7 Spice Restaurant
You can never judge a book by it's cover or in this case.. the restaurant by it's storefront. 7 Spice Restaurant is an addition to the grocery store by the same name on Airport Boulevard. You actually have to walk through the store to get to the restaurant in back. I have only gone once but was blown away by how elegant it was.. just steps from the coolers full of food.
|7 Spice Dip Mix|
If you've read this blog before, it comes as no surprise that I ordered an appetizer to share with my lunch companions. I got the 7 Spice Dip Mix. It's your traditional hummus, baba ghanoij and something new to me called Labneh. The hummus was extremely smooth and has a great lemony flavor. I like the baba ghanoij too. It's pureed roasted eggplant with some sesame paste, lemon juice and a few other things. I think the eggplant was allowed to roast a little longer so it developed a deeper flavor. The Labneh really intrigued me. It's Lebanese kefir cheese mixed with mint and garlic. This dip is sour! It reminds me of sour cream or a sour yogurt. It does have a richness to it that I enjoyed. The dip trio is served with pita bread. My brother and I loaded up our bread. When the bread was gone, there was still plenty of dip left. I asked our waitress for more bread but it never materialized so I scooped what's left with a fork and ate it that way. It was just too good to go to waste.
I had the Moussaka for lunch. It's a casserole like dish that's layer of potato, ground beef, eggplant and covered with a bechamel (cheese) sauce. It's served with basamic rice and grilled vegetables. The Moussaka is very heavy on nutmeg flavor which I liked. I thought the potato that was used as a base was a little al dente but overall good. I had to add just a bit more salt because I thought it was a little under seasoned in that regard. The vegetables were a nice. There wasn't a lot of seasoning on it like some other places which I liked.
Many of the meals come with your choice of a salad or a soup. Everyone chose a salad. It's a really good portion; made up with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olives, onions, some feta with a yogurt dressing. The yogurt dressing could be a little over powering in the souriness but I enjoyed it as did my friend. My brother not so much since I noticed he left much of it untouched.
My brother got the dinner portion of the Lamb shish kabobs. It's two skewers of hunks of lamb that's been grilled. It's served alongside grilled vegetables, rice, pita bread and a cucumber yogurt sauce. The lamb was delicious. It was seasoned perfectly and cooked so that's it's still tender and juicy. I would order this again but maybe in a sandwich rather than the dinner portion.
My friend ordered the Gyro sandwich. I will try to get her to write a review for me since I didn't have any.. not that she didn't offer. The sandwich looked like any other gyro I've seen served around town. It's served with rice and a choice of salad or soup. I think altogether it made for a very fulfilling lunch for under $8. My friend appeared to have enjoyed her meal.
|The view of the restaurant |
from inside the store
7 Spice opened the restaurant addition to the grocery store at the end of September. I went in early October. I usually give new places several months to give it a chance to work out any kinks. I didn't realize how new this place was. One of my brother's friends, Cody, tried out this place one week and came back within the same week. That's saying a lot about the quality of the food. I think the major kink 7 Spice has to overcome is the service. Several times during lunch, I felt like my waitress was more of a pushy salesperson than a waitress. I understand the bread and butter of most restaurants is in up selling appetizers and desserts. I already ordered an appetizer which is a plus for the restaurant. The waitress came back TWICE to try to get me to order the more expensive appetizer combo on the menu. Come on now! I could have just ordered the meal instead. Also once, we were done with our meal she asked if we would like dessert. I declined but my friend (to me) said "Are you sure? They have baklava." I responded that I was stuffed. The waitress went away, came back to my friend and hovered over her to ask if she wanted dessert. She was at it for a good 2 to 3 minutes. I could tell my friend was uncomfortable with how pushy the waitress was and made a point to ask for our checks. I don't care how nice you may be or sound, don't invade my bubble.
Another complaint for me is the pacing of service and our meal. It took a while for the waitress to get our order for the appetizer and then our entrees. She actually deposited our appetizer and went away. I had to call her back to order our entrees. If it's like that all the time, I can't imagine being able to spend a lunch hour getting there, eat and be back to work on time. We were there for an hour and a half. That's way to long considering we arrived at 11:10 and there was maybe three other tables occupied. I did notice two ladies who came in right before us was able to leave much earlier than we did. Perhaps it was our waitress?
Two men, who appeared to be either the owners or managers, did stop by our table to ask how was the food. I could honestly reply that I was surprised and happy with our meals. I look forward to coming again.
I was unable to find a Facebook page, Twitter or website for 7 Spice. But I did snag a to-go menu and posted it on the Urbanspoon page. Click on the Urbanspoon logo to take you to that page. I uploaded the menu on 10/5 and it takes a couple of days for the folks there to approve it. The sandwiches and such were about $8. The dinner entrees start around $9 and goes up to $16 depending on the dish. I'm told, 7 Spice is open 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.