, feta cheese and gyro meat! I decided to go with a typical Greek salad but really wanted to sample the Gyro meat. Gyro meat is lamb meat placed on a spit and then rotated in front of  a heat source. The fat in the meat keeps it moist and usually is served as thin slices. Yum!! I really liked the salad, wished the feta cheese had a bit more oomph to it but that’s just my personal preferences.

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Babylon Cafe in New Orleans, LA

Safeihah Mini Pizza

Babylon Cafe
7724 Maple St.
New Orleans, LA

I had heard about this Middle Eastern restaurant through a follower of the blog (Thanks T.A.!) I read some reviews online and it sounds like a neighborhood gem!

home made bread

The reviews online rave about the home made bread so I was adamant about the home made bread when we placed our order. It was warm and soft and delicious!

hummus

I actually was not the biggest fan of this hummus. The flavor just didn’t pop to me. Hummus is made from chickpeas, with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Tahini is a ground sesame seed paste (mmmmmmm! I love sesame seeds!) The warm bread was perfect with the olive oil alone but the hummus was a good second dip.

Safeihah Mini Pizza

The safeihah mini pizza has ground lamb and beef with tomatoes and spices on baked pita. This dish was great! Very crunchy with delicious meat topping.This was one of my favorites.

wrapped grape leaves

The stuffed grape leaves are stuffed with rice, ground meat and vegetables. It had a very strong flavor.

chicken sandwich

My friends split the chicken sandwich. The chicken was grilled and served on their home made bread. My friends said it was yummy!

babylon platter

I had the babylon platter. The spiced lamb and beef was juicy and delicious! It came with grape leaves, rice, hummus and kibbeh. Kibbeh is made with minced onions, ground beef and then deep fried. I would say that this is my second favorite lamb meat after Lebanon’s.  It was crisp and yummy. On this plate, the lamb was my favorite but the kibbeh was a close second.It’s easy to see why this place is a local’s favorite.
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Greek Lady in Philadelphia

Greek Lady
224 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

the new greek lady

 

i like it

I haven’t been to Greek Lady in 3 years. But I used to be a regular when I was at Penn (anywhere by campus, I became a regular).  I was surprised to  see the renovations. They definitely needed to expand but I was sad to see Izzy and Zoe’s go.

ambiance

The inside actually looks quite fancy with the warm lighting and color scheme.

garden salad w lamb gyro

Joe had the garden salad with lamb gyro as his meat. I asked for tzakiki sauce on the side and this was an awesome dish. I love that the meat comes off from that special rotisserie style grill and so the meat is juicy.

you know that the best part of any Greek Lady salad is the pita bread that comes with it:

pita bread

I had the long roll with chicken, spinach and feta cheese. They gave so much feta cheese! It was alright, I loved the feta cheese but the rest was just ok.

chicken, spinach and feta

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Phoenicia in New Orleans, LA

Phoenicia Restaurant
4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
Metairie, LA

Phoenicia restaurant

I came across this place when I saw some really good reviews. But must be hard to get customers when you don’t have a website! I guess if the food here is as good as the reviews claim though, then they should have no problem! When we walked in, I was immediately impressed by the wide open spaces. No bumping elbows with your neighbors! I also liked the huge flat screen TVs everywhere.

free pita bread

the pita bread was very thin and warm! had the usual pita bread flavor. Not bad, but not great.

my friend ordered the moussaka because she had had it at another nearby Greek restaurant. She was very surprised by the eggplant tomato-based soup that came out.

moussaka

Both of us were not impressed although this is probably the legit moussaka dish. She ended up not finishing it, but loved her other dish, a meat pie appetizer. The filo dough was amazing!

meat pie

I had a gyro plate which is my usual choice at Greek restaurants. The meat was very tender and flavorful. I loved that it just disintegrated in my mouth. Delicious!

gyro plate $12

 

it came with a side of hummus which had this spicy chili sauce! an amazing combination!

Service could’ve been a bit friendlier. From the beginning, we had a stoic, somewhat stand-offish waittress. It took her  a while to warm up to us (not until we were asking for the check, it seems). I mean, we don’t need to become best buddies or anything, but a little friendliness never killed anyone (hopefully).

hummus with chili sauce

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Mona's cafe in New Orleans, LA

Mona’s Cafe
4126 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA

This location is one of four sites (which probably means it must be pretty good right?) Mona’s is known to be THE place for cheap and fast Middle Eastern food.

Mona's Cafe on Magazine St.

My friends’ ordered quite a few dishes starting with the Mona’s special appetizer for $14.95 (for two) which includes: hummus, baba ganuj, grape leaves, tabouli, falafel, kibby and lebna.

hummus

The hummus dip is chickpeas puree with Tahini (sesame seed paste) and lemon. It was your usual hummus dip.

Lebna

The lebna is a thick yogurt mixed with mint, sumac and olive oil. This was by far my favorite of the 3 dips that came with this appetizer sampler.

Baba ganuj

The baba ganuj is smashed eggplant dip with Tahini paste, lemon and mint. The eggplant flavor was a bit bitter.

Tabouli, Stuffed grape leaves, 2 falafels and 1 kibby.

Tabouli is a salad made of bulgar (wheat), chopped parsley and mint, tomato, onion, seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil.  Stuffed grape leaves containing a mix of meat and veggies. Falafels is fried ground chick pea with spices, onion, and parsley. Kibby is made with cracked wheat, ground beef crust and stuffed with spiced ground lamb, onions and pine nuts.

Safeiha $2.99

My friends also ordered 2 dishes in addition to the appetizer sampler. The safeiha is a mini pizza with ground lamb and beef, tomato, parsley, onion and spices baked on a pita bread.

Spinach pie $2.59

The spinach pie is a stuffed spinach triangle with onion and sumac spice.

The gyro plate $10.99

The gyro plate is ground lamb and beef with tahini sauce. I compared it to the gyro plate I had at Lebanon’s and I liked this one better. The meat was more tender and flavored better compared to Lebanon’s version (although I think the dips and sauces are much better at Lebanon’s). I noticed that they had brought out my food without tzatziki sauce which is one of my favorites! I asked the waittress to bring out a little bit for me and she did bring it out in one of those tiny sampler dishes. I was surprised that they had charged me an extra $1 for this tiny little sample.

Some things I didn’t like: I was confused when I was looking at my bill for $11 gyro + $1 sauce and it somehow came out to more than $14…. I was thinking maybe they charged me for my ice water? Because even with 10% sales tax, that’s not even $14… And also, while we were eating the waittresses were hanging out on the other side of this wall, so every time we wanted something, we had to get up and walk around the restaurant to get someone’s attn.

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Acropolis Cuisine in New Orleans, LA

Acropolis Cuisine
3841 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA

This Greek restaurant kinda sticks out among the fast food chains that neighbor it, so a friend and I thought we’d stop by and check out the food. When we talked to the woman behind the cash register, we were pretty sure we were going to get some delicious authentic Greek food (even with some of the questionable items on the menu, such as lasagna and garlic bread? isn’t that Italian??)

We decided to eat here for lunch when we realized almost all the selections were the same at dinner time except almost half the price at lunch.
My friend had the moussaka; thin layers of eggplant, zucchini, and Idaho potatoes sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, ground veal simmered in herbs and spices and baked to perfection. It was delicious and you couldn’t tell there was ground veal in it. I loved how the eggplant flavor was really enhanced by the herbs, spices and olive oil. This was definitely winner of the meal!

Moussaka

i had the gyro wrap with seasoned beef and lamb, thin sliced and dressed with lettuce, onions and tzatziki sauce. I’m a sucker for tzatziki sauce. The lamb meat was nice and tender and delicious with the tzatziki sauce. The french fries were seasoned with a similar spice as the moussaka (aka awesome!)

lamb gyro

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Pita Pit in New Orleans

Pita Pit
5800 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA

http://www.pitapitusa.com/main.php?page=9

This site is very clean. The service was quite friendly. The toppings were fresh and the meat was flavorful enough. The wraps were about $7 and took no time to prepare. It was pretty awesome to watch the lady behind the counter to make a wrap and then hand it to you.

cool Halloween decorations

lots of toppings to choose from

they literally just hand this pita wrap to you across the counter

chicken breakfast wrap

lamb gyro wrap

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Lebanon’s Cafe in New Orleans

Lebanon’s Cafe
1500 South Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118-2824

http://www.lebanonscafe.com/

The food here was delicious!  The meat was a perfect blend of spices and sugar, and tender and juicy. The hummus had a bit of tang to it.  Very generous portions. And the dishes were priced well between $5 and $12 on the menu. It was very crowded which is usually a pretty good sign.We had a large group of 8 people and we were able to push together some tables. The food came out quickly.

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Byblos Restaurant

Byblos Greek Restaurant
3218 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70115

http://www.byblosrestaurants.com/

Platter with lamb shishkabob and chicken shishkabob with grape leaves

Grape Leaves were alright

This is probably one of the better Mediterranean restaurants in the area and the prices are in the mid-teens.

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