Restaurant Listings: Mediterranean & Mideast
Hint: To see restaurants in this section in a particular area of town, click on the category name indicating "Hoover," "Downtown," "South," etc., below each listing.
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110 Centre at Riverchase, Hoover (Hwy. 31 just north of I-459/Galleria area)
Middle Eastern/Persian fare. Casual dress, full bar. Shish kabobs, lamb kabobs, seafood, chicken, vegetarian specialties.
3443 Lorna Rd., Hoover, 978-1603
5891 Trussville Crossing Parkway, 833-5555 (New location as of August 2007, replacing Roebuck store)
Italian and Greek food, casual family atmosphere. Italian classics like lasagna, eggplant parmigiana and chicken marsala share the menu with Greek specialties such as Mousaka, Pastichio, and Greek chicken, and Middle Eastern style kabobs and gyros. Their gyros get raves.
1831 28th Ave. South (SoHo Square in Homewood)
This Mediterranean restaurant and market features decor that includes centuries-old artifacts imported from Greece and Turkey and a menu that features everything from lamb kabobs and stuffed grape leaves to pan-fried grouper and Moroccan-spiced Cornish hens. A number of vegetarian options are available. The executive chef is George Kontoulakos, who comes to DoDiYos after stints at restaurants in Greece and New York City. I've been several times for lunch and have enjoyed everything, except perhaps the greens side order, which was a bit too bitter and lemony for my taste. Veggie moussaka, meatballs with harissa, stuffed cabbage, the "imam fainted" dish -- all delish, with generous portions. Read our first impressions here.
44 Green Springs Hwy., Homewood
Recommended by a reader who's a former Birmingham resident now living in Arkansas, who makes a point to visit George's when he's back in the area. A local reader raves about the Beef Shawerma, the hommos and the tabouli. However, comments indicate the food is better than the service.
940 20th St. South
Casual Mediterranean food in a building that once was a Kentucky Fried Chicken and more recently a Chinese place. No alcohol served. A February 2008 review in City Scene gave high marks to hummus with sauteed pine nuts, stuffed grape leaves, shish kebabs, ghallaba (sliced chicken, lamb or beef sauteed with veggies). Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu includes "everything from quail to swordfish kabobs to burgers to mojadra, which is a sandwich filled with lentils, cracked wheat, onion and salad." Fresh-squeezed vegetable juices are squeezed to order.
1706 Oxmoor Road, Homewood (near Homewood park)
European-style, family-oriented neighborhood restaurant and market featuring Greek and Middle Eastern specialties such as Homos (hummus) dip, Taramasalata Dip (red caviar spread), Bulgarian roasted peppers with feta cheese, stuffed grape leaves, avgolemono soup, pasta fagioli, Greek salad, tabouli salad, chicken souvlaki, gyros, falafel, moussaka, pastitsio, eggplant parmesan, Greek style baked chicken, grilled lamb chops and Greek style grouper. Check out the ethnic specialties at the adjacent market.
166 West Valley Ave., Homewood
This popular lunch and afternoon spot is known for its Lebanese dishes, such as tabbouleh, lentil soup, chicken pita sandwiches, Lebanese chicken with rice, and Lebanese steak and rice. The adjacent bakery produces JouJou's pita bread, sold to Middle Eastern restaurants and available at local grocery stores. An adjacent market is a source for Lebanese and Middle Eastern ingredients.
1066 Montgomery Highway (Vestavia Hills Plaza)
This Greek restaurant takes the concept of a walk-up lunch counter to a higher level by serving some fancy items such as lamb, chicken and even swordfish kabobs in addition to the usual burgers, Greek chicken sandwiches, and salads. In a March 2009 review, Tom Gaskin says this mom-and-pop operation does Greek right. "What packs 'em in is not the atmosphere; it's the very good Greek food piled high on those flimsy plastic plates," including gyros and 14 other sandwiches, moussaka, stuffed grape leaves, pastichio, Greek snapper, lamb, souvlaki and more. "Pappa's Grill is a jewel," Gaskin writes. "The food is very good and the price is very low."
932 Oxmoor Road (Homewood/Edgewood)
Open late on weekends. No alcoholic beverages, all outdoor seating. Casual, walk-up-and-order atmosphere offering Mediterranean fare such as hummus, baba ghanouj, tabbouleh, omelets, burgers, kabobs, gyros, breakfast items, baklava, etc.
3439 Colonnade Parkway (near Hwy. 280/I-459 intersection), 968-6622
Mountain Brook Plaza (off Hwy. 280), 870-0455
601 Doug Baker Blvd. (Village at Lee Branch, between Inverness and Greystone areas), 980-6063
Small, casual place where you walk up and order, eat in (including outside dining) or carry out. The wrap sandwiches with lamb are wonderful. They also offer carry-out complete dinners if you order in advance. Wine offered by the glass or the bottle.