Recent Posts

Friday, March 9, 2012

Columbia Eats: Mezza's Lebanese Bistro and Hookah Lounge

There's oddly not necessarily a shortage of Mediterranean/Lebanese food in Columbia with places like Al Amir, Elie's and more floating around, but the Vista somehow was one place that missed the boat on the ethnic flair until Mezza's opened. Just down the street from Publix in a strip, Mezza is a pretty trendy little place with a small, but neat menu of classic Lebanese fare such as falafel, shawrma, and kebobs along side some not so normal eats you would expect in a place like this.

I visited the restaurant just past lunch time with a friend and immediately ordered a Turkish coffee (because really, how often can I?) along with a plate of Phoenician fries, a behemoth of heavily rosemary and thymed out potatoes covered in lemon, garlic and feta cheese. While the fries could have been crispier, we still mopped this monster up in a hurry. The salty feta and herby fries were a nice pairing that was hard to resist, with the lemon in particular balancing everything out. It's a touch on the oily side though, so make sure you have someone to share this with. The Turkish coffee was served in a neat vessel along with two miniature cups. Strong, robust, and heavy on bitter, it's definitely not a beginners coffee, but one worth trying out for the novelty alone.

While the side menu features some interesting choices like the Phoenician fries, the entree menu is a tidy choice between, falafel, beef or chicken shawrma, and some kebobs - all in wrap variety. Eaters can get an option between just the wrap or plate with sides like fattouch, hummus, salad, yogurt and more. As fun and interesting as the fries were, the entrees were somewhat more forgettable. I had a falafel wrap, which was crispy, flavorful and attractively packaged with red onion, lettuce, and beets, but leaned more to the dry side. My side of hummus was also a pleasure to look at, but rather thin and lacking the savory punch of a good hummus. My friend ordered a kafta kabob with a side of tabbouleh and yogurt. Also dry, but the kabob was saved with spoonfuls of yogurt to help down the wrap. The tabbouleh was different, to say the least, with incredibly green accents that wasn't bad, but not necessarily what either of us was expecting.

No Reservations, The 411 on Mezza's
Atmosphere: Leans much more toward the bistro side, upscale casual.
Costs: Mostly fair for the area. Appetizers range from $5-7 and are significant enough to be shared. Entrees are $5 for individual wraps, $8 for platters.
Try: Phoenician Fries.
Skip: Entrees. Snack and go.

Overall, for a first experience Mezza's was a little on the uneven side. They have a fun, interesting menu of appetizer and snacks that are certainly worth revisiting, along with a decent listing of drinks to try while enjoying the latter portion of the restaurants namesake. Their entrees and sides don't quite make the cut though. However, if you are still aching for some falafel, order the individual wrap and tag on one of the appetizers for a filling meal. Worth a visit, but unless you are into hookahs, this may not be the place to curb your Lebanese needs.

Mezza Lebanese Bistro and Hookah Lounge on Urbanspoon


Capital City Eatz said...

We tried out Mezza last night after seeing your review and LOVED it! I had the Manakish Cheese and it was so cheesy and delicious. We'll be posting about it soon. Great review!

Post a Comment