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Robin Garr

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Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by Robin Garr » Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:58 am

Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

Shawarma loads thin-sliced flank steak, pickles, and veggies into a paper-thin markouk flatbread roll.
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Back in the late winter of 1984, I did my first restaurant review for The Louisville Times. I enjoyed a great dinner at a short-lived Lebanese restaurant on Bardstown Road with a Lebanese-American friend who spent a short time at the city’s afternoon paper before moving on to bigger things.

Here we are, almost too many years later to count, and I’ve just finished a tasty repast from Simply Mediterranean, which I believe is the city’s first ethnic Lebanese restaurant since then.

Why has it been so long between iterations of such a cuisine? Louisville has boasted a vibrant Lebanese-American community since Ellis Island days, and quite a few neighbors with Lebanese ancestry have been involved in the restaurant, grocery, and food-distribution business, all the way back to the city’s storied Haymarket.

Anyway, I’m delighted to welcome Simply Mediterranean, which as its name suggests, operates under the broader umbrella of “Mediterranean,” melding the cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean from Greece through Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine, and Egypt, and over to Iraq and Iran too.

We’ve got a couple of dozen Mediterranean restaurants around the metro now, and if they all look similar, they’re certainly not identical. Each offers an appetizing whiff of its owners’ heritage, and you should pay attention to that. Look more closely and you’ll realize that this one’s Persian, that one’s Syrian, and the folks at that one over there hail from Palestine.

So take my advice: Try to discern which national flavor reflects your host’s background, and choose those dishes. You can enjoy a good gyros anywhere, but the fare that come from the owner’s heart and speaks of the owner’s soul will make you happiest of all.

We got an immediate and smiling welcome from Chef Farrah, who was working behind the counter, and her husband, Chef Ziad, who gave us a friendly wave through the window from the kitchen. She boasts half Lebanese and half Palestinian ancestry, she told us; he’s all Lebanese.

The first thing you see on the menu is a catering page with combo meals ranging from $60 (for a moussaka repast) to $120 (for a tempting roast lamb leg). It’s not as pricey as it seems: These are full meals that serve four to six.

Actually, only a handful of main dishes are more than $10 ...

Read the complete article on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/simply-mediterranean

You'll also find this commentary in LEO Weekly online later this week.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

Simply Mediterranean
2900 Brownsboro Road
963-5577
http://simply-mediterranean.com
https://facebook.com/SMediterranean

Noise Level: The takeout waiting area was as quiet as could be.

Accessibility: The entrance is fully accessible to wheelchair users, but the front door is heavy and hard to pull, and four high tables and stools for limited dining in would be impossible for most wheelchair users.
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Rich S

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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by Rich S » Fri Jul 14, 2023 1:11 pm

Has anyone tried the new lunch/dinner buffet at Simply Mediterranean? From what I've seen online it looks pretty good.

https://www.facebook.com/SMediterranean ... 549342500/
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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by Robin Garr » Sat Jul 15, 2023 11:24 am

Not me, Rich, but funny coincidence, I was just thinking the other day that it's time to update that review since they've been open for a while now, I think they've expanded the dining area, and they're pretty popular.
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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by MarieP » Wed Jul 19, 2023 10:00 am

I look forward to trying it! In grad school in Lexington, I frequented the dinner buffet at Oasis and loved it! Sadly, last time I was out that way, they didn't have it, but I hope this one here in town in just as good! Not to get too off topic, but last time I visited Paradise Indian for dinner, last month I think, they didn't have the buffet. Hope Simply Mediterranean can keep theirs going.
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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by MarieP » Fri Jul 21, 2023 9:42 am

MarieP wrote:I look forward to trying it! In grad school in Lexington, I frequented the dinner buffet at Oasis and loved it! Sadly, last time I was out that way, they didn't have it, but I hope this one here in town in just as good! Not to get too off topic, but last time I visited Paradise Indian for dinner, last month I think, they didn't have the buffet. Hope Simply Mediterranean can keep theirs going.


I'm trying Simply Mediterranean tonight!

And I just checked the Oasis (in Lexington) Facebook page, and their buffet's been back since last fall (all-day on some days as well)! And Oasis is Lebanese too, interestingly enough, though the owners sold the restaurant to friends last year before reopening the buffet.
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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by MarieP » Sat Jul 22, 2023 6:19 pm

Rich S wrote:Has anyone tried the new lunch/dinner buffet at Simply Mediterranean? From what I've seen online it looks pretty good.

https://www.facebook.com/SMediterranean ... 549342500/


My parents and I were still stuffed hours after enjoying the absolutely delicious buffet last evening at Simply Mediterranean! Savory lamb and potatoes, beef gyro meat, chicken and tender and flavorful sautéed cherry tomatoes, creamy cauliflower, Greek tzatziki meatballs, herbed rice, tangy stuffed grape leaves, flavorful falafel, flaky spinach spanakopita, fresh baba ganoush and hummus, creamy garlic sauce, soft pita bread, and fudgy brownies! Definitely a repeat- surprised it’s been open two years, and we hadn’t tried it yet!
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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by Heather L » Mon Jul 24, 2023 8:37 am

MarieP wrote:
Rich S wrote:Has anyone tried the new lunch/dinner buffet at Simply Mediterranean? From what I've seen online it looks pretty good.

https://www.facebook.com/SMediterranean ... 549342500/


My parents and I were still stuffed hours after enjoying the absolutely delicious buffet last evening at Simply Mediterranean! Savory lamb and potatoes, beef gyro meat, chicken and tender and flavorful sautéed cherry tomatoes, creamy cauliflower, Greek tzatziki meatballs, herbed rice, tangy stuffed grape leaves, flavorful falafel, flaky spinach spanakopita, fresh baba ganoush and hummus, creamy garlic sauce, soft pita bread, and fudgy brownies! Definitely a repeat- surprised it’s been open two years, and we hadn’t tried it yet!


That sounds amazing!! Do you remember how much it is?
....And be faithful to
Local Merchants Too.
Never buy far off
What you can buy near home.....
(Wendell Berry)
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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by MarieP » Tue Jul 25, 2023 1:31 pm

Heather L wrote:
MarieP wrote:
Rich S wrote:Has anyone tried the new lunch/dinner buffet at Simply Mediterranean? From what I've seen online it looks pretty good.

https://www.facebook.com/SMediterranean ... 549342500/


My parents and I were still stuffed hours after enjoying the absolutely delicious buffet last evening at Simply Mediterranean! Savory lamb and potatoes, beef gyro meat, chicken and tender and flavorful sautéed cherry tomatoes, creamy cauliflower, Greek tzatziki meatballs, herbed rice, tangy stuffed grape leaves, flavorful falafel, flaky spinach spanakopita, fresh baba ganoush and hummus, creamy garlic sauce, soft pita bread, and fudgy brownies! Definitely a repeat- surprised it’s been open two years, and we hadn’t tried it yet!


That sounds amazing!! Do you remember how much it is?


Around $17-$18. It's a one-time-through buffet, and we didn't have any wasted food, but we told the woman working that they might want to rethink the one-time thing, because it probably would lead to more waste.
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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by MarieP » Fri Jul 28, 2023 10:32 pm

And then they posted this an hour ago! :o

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... 1290415875

“ It is unfortunate to announce that we are no longer in business. Thank you for all the love and support.”

They’d just posted about a buffet earlier today but took it down. Sad!!!
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Robin Garr

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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by Robin Garr » Sat Jul 29, 2023 7:24 am

Waaaaahhh! :x
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Re: Simply Mediterranean brings Lebanese flavor

by Heather L » Mon Jul 31, 2023 9:08 am

Oh no!!! Such a nice family and my absolute favorite falafel in town. :(
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Never buy far off
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