The other day I finally had the chance to eat at a restaurant that I have been wanting to try out. I was able to convince my sister and mother to come along for the journey. We went to a place called Zaytun which is located in Brittany Center at 21st and Woodlawn. The sign describes the restaurant as being Mediterranean, Indo, and Pak. During the lunch hours they only offer a buffet, which is what we were interested in trying out. The inside is clean and nicely decorated. Although there were only 10 tables set up for the lunch crowd it appears they have ample space in the back for parties and such.They also have a bar area with some large tea making apparatus. There was a TV hanging above the bar, but instead of showing some Indian soap opera or SportsCenter it just displayed various nature scenes. There was some interesting up tempo music emanating from the dining room that was a bit too loud for a lunch buffet. Perhaps they are just trying to induce some type of hypnotic state in which you cannot stop eating hummus and grape leaves.
As for the food itself, they offered several salad choices, hummus, pita, grape leaves, and various sauces for appetizers. There were about 5-10 main dishes that consisted of many rice dishes, stews, fried potatoes pancakes, and lamb kebabs. I tried to sample just about everything offered and I must say that I was pleased with what I had. The food was light and rather healthy (except for the potato pancakes of course, but you have to indulge yourself every once in a while). My favorite entrees were a rice, lentil, and raisin dish as well as the potato pancakes, and the lamb kebabs. The kebabs were really good and very popular with the patrons. At one point they ran out, but when the next batch was ready the owner or manager personally walked around the tables with a dish of fresh kebabs. I was impressed with that gesture. Most of these dishes I had never tried, including a number of delicious stews. I was impressed with how hearty some of the stews were for not containing any meat. Contrary to many people’s idea of Indian and Pakistani food, none of the dishes I had were that spicy. There was ample amounts of curry used, but it was by no means unbearable.
I was really impressed for the food at Zaytun and would encourage people to check it out. I think if you try out the buffet you will find something that you enjoy, even if that means piling your plate high with hummus and pitas.