From our vantage point, we noticed a few scattered patrons inside, friendly looking staff, and a cabinet full of amazing looking treats and sweets. Grumble, grumble. Tummies need food, let’s go in. As we’re shown to a table down the back (which I think is more the ‘dining’ area, as opposed to the more cafe area up front), we tried to inconspicuously peer over the plates of other diners – and then we got excited – the dishes looked good!
After perusing the large menu, we asked the server if we could get a vegetarian rendition of the mezza, which she quickly responded in the affirmative. Yay! I love places that are open to accomodating veggies like me! So, we start off with one Mezza Vegetarian ($16.50) and we could hardly contain ourselves when it arrived on the table. Delicious dips, flat bread, tabouli, pickles & pickled veg, samboosik (cheese filled pastry), quinoa pattie, and a few other yummy things of which I don’t remember their names! Outstanding. Regardless of what the rest of the meal is going to be like, we both agreed that will be going back just for this platter.
Hubby bear ordered the Lahem Mishwee ($21.50), which was a plate of perfectly grilled, marinated lamb loin with a tight little bowl of roasted potatos and a side of hommos. A soft piece of lamb was dipped into the hommos, and as he took his first bite, I was eager to know – “What’s it like?” He just closed his eyes and chewed. After he swallowed, he looked up at me and said, “That was absolutely beautiful” SCORE! 2 out of 2 so far!
Seeing the staff at Zein’s were so willing to adjust the menu to suit my vegetarianism, I asked if I could get the Zein’s Burger ($15.50), but without the meat. Momentarily confused, our server quickly realized I was the veg-head and said “Yes, of course!”, then retreated to the kitchen to consult the chef. She returned asking if I wanted some quinoa patties in place of the meat, of which I replied yes.
My incredibly huge burger came out with grilled haloumi cheese, tomatos, lettuce, quinoa patties, all smothered in tahini and relish. And another side of tasty roasted potatos. Overall, the burger was good, hard to eat because my quinoa patties were busting to get out, and it for sure would’ve been much better with meat (as it was originally designed to have). In saying all that, I was just happy they allowed me to give it a go!
|Vegetarian version of Zein’s Burger|
Yes, we were more than full at this stage, but after learning that their sweets are all made in-house, we couldn’t resist the temptation to try a few things. We had the Pear? Apple? Cake ($6.50) sorry can’t remember – of which was gluten free, moist, and sweetened just right with honey. We asked our server which Baklava ($2.00) we should try and she recommended the “diamond” shaped one. Good suggestion, it was awesome! Could’ve shoved a few more of those in our mouths for sure!
|Pear Apple Something Gluten Free Cake 🙂|
We washed it all down with a few thimble-sized cups of strong Lebanese Coffee ($3.50/ea). Bitter and sweetened with a little dollop of sugar, stirred and swigged – yum! This is the sort of coffee my father would say, “Puts hair on your chest” hahaha!! For my sake, I hope not, but I’m having it again anyway!
These guys are passionate about their food, you can just see it in their faces as well as taste it in their food. Hands down, without a shadow of a doubt, we’re going to highly recommend you give this a place a try – and we’ll probably see you there!! Cheers!