re•view: mezeh mediterranean grill

April 22, 2013

A few months back, I noticed a sign in my local mall's food court: “mezeh mediterranean grill- coming winter 2013.” I hoped it would be SOON, cuz it sounded yummy as well as likely to be vegetarian friendly. They ended up opening that very week, but as I don’t spend as much time at malls as I used to, I didn’t get around to trying them until last week. I've already been back if that tells you anything!

All pics were taken with my phone; excuse the quality!
As the title implies, mezeh serves Mediterranean fare - in a fast casual setting. The caliber and quality of the place far surpasses your typical food court suspects. The best restaurant to compare mezeh to is Chipotle – plus more choices and minus the horrific line (though I hope for their sake and mine that more people discover and frequent them as I want them to stick around permanently).

The only location is in the Annapolis mall, but their marketing materials indicate another location in Maryland (Wheaton Mall, it appears they like Westfield properties!) is in the works.

The ambiance is clean, colorful, and fun. There is a blend of fun bright colors on their signage mixed with old-world details like the jars of oils and spices on the shelves.

It works like this: get in line and "start:" tell the nice folks what kind of entrée you desire. Just like Chipotle, you build on whatever you choose: pita, wrap, plate, or salad.

From there you "add" your dips (up to three, you can pay a small surcharge for more!) and main filler...

hummus, tabouleh, and more!
This is a favorite of mine:  There is more than one vegetarian option! You can pick fresh grilled veggies which look AMAZING, but you can also choose falafel (a vegetarian chickpea-based patty). Of course, there is meat as well - chicken, steak, or sirloin.

You then "finish" and top your creation off with an array of toppings and sauces:

My first wrap - falafel on laffa bread
What was left of said wrap

Service is prompt and courteous. They must know that they are going to have tons of ignorant Americans coming through who know nothing about their cuisine as they are very patient and courteous when explaining the choices set before you. (I’m sure they have a good laugh at our expense at the end of the day and that is OK!)

For instance, I asked about the falafel my first visit and expected a brief yes/no answer; instead, the employee quickly offer me some to try before I made my decision. They were also quick to make recommendations for what sauces, etc. go well with what you have chosen which makes for an easy experience!

There is no mistaking that everything in front of you is fresh. You can tell that things are prepared on site and not left out all day to get gross. The signage totes “more fresh, less preservatives” and I have no difficulty whatsoever believing this.

The other items they serve support this theory as well: I was thrilled to see they serve three different varieties of Honest Tea in their beverage lineup. They could have easily gone with a nasty fountain brand, but stuck with a reputable, quality tea (that is also local - they are here in Maryland!) and even gave us choices! I love it!

I ordered the same wrap on my second visit, and it was equally delicious! I swear I meant to order the veggies, but the falafel was so good, I had to have more! I'm not too worried since I am definitely returning often!

wrap #2!

Mezeh recently released a deal via Groupon which I JUMPED on, but I would be making this a regular spot even without the deal because it is THAT GOOD.

If you are in the Annapolis area or ever passing through, consider this your place to stop! Prices are right in line with typical fast casual fare: a wrap and iced tea run me $9. Not bad for a filling and tasty meal that I truly feel is healthy!

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  1. Now that grill kabob closed, this is annapolis mall's only hope...

  2. Hi Bekah! Stopped in to show some love as the DYWW feature! This place sounds very good. I haven't used groupon since that little lawsuit. Good to know they are still relevant. Have a great week.

  3. That looks sooo good! I used to live in Pasadena and we went into Annapolis all the time. It seems like there are a lot of good Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern restaurants around that area, I really miss the ones that I used to eat at. Can't remember the names of any of them though, it's been so long. I can still remember the taste though :) If this place put in a location near me, I'd probably be there all the time.

    I found you from the Aloha Friday Blog Hop by the way! I'd love it if you popped by my site as well. TGIF (tomorrow)!

    (¸.•*´ Alicia ´*•.¸)

  4. That place looks awesome! Have you ever been to a Pita Pit? I was introduced to them in grad school and I could eat there every day. We got one here several months ago and I think we got once a week. They have several veggie options too - my favorite pita is the falafel.


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