Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Natalie the Nomad

Monthly Feature
Natalie is back in Dayton, Ohio this month for a little Turkish cuisine!

Pasha Grill

72 Plum Street
Beavercreek, OH - 45440

The Scene
I want to go ahead and start this review by defending myself… A few hours before the review, I had participated in a half marathon, so the copious amounts of food I inhaled are perfectly justified in my mind! Pasha Grill was regal from the get-go, with huge wooden doors and private dining rooms separated by curtains. I’ll admit that I didn’t really walk around the restaurant much but from what I saw, it’s your typical Middle Eastern décor, and although it all seemed very warm and inviting; we opted to sit outside instead.

The Food
As soon as we sat down, we were met with fresh, hot bread and a sundried tomato/olive oil/rosemary dipping sauce. It was VERY good. Something very simple, but I tucked this in the back of my mind and promised myself that I would whip some up back at home. We ordered the small appetizer sampler. This included sections of Hummus (Puréed chickpeas flavored with a hint of garlic, tahini, fresh lemon juice and olive oil), Ezme (Finely chopped tomatoes, onions and hot peppers mixed in olive oil and herbs), Babaganoush (Smoked eggplant Purée flavored with tahini, olive oil and garlic), Tabuli (Cracked wheat tossed with tomatoes, sweet onions, fresh peppers and parsley. Dressed with olive oil), Haydari (Thickened homemade yogurt with fresh dill, mint, garlic and walnut) and Soslu Patlikan (Cubes of lightly fried eggplant combined with fresh red peppers, onions and garlic in our homemade tomato sauce). All of these where pretty good, but to say that I absolutely loved the babaganoush would be an understatement for sure. Others at the table favored the Tabuli as well as the Hummus, but with that said we didn’t leave anything behind either. Mercimek Cobra (lentil soup – red lentils combined with puréed potatoes, celery, carrots and onions.) was also ordered by a huge lentil fan, and I was told that this soup did not disappoint. It also had a bit of a bite to it, but it certainly was not a problem.

Main Courses:
Chicken Kebab: This dish was huge, presented well, and you could smell the freshly grilled chicken from across the table. I’m lucky that I was dining with my parents, because my arm dashing across the table and snagging a piece was expected. This was served with mixed vegetables and a bed of rice. I couldn’t tell what seasoning they put on the chicken, but it was great and was perfectly moist.

Etli Turlu (Vegetable stew w/lamb): I did not get a chance to sample this dish, but was informed that it was the real deal. My dad has spent the majority of his life travelling the globe, and has spent time in Turkey. This plate came very close to what he lived on, and was ‘only missing the country of Turkey itself’. It literally just looked like a tomato based stew over a bed of rice, and again, this dish was pretty danged big.

Mousakka (Tender minced beef and lamb layered between slices of eggplant and topped with a bachamel sauce): This was HUGE. I honestly could not finish it, and that says a lot, considering I ran 13 miles earlier… I will say that I enjoyed this dish, but the chunk of mozzarella on top of the meat got to be a little much. It definitely needs to be a smaller slice, but cheese lovers would flip out of they saw it. This was also served with rice, and combining it with the juices was perfect. Think of this as a lasagna, but substitute the pasta layers with eggplant.

While we were all full from dinner, I coerced my partners in crime to have some desert. I ordered the Baklava (Sheets of phyllo dough stuffed w/crushed pistachios), while my parents ordered Keskul (Our homemade almond pudding topped with almonds and cream.). Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE baklava, and I always it eat it as soon as it is put in front of me. Pasha Grill certainly did Baklava well, and I would have had more if it were available to me. The Keskul was the perfect palate cleanser, the subtle hint of almond eradicating the previous meal.

The Verdict
Their portions were a bit large, and we even went when it was still considered “lunch”. This place IS a little pricey, but we happily did the damage to ourselves!! An appetizer, 3 main courses, 2 deserts and a tip came out to an even $100. But I can say with ultimate confidence that it was worth every penny. This place is definitely worth the visit, and it’s also conveniently located right off the highway in a growing shopping center. I would also recommend visiting said stores and walk off the meal a bit.


Anonymous said...

Note to self: check out this spot on next trip to Ohio. Wow- sounds great and the picture is worth a thousand words!

Kevin said...

This might be my favorite food pic on the blog thus far.