Restaurant News & Reviews

Cheap Eats: Mediterranean with a twist in the Triangle

Everything is gluten-free, and vegetarian options are plentiful on a menu that covers an ambitiously broad spectrum from shakshuka to grass-fed beef kafta kebabs.
Everything is gluten-free, and vegetarian options are plentiful on a menu that covers an ambitiously broad spectrum from shakshuka to grass-fed beef kafta kebabs. Greg Cox

A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we set out in search of places that venture beyond the usual hummus-and-pita suspects to offer Mediterranean with a twist.

Argana

1246 NW Maynard Road, Cary

919-468-3073

arganacary.com

The twist: Moroccan specialties, including bastilla, tagine, and an assortment of salads (try z’alouk, a lemon-brightened roasted eggplant salad with tomatoes, parsley and garlic).

Cilantro Mediterranean Grill

5400-102 S. Miami Blvd., Durham

919-472-2424

cilantrogrillonline.com

The twist: Persian-accented menu features kebabs (try kubideh, a blend of ground beef sirloin, lamb and grated onion) available as an entree, wrap or platter.

Fresh Levant Bistro

8450-106 Honeycutt Road, in Lafayette Village, Raleigh

984-200-3999

freshlevant.com

The twist: Everything is gluten-free, and vegetarian options plentiful on a menu that covers an ambitiously broad spectrum from shakshuka (a northern African dish of eggs braised in a spicy tomato sauce) to grass-fed beef kafta kebabs.

MediterrAsian Bistro

105 W. NC Hwy 54, Durham

919-484-0505

mediterrasianbistro.com

The twist: A surefire cure for gastronomic wanderlust in a menu that meanders from Lebanese lamb shawarma wraps to grilled lemongrass chicken skewers to Filipino style spring rolls.

Petra Grill

6091 Capital Blvd., Raleigh

919-599-4959

petragrillnc.com

The twist: Middle Eastern and American delis collide on a menu whose options range from gyro to Reuben – and even includes fusion creations such as grilled cheese (cheddar and provolone) on toasted pita.

Pita Bon

1207 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary

919-468-1605

pitabon.com

The twist: Check the specials board for the likes of braised lamb shank, house-made stuffed grape leaves, and okra stew (vegetarians, note: this one contains beef; try the vegetarian lasagna instead).

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