We had not dined at this restaurant previously since it is over 15 miles from our home. A Deal Chicken offer was the inducement that we needed to try it. We were not sure exactly where the restaurant was located on A1A but found it easily using our phone’s GPS. It is in an attractive mall directly behind Pizza Hut. We noticed Julian’s colorful roadside hot air balloon advertising Breakfast All Day. This gem of a restaurant serves Greek-American and Lebanese-style cuisine. It is family-owned.
There was ample parking in the lot directly opposite the restaurant. As we entered the eatery, a server greeted us, escorted us promptly to a booth by a tall picture window and handed us menus. Our server, Danielle, arrived shortly and we placed our beverage order - two Cabernet Sauvignons. We rarely eat Greek/Mediterranean food so it took us a few minutes to decide what to order. Danielle was so helpful in explaining some of the dishes and making suggestions
While we waited for our beverages to arrived, I glanced around the lovely bistro. The first thing that I noticed was the large attractive Greek Murals covering most of the walls. Large picture windows on the outside wall looked out on the lovely outdoor patio with two bright umbrellas. Pretty palm trees, low shrubs and an attractive low black fence delineated the patio from the parking lot. Inside, the dark maroon carpet and a high black ceiling added a bit of sophistication to the ambiance while sheer maroon curtains softened the decor. On the opposite side of the restaurant was the open kitchen with dark short maroon drapes hung at ceiling level. Lighter maroon Formica tables with high backed black chairs and seats filled the center of the room while black booths ringed the perimeter. A few plants nicely divided the interior space and surrounding areas adding color, privacy and softness. Black linen napkins and a small vase with an artificial flower completed the casual decor. The whole effect was welcoming and charming.
Since this was our first visit, we decided to share our two entrees. One entrée was a Gyro Platter, $10.98, a very popular Greek dish. The meal looked so visually appealing that we just knew it would taste great. Wrapped in warm pita bread held together with thin paper were delicately seasoned rotisserie broiled thin slices of lamb and beef. Slivers of fresh onions and wedges of ripe tomatoes drizzled with a most delicious creamy zazeeki sauce surrounded the generous amount of tender moist meat It was as delicious as the chilled Greek Salad with wedges of ripe red tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, feta cheese, pepperoncini and dressing served with it. The seasoned French fries were plentiful and so crisp and tasty that we did not even use ketchup over them. For our second meal, we chose one recommended by Danielle. It was the Vegetarian Platter, $10.99. The dish was a generous sampling of Spinach Pie, Zucchini Pie, Zazeeki sauce and Pita Bread, served with a fresh chilled Lebanese Salad. Everything on the plate was delicious, moist and tasty. We were both pleasantly surprised at how quickly our food arrived.
If you enjoy an appetizer with your meal, there are plenty of choices. If salads are your pleasure, there is Greek Salad served with Pita Bread, to which you can add Chicken, Gyro meat, Grilled Mahi or Grilled Shrimp. Perhaps consider a Tuna or Chicken Salad Platter, A Chef’s Salad Platter or a Lebanese Salad. For Entrees, choose from Athenian Chicken, Prime Rib or Beef Liver with Grilled Onions. Plenty of Kabobs and Seafood choices are also available.
If Greek Specialties appeal to you, there are over twelve more choices to whet your appetite. If you are still undecided, there is the Combo Platter or the Greek Combo. At lunchtime, you can order one of eight Old Fashioned Sandwiches or an Open Faced Hot Roast Beef or Roast Beef with Turkey Sandwich. Sliced Turkey, Roast Beef and Virginia Ham Deli Sandwiches are only $6.99 and include coleslaw and a pickle. Bigger appetites may want the triple Decker, $8.99 served with pickle and coleslaw. Burgers, Omelets, Soups and a Children Under 12 Menu round out the listing.
In addition to all these choices there an expansive list of healthy Vegan and Vegetarian dishes including platters, kabobs, grape leaves, burgers and stew. You do not normally find so many choices on the average restaurant’s menu. My husband and I are not Vegetarians or Vegans but Danielle said that the Mediterranean Vegan Stew was very good and we should try it.
Not only is the wait staff efficient and knowledgeable but they are also thoughtful. Every diner received a friendly hello and a cheery goodbye. While dining I watched as a handicapped diner left with his wife. As they neared the door, a server from the opposite side of the dining room rushed over to hold the door for both of them. As we departed the eatery, we saw a man standing by a table talking to another couple. We politely interrupted their conversation to inquire if he was Nikki, the owner. No, he was Sam, the owner from Lebanon and he chatted with us a bit. He lived for a while in Italy, he told us and many of his recipes are his Lebanese mother’s recipes. No wonder they are so good. The name of the restaurant is the name of Sam’s son, Julian who is a small boy. The restaurant was formally Niki’s Rainbow Restaurant. Now Sam owns Julian’s and newer Rainbow Restaurant in Satellite Beach. I understand that there is a belly dancer on Friday nights at Julian’s at seven o’clock but we must have missed her.
We enjoyed our meal so much that we returned on Saturday night. This time we ordered the Mousaka and the Vegan Mousaka and shared both. Mousaka is an Eggplant and meat casserole with béchamel topping served with a Greek Salad. The Vegan Mousaka is layers of eggplant, potato, zucchini and mushrooms baked in tomato broth, garlic and parsley sauce, served with a Lebanese salad. We enjoyed both dishes and salads. The vegan dish had plenty of sauce while the Mousaka made with meat contained no sauce at all. Both tasted delicious and arrived piping hot. Danielle was our server again, at our request and she did just as great a job as she did on Friday. She not only is a great server but she has lots of personality and warmth. She is an asset to the wait staff.
We returned one more time before I wrote this review. This time we went for lunch. We ordered the Calamari, $8.49 and the Vegetarian Kabobs, $11.99 - two kabobs with zucchini, mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, onions & eggplant, glazed with balsamic vinaigrette, served over rice with Lebanese salad. Both dishes were excellent. Courtney was our server and she was very professional and attentive. The restaurant was quite busy with a big breakfast crowd. Service did not suffer. If you have not tried this restaurant, I hope that you will after reading my review. We certainly intend on returning for another good meal. On a future visit, my husband would like to order the Babaganous, which is roasted eggplant spread with Tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice with 2 pitas. See you at Julian’s. Be sure to say hello to Sam.
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