Tarbouch Mediterranean Grill

Written by on October 7, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(tarbouch.com) – Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: My neighborhood gourmand: Eamon.

Type of cuisine: A taste of the Middle East, one will satisfy any tabouleh, hummus, garlic paste or shwarma craving by making this one stop.

Ambiance: We parked outside and entered the strip mall-looking establishment through the enclosed (completely windows) patio hooka lounge. We entered the double doors to a small room which housed the kitchen and meze display, making our way past the tall, glass pastry case and refrigerator of bottled beverages, to the amber-glow dining room at the back. The large tiles matched the comforting yellow walls, sconces on above the mirrored walls creating the peaceful lighting against the grey clouds outside, hardly shedding light into the establishment. Minimal wall hangings look more like frames in their simplicity and haphazzard placement. We take our seats and peruse the laminated menus.

What I ordered: I let the others order first, in order to get a better sense of what I might most enjoy. Eamon, our most frequent Tarbouche diner selected the Beef Shawarma Sandwich ($7.50), sliced marinated beef, tahini, parsley, onions, tomatoes, pickles & diced tomato cucumber mix, with a Fattoosh Salad ($6.50) of lettuce, mint, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley & onions tossed with olive oil & lemon dressing topped with crispy pita chips on the side. Seraj enjoyed the Beef Shwarma Plate ($11), marinated beef served with a generous helping of rice, tahini and pickles on the side.

Chris opted for the Kafta Kabab ($11), seasoned ground beef mixed with onions & parsley, served with rice. I decided to combine the best of all these dishes and ordered the Chicken Kebab ($11), Shish Tawook, boneless chicken breast marinated in garlic & lemon with Fattoosh salad instead of rice. Chris ordered his favorite yogurt-based drink, Ayran, on the side, while Eamon introduced us to the garlic paste, into which we dipped everything from the pita bread to the kebabs, to the roasted tomato and pickles! Yum!

What I loved: The garlic sauce absolutely stole the show! It was difficult to beat it, but the parsley-infused flavor of the kafta truly surprised me. I also really enjoyed the marinated and tender chicken kebab.

Why I loved it: Quick and easy meal, take away options available, enjoyed inside the cafe or in the full and smokey outdoor/patio hooka lounge.

Cost: Low to average ($6 – $15 per lunch entree)

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