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“Good Middle Eastern food with slow service”

Cedars of Lebanon Restaurant
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$30
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Pull up a cushion, relax and prepare for a truly memorable evening. Cedars of Lebanon is the perfect place for a romantic evening out, fun with friends, family or celebrating any special occasion.
Annapolis, Maryland
Level Contributor
78 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Good Middle Eastern food with slow service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2013

I am a great admirer of Middle Eastern food - I live lamb, kebabs, humus, and such. When I saw Cedars of Lebanon close to the hotel where I was staying I convinced my colleagues to try it out for an early dinner. We almost passed by it as it is quite unassuming and seems like a hole in the wall from the outside. However, once inside, we saw that the restaurant is rather large, with a huge hookah next to the door, and a separate hookah room. I hear that the restaurant has a belly dancer, but we didn't see her. In fact, the music playing in the restaurant seemed to be 80s music that was put on repeat, and it clashed strongly with the decor of the restaurant.

There were four of us and we were seated at a table close to the front door, which was a tad annoying since the restaurant was not busy. The sun was low in the west, hitting us through the blinds. The air conditioning was set on warm, it seems, and our waiter soon arrived, sweating and smiling. I must admit, he was friendly. But he was also slow. Actually, I'm not sure if the waiter was slow or the chef, but the point is that the wait times for food were longer than they should have been considering the number of patrons at the restaurant.

We all ordered lentil soup to start with, and then ordered different things - I had a hankering for a lamb shank, which I ordered. The soup was good - it had a lot of cumin in it (I'm not a big fan of cumin) - and the rest of my compatriots praised the soup to high heaven. If (like me) you dislike cumin, pass the soup up. Someone at the table ordered humus and falafel, and humus was absolutely delicious, while the falafel had too much going on. It tasted as if someone wanted to see what happened if they put every single herb they had in their kitchen into the mix, then peek at patrons' reactions. I know this is not what happened. I'm only saying it seemed that way. So there.

When the lamb shank finally arrived, it was delicious, tender, spiced just perfect, served on a bed of rice and with a side of vegetables. We all got huge portions. The entire table fell silent, which is a good indicator the food is delicious, as everyone was too busy enjoying food as opposed to flapping their gums. The only annoyance was a bad mix (and remix) was 80s music blaring from a nearby speaker mounted on a wall. I felt like I should Google some Lebanese music on my phone and play it. However, I was too busy eating. We had a vegan in our group (it's like having an unusual pet), and he tried giving us all a hard time for eating flesh. We all started pushing the "flesh" towards him, while at the same time stealing bits of his food, which I affectionately called garnish.

By the time we got our checks we all got a few gray hairs and a wrinkle here and there. It could've been worse - they could have waited until we were wearing Depends, throwing dentures at passers-by. As that didn't happen, we still won. Our waiter, still perspiring, but elegantly so, collected our payments with a flourish and explained that we could not get an aperitif for dessert, as the restaurant was penalized for not checking an ID when serving a drink - so no alcohol for us. For a moment I felt I was in a busted speakeasy, and I quickly snapped out of that unrealistic fantasy.

In any case, the food was great, and the waiter was friendly. If we were seated somewhere where we didn't get a stripe of sunburn across our faces, if the air conditioner was actually on, and if unfortunate clothing and hair choices were not jumping out from the music speakers, we could overlook the slow service. But all that put together would have been cured by a glass of something to take the edge off. No luck there either. I hope these things are fixed, as this could be a really good place to go to regularly. Bon appetit!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelinSonja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    37
    24
    6
    5
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
West Valley City, Utah
Level Contributor
146 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Don't pass this up!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2013

I love Middle Eastern food but for me its the ambience as well as the food. Enter...CEDARS OF LEBANON!!!! Authentic music decor and even a highly skilled belly dancer right in the heart of the city. My wife had a nice romantic dinner. Don't miss the Baba Ghanouj and Lamb kababs....WOW! I'm looking forward to try going for lunch and trying other great dishes.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank princespoison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anacortes, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Awesome food and a belly dancer, too!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2013

Took the fam to this Lebanese & Moroccan restaurant last night, which has been a Salt Lake landmark for over 30 years. It had been several years since I was last there and I am happy to report that it is as excellent as always. We started off with the falafel and baba ghanouj appetizers, both excellent. The red lentil soup was a bit of a disappointment, but the main course dishes, served family style, were spectacularly good: Couscous Marrakesh (made specially with all lamb, for a slight additional charge) and the Vegetarian Combo (couscous with moussaka and mixed vegetables). These dishes were listed as serving two but they filled up our party of five with plenty of leftovers to take home. The belly dancer (Friday and Saturday only) was very entertaining, artistic and not at all salacious.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Warren K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oregon, Illinois
Level Contributor
91 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Go For Lunch and Go Hungry”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2013

Out of all the places like this we have eaten, this is the one I like the most. Everything is fresh and of all things, I don't have to worry about MSG. The owner even came out to talk to me about how she cooks the food and what all they put in it. Not many owners will take the time or care. After the lunch we had here, I tried several other places like it. I'll stick with this one. The place is nice, the servers are nice and the food is nicer. I want to come back on a Fri. or Sat. night and see what the dancing is all about.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank kdk9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A true delight, a paradise for the palate and soul.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2013

This is a true little corner of the Middle East in SLC. The owner is a delightful lady who cooks with infinite passion. Her cuisine is a fusion of Arabic and Moroccan food. The lamb tajin, cous cous, chicken, beef is cooked with a fantastic blend of flavors like curry, cinnamon, clove, coriander, etc.
A delicious Lebanese red wine to pair simply provides a great complement!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MedPeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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