Saturday, January 29, 2011

Andy's Mediterranean Grille

We have been meaning to try Andy's for a long time now so when Groupon offered $25 for $50 worth of food, we jumped on it. 

Despite missing the weekly belly dancers, our mediterranean meal did not disappoint.  We began with pita bread and labnah (lebanese yogurt spread with garlic).  It took us a while to decide which appetizer we wanted, but ended up being worth the debate because labneh is to die for.  The yogurt is as thick as greek yogurt but a little less tangy, and the garlic flavor is very potent and yet incredibly smooth.  It's safe to say we will never order anything else as an appetizer from Andy's.  The pita bread is more like a pita roll than flat bread - ours came straight from the oven and was perfectly warm and soft on the inside.  We took down a basket and a half.

Once we came out of our labneh haze, we ordered the Jumbo Combo (serves two).  It includes salad, one shish kabob (chopsteak), one shish kafta (steak), one shish kharouf (lamb) and three shish tawook skewers (chicken) on a bed of rice. The salad was light and fresh - with an oil and lemon based dressing seasoned with lots of herbs, particularly oregano.  The salad was simple - just vegetables - although feta cheese would have been a nice touch.  We suggest avoiding this dressing when dining with someone you don't know well because the herbs will get all in your teeth.  There is no avoiding it. 

As for the main dish, the lamb was the star of the show.  We know that the chicken kabob has won all of the Cincinnati food awards, but it did not compare to the lamb skewer.  We found the chicken to be a bit dry and overly seasoned with lemon flavor.  It was hard to get past.  The lamb though was perfectly cooked - with just a dab of red in the middle.  We literally fought over the four pieces on the skewer.  The steak was also good, cooked medium rare, and the pieces were generously large.  The chopsteak had a little kick to it and was crispy on the outside, unlike any of the other kabobs.  Rice is always a hit or miss at restaurants, and it is always disappointing to get under or overcooked rice.  Luckily, Andy's rice was cooked just right and we wished they had given us twice as much. 

One thing about mediterranean restaurants - you can never leave without baklava.  Baklava is hard to make at home, especially if you make the phyllo dough from scratch, and it is always so cheap and delicious at a restaurant.  We decided to go all out and get it, considering we had gone overboard already with the red wine, pita bread, labneh, salad, and kabobs.  The dessert was a great finish to a wonderful meal.  We left discussing what we would get on our next visit, which of course will be a weekend so we don't miss the belly dancers.

Our only gripe with Andy's is that the place is a little scuzzy.  By scuzzy we mean that the table needed a good scrub down.  Also, there were random bottles of 409 sitting around.  Obviously that had some affect on the atmosphere - making Andy's feel like an expensive dive.

906 Nassau Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45206
Andy's Mediterranean Grille on Urbanspoon


Elizabeth said...

Actually, the "yogurt" is sour cream, called labneh (SP?), and does contain garlic, salt and lemon juice. Yummm..

KC said...

I think the menu says "yogurt" but yes it is actually sour cream. I'm Greek so pretty much anything of that consistency = yogurt to me. You are right on the spelling, ours is a typo. Thanks for posting!