Monday, March 10, 2008

Thank you, Zagat

My brother's birthday is next week, but we celebrated Sunday, for the obvious reason that we're all together this week. (Which means, Mom and Dad, to be fair, all of you have to come again next month to celebrate my birthday. It's only fair.)

So because it was my brother's birthday, he got to choose the restaurant. Well, he got to choose the kind of restaurant. I was, naturally, in charge of what restaurant since I live here and like to plan. Here's the conversation between me and my brother.

Me: So where do you want to go eat tonight for your birthday?

Brother: Oh, we're doing that tonight?

Me: Yeah

Brother: I didn't know we were doing that tonight.

Me: you do. Tonight.

Me: So where do you want to go?

Brother: I don't know. I'll think about it and tell you later.

Me: OK

Later, on the phone

Me: So where do you want to go tonight?

Brother: Oh....I don't know, really.

Me: Well...what kind of food are you in the mood for?

Brother: Ummmm...I don't know.

Me: Italian, French, American, Mexican.....

Brother: Uh....I don't know, let me call you back.

Me: OK.

Later, again on the phone

Me: So, what do you think? What kind of food are you in the mood for?

Brother: I was thinking, like, Lebanese, Middle Eastern-ish, Israeli....

Me: .....

Brother: Mediteranean. Well, not really Mediteranean. More, Middle Eastern.

Me: ....

Brother: Ya know?

Me: Greek?

Brother: No, not really Greek. More Lebanese. Middle Eastern.

Me: Lebanese. OK....huh....


I think his wife and I looked for at least 45 minutes for the right place. It didn't help that neither of us knew what Lebanese or Middle Eastern food was like. BUT! Thanks to our trusty black Zagat book! and superb googling skills, his wife and I found just the place. Called Taboon. And WOW was it good. GOOD. Some of the best food I've eaten here. The most incredible freshly made bread with hummus...the most tasty falafel...a scrumptious beet salad....the most tender fall-off-the-bone rib meat topped with butternut squash over couscous....and a very refreshing Bellini, a perfect birthday dinner.

A surprising,...particular,...and perfect birthday dinner.


Super Churchlady said...

I'm peanut-butter and jealous!!!

Chaotic Hammer said...

Believe it or not, we have a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern type restaurant here in our little town in Tennessee. And yeah, it's very good. We love it as an occasional change to the standard Southern fare.

We're still planning to visit you guys up there later this year. We'll be sure to give you advanced notice on the desired menu, so you can have the list of restaurants picked out. Yum!

Anonymous said...

My dad is still planning to open a Middle Eastern restaurant here someday. That kind of thing is in my family. I think our veins run with hummus.

FancyPants said...

Super Churchlady, but you have Carrabas! =-)

Cach, hummus....mmmmm...I actually thought about your fam cuz I remembered you dad. I really hope he does that.

Roy said...

Yahoo maps can also be your friend for things like this. (Link is to Houston example.)

This Southern Belle said...

Yum. I've never tried lebanese, but I hear it's delicious. My dad is persian, so we have a handful of favorite Persian & Middle Eastern restaurants that we love here in Dallas.

Kudos to you for finding a place so quickly and for trying something new!

FancyPants said...

Roy, thanks for the tip!

Southern Belle, actually, Zagat called this restaurant "Middle-teranean," so I'm not really sure if it's true Lebanese. But it was exactly what my brother wanted, amazingly enough, and it was SOOO good.

majorsteve said...

Sounds good! That middle eastern food is the bomb.

MamasBoy said...

That was a nice ending to a very particular request. I'm not sure one could pull that off in my fair city. I know there are several middle eastern restaurants, but not nearly as many as NYC. A Lebanese one? What's the difference? What makes a Lebanese cafe different from the rest of middle eastern food? I have no idea.

FancyPants said...

Major, the bomb dot com, for sure

MB, ya got me. I have no idea. The Zagat book had only one restaurant listed under "Lebanese," and when we googled that one, it didn't look like what my brother was describing.... I think he wanted a more "dinner" like setting.

Here's the link to the Lebanese restaurant. Looks pretty tasty to me.

Al Bustan

Baca's Head said...

what a cute birthday boy! :)

klk said...

Great food, you can't beat it. Most places called Mediterranean, or even some Greek, will be run by Lebanese. They market it that way because many people might not eat at a place called Middle Eastern. We have found so many places in our area and some are pretty close to the real thing. If you ever go back see if they have Mansaaf or Matlubbi - our two favorite! And stuffed squash is great too. Oh man, there are days I'd go back to the middle east just for the food!

FancyPants said...

That's right! You guys were over there! Oh wow, I bet you had so much fun eating. =-) We'll definitely go back there so I'll look for your suggestions.