Monday, June 29, 2009


Tarbouch opened in my neighborhood about two weeks ago. The small Lebanese restaurant sits next door to Curra's on East Oltorf.

At dinner on Friday night, I was lucky enough to snag the last empty table of the dozen or so in the dining room.

Being new, the service was a little frazzled, but all was absolutely forgiven when the food arrived.

I tried the vegetarian plate, a selection of 5 dishes (chosen from a list of 9).

I got (clockwise from the top left) baba ghannouj, grape leaves, Tarbouch potatoes, tabbouleh and Greek salad. I'm not sure I'd get the Greek salad again -- it looked like a bagged iceberg salad mix tossed with some fresh red onion and topped with feta, but everything else was really good.

The tabbouleh was very fresh and bright, the grape leaves creamy on the inside, and the potatoes flavored with lemon and garlic, but the standout was the baba ghannouj. I could probably eat a plateful of that stuff and still go back for more. It's creamy, lemony and smoky - why isn't my baba ghannouj ever smoky? Whatever they did, I think it's some kind of eggplant voodoo because that stuff is almost too good.

I tried a bite of a falafel, which I thought was just okay. But to get more of the baba ghannouj, tabbouleh and try more, I'm planning a return visit.

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