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Friday, April 23, 2010

Twelve in Ten Challenge: Ranoush

Before April completely slipped away from us, Ryan and I realized we needed to fulfill something from our Twelve in Ten list. This time we settled on Ranoush, a nearby Syrian restaurant. I had been dying to try this place ever since it opened a year or so ago. Ironically enough, it wasn't the food that drew me to this place, but the location. Ranoush has great outdoor seating and I was most excited about the prospect of eating outdoors on the busy sidewalk outside their restaurant. People-watching is a hobby of mine...right up there with food :) When we saw that the weather forecast for last Saturday was sunny and warm, it was decided that this was the month for Ranoush!

Our last restaurant pick for this challenge, Ari's, was a bust, so I was a little wary about this experience. Thankfully, my fears were never realized; we had an excellent meal at Ranoush! The outdoor dining and people-watching was everything I hoped it would be, but even better was the food! Ryan and I decided to order two entrees and split them. We chose two specials of the day: the chicken schwarma sandwich and the vegetarian platter, which is the chef's combination of five hot and cold mezza (tapas or appetizers).

The meals arrived quickly and, starving, we dug in. While we intended to share the meals, Ryan ended up eating most of the chicken schwarma and I devoured the vegetarian platter. We snuck bites of each others meals and were delighted with everything. Ryan's chicken schwarma was incredible; the meat was intensely seasoned, though unfortunately I can't tell you with what (I asked the waitress for the secret but she wasn't willing to share!). His portion was huge--especially for lunch--but he had no problem finishing it off. Similarly, I wasn't about to let a bite of mine go to waste! My platter included the following: hummus, baba ganoush (a grilled eggplant dip similar to hummus), falafel, moutabal (grilled eggplant with garlic and peppers), and finally tabbouleh, all served with several pieces of warm pita bread. I loved it all, but the falafel was by far my favorite. Like the chicken, it was perfectly seasoned. The various spreads were great on the pita bread, which was thinner than the usual pita bread.

(Ryan's Chicken Schwarma Sandwich)

(My platter of food, pita bread unpictured)

All in all, we couldn't have asked for a better dining experience at Ranoush. The service was fast and incredibly friendly, the price was right (less than $25 after tax & tip!), and the food was better than we could have imagined. We will definitely be returning, as there are several other things on the menu we'd like to try, including a mint tea with sweet tea vodka that sounded awesome! Furthermore, I can't wait to try my own hand at falafel and perhaps some baba ganoush. Two thumbs up for Ranoush and another successful month of the Twelve in Ten Challenge!

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