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“Great food, great owner, great experience!”
Review of Middle East Restaurant - CLOSED

Middle East Restaurant
Price range: US$10 - US$15
Cuisines: Middle Eastern
Restaurant details
Reviewed 3 April 2013

If you are Muslim, this place is a must, if you're not- it's still a must! The owner is amazing and will make your food halal for you. The food, the tea, the friendliness....it's all great. I hate that I have to drive 3 hours to get to eat here but am never disappointed when I come to town. I recently brought my sister and she can't wait until the next time I go to Abilene so we can eat there and get some to bring back home. Make sure you try the baba ghanouj and get some fresh homemade baklava to enjoy later :)

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Thank S_Hanif-Cunningham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (135)
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97 - 101 of 135 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2013

The food is always delicious. I crave the lentil soup that is complimentary when you dine in. My only compliant is I never see the itemized ticket for my order- it always seems more expensive than I plan on.

Thank SOccerFam_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2013 via mobile

If you are unfamiliar with this cuisine, think of it as grilled meat with fantastic new spices. The owner is an Iraqi who used to aid the US military, amd her prepares everything fresh. There prices are a little high, but the food is delicious and the hospitality is warm. I am glad we went, and we will certainly return next time we are in Abilene.

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Thank wfharlow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2013

Wonderful experience! We were amazed how delicious the food tasted.One of the most important things we have learned after traveling the world is that the mark of a good restaurant is not necessarily its size, but the quality of its food and the generosity of its staff. Thank you Sabah for an amazing lunch and extra special care. Definitely planning to come back for more Middle Easter food.

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Thank BCMC_94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2013

My husband and I went to Middle East for an early lunch, and I believe we were the first customers of the day. (This was my second trip to the restaurant - I visited by myself shortly after the restaurant opened about 3 years ago. I was not impressed with the food at that time, and believed it was because the restaurant was so new. My husband had never been here before.) The seating area is very spartan, with a few framed items on the walls. My fabric chair cushion was very stained. I looked for a restroom, but the only door led to the kitchen and said "Employees Only." Next to the sugar and smoked Tabasco sauce, our table included a bottle of hand sanitizer. Our waitress looked to be a teenage young lady, and she was very attentive and helpful in answering questions about the menu.

We ordered the falafel appetizer and we each ordered a gyro and water to drink. Although we were expecting tap water, our waitress brought us two Member's Mark bottled waters (from Sam's Club) and directed us to two crock-pots of soup and encouraged us to have some while we waited. My husband served himself the spicy chicken soup, which had a red broth with chicken and noodles. It was VERY spicy, but had a good flavor. I had the lentil soup - the flavor was very mild. The waitress said some people mix the two soups, so I added a small splash of spicy chicken soup. My husband's soup was so spicy that he drank all of his water and had to ask for more (for which he was charged for an additional bottled water). I was most looking forward to the falafel, and we were terribly disappointed. For the price (which I believe was about $7) we received 5 very small falafel portions on a bed of iceberg lettuce with 3 small tomato wedges, a small serving of mango pickle sauce, and two pitas. The falafel were extremely overcooked and very, very dark brown - approaching black. The falafel was hard throughout, and one bite caused it to shatter in my hand and mouth. We did the best we could with two falafel and left the rest behind. The gyro was average at best; there was nothing special about it - I've had some really great gyros, and this didn't come close. The meat was very dry, it was served on a store-bought pita, and I would have preferred tzatziki sauce exclusively instead of the Sriracha-style spicy red sauce that was on it. Finally, the cash register and the area around it were nasty and in need of a thorough cleaning.

In summary, we were very disappointed with the food. We felt as if we paid too much for the marginal quality of food we received, and that the cook should have never allowed the falafel to leave the kitchen in such an overcooked state. Also, we would prefer for the waitress to clarify whether the customer prefers tap water or bottled. We found a couple of areas of the restaurant that needed scouring. However, the waitress was very kind and attentive. I find some of the previous reviews ("best dining experience of my life" and "food is amazing") as difficult to swallow as my scorched falafel. I wanted to like this restaurant because I prefer independent, locally-owned placed to chains. However, I cannot recommend this restaurant based upon my experience.

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1  Thank abibh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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