Mandaloun offers an authentic Lebanese culinary experience in the
For the past five years, Mandaloun has opened seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Chef Pierre Barakat usually visits each table at lunch and dinner, flashing his warm smile and speaking with a thick accent that adds to the authenticity of the experience.
If you're new to Mediterranean food, check out the expansive lunch buffet ($12.99 weekdays, $19.99 on Sunday), which offers an impressive assortment of authentic hot and chilled Lebanese delicacies.
From the cold mezze (appetizers) selections, my go-to choices are baba ganoush ($5.95), a smoky tahini, garlic and eggplant dip, and the thick, creamy hummus ($5.95) topped with a swirl of olive oil and a scattering of chickpeas. Both are served with warm pita bread.
Another favorite is the vegetarian-friendly, lemony tabouli ($6.45), a mix of finely chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, bulgur wheat, onion, lemon juice and olive oil.
If you're craving a warm starter, share an order of falafel ($5.95) — four crisp balls of gently fried ground chickpeas, herbs and spices.
For a light lunch or side item at dinner, try the fatoush salad ($6.45) — a mix of lettuce, tomato, chopped cucumber, radish, onion, mint, sumac and crispy pieces of Lebanese flatbread tossed in a dressing of olive oil, pomegranate molasses and lemon.
Entrées include kebab skewers of shish taouk (cubed spiced chicken, $12.95), kafta meshwi (minced lamb with parsley and onion, $11.95) and kafta khosh-khash (charcoal-grilled minced beef, $11.95). Each is served with sautéed mixed vegetables and a side of warm rice or salad. Seafood and vegetarian items are also available.
With indoor and outdoor seating, the restaurant is spacious and comfortable with large windows lining the perimeter. A small bar area is good for a pre-meal beer, glass of wine or cocktail.
For dessert, indulge in a traditional favorite — baklava. These petite, layered squares are sweet and nutty. Wash one down with a cold bottle of Almaza, a pale lager from Lebanon.