Restaurant News & Reviews

Cheap Eats: Tasty Asian and Mediterranean eateries

A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains.

Kalamaki

431 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

919-240-7354

kalamakichapelhill.com

In a nutshell: The counter service counterpart to Kipos, Giorgios Bakatsias’ Greek restaurant on the other side of the building, Kalamaki’s street food-inspired offering includes gyros, souvlaki, and a small selection of salads and mezze.

Try: Take a hint from the name (kalamaki is Greek for “skewer”), and try the kebabs – lamb, chicken or veggie – which are grilled with fresh herbs, lemon, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Don’t miss the homemade baklava.

Koumi

3550 N. Roxboro Road, Durham

919-381-5753

koumijapanese.com

In a nutshell: Offering an extensive pan-Asian menu and serving it fast food-style (they even have a drive-through window), this little eatery breaks too many rules to be as good as it is.

Try: Vietnamese vermicelli with grilled beef and spring rolls, Thai chicken satay, hibachi shrimp, sushi rolls.

Lucky 7

906 NE Maynard Road, Cary

919-380-7550

nando.com/l2

In a nutshell: As Chinese takeout shops go, Lucky 7 is a notch above the norm. The extensive menu includes a few Japanese and Thai specialties, too, but what really makes this strip mall eatery stand out from the crowd is its selection of “Slim, Trim and Healthy” dishes pairing steamed vegetables with chicken, shrimp or tofu, with your choice of garlic sauce or brown sauce on the side. And how many Chinese restaurants – takeout or otherwise – offer brown rice as an option?

Try: The Slim, Trim and Healthy menu. Go easy on the sauce, and you’ll even be able to indulge in a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

Sassool

9650 Strickland Road, Raleigh

919-847-2700

sassool.com

In a nutshell: Brought to you by the family that own Neomonde Lebanese delis in Raleigh and Morrisville, Sassool (the childhood nickname of the family matriarch) raises the ante with an expanded offering and fresh-baked pita served still warm and puffy from the oven.

Try: Pita sandwiches, pita “pies” with toppings ranging from spinach and feta to lahem b’ahjeen (ground beef seasoned with garlic and herbs), and the extensive selection of spreads, salads and hot dishes are all tempting. Can’t decide? The Sassool Platter – a sampler of tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghanoush, grape leaves, labneh and kalamata olives – has got you covered.

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