REVIEW: Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill – Healthier Fast Food

Hey, I love garbanzo beans and I understand the value of a Mediterranean diet and – heck – I liked the look of the “Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill” so…   I returned to Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill a few days after I walked out without buying anything discouraged that they had no chicken, gyro meat, or Falafel at 7 pm prime dinner time on a weekday with only 4 tables occupied. At this point, I think that I just hit the wrong crew on the wrong evening.   I’m glad I returned.

IMG_2411This go around at about 1:15 pm on a summer Wednesday, the crew behind the counter was energized, friendly, eager to help (and there was plenty of delicious looking chicken, gyro meat and Falafel that was ready to go!   There’s a lot of “Mediterranean” options to pick from: kebobs, salads, soups, gyros. All priced $6 to $9.   And you’re offered a lot of opportunity to “customize” what you order.

IMG_2408I decided to order a Greek Salad ($6.99) and I decided to go with an added protein which brought the price up to $8.59.   I had my choice of proteins – gyro meat, grilled chicken, Falafel – but also grilled portobello mushroom or steak.  I opted for the chicken  (The young man behind the counter told me that the chicken was a good choice – not spicy but tasty!  He proved to be right on target!)   I got more choices (somehow this started reminding me of a Mediterranean equivalent of “Subway”!)  The ingredients looked fresh and I kept saying “Yes!”.   Finally, got down to end of the line with dressings – there was a sesame tahini, cilantro, red chili, and tzatziki sauces. They all looked so good that I decided to press my luck and and ask if I could sample all of them!   The counter crew responded “Yes!” (then asked if I wanted them “on the side” or mixed in!   I decided to gamble and responded “I’ll take some of all and go ahead and mix it in”.   The crew asked if I want a white or wheat pita (they make them here fresh!); I asked for the wheat and got one almost 6″ across good looking pita.   I asked if I could just get a cup of water?   Of course – the nice thing was when I went to get my water, I found that I could also get unflavored club soda (I added a slice of fresh lemon from the counter and had me some bargain lemonade!

IMG_2412I found a booth to sit at and realized that I had one heck of a nice lunch in front of me!

IMG_2406My salad was right tasty!  The wheat pita was fresh!  I was a happy camper!

IMG_2409

I confess that by the time that I got around to really enjoying half of my pita, it had gotten a bit dry.  I went back up to the counter and asked if I could get a tad more sauce/dressing for my pita.  “Sure thing!” was the response.   After I asked for Sesame Tahini, they even asked if I wanted any of the others.  “Nah… but thanks” I replied (impressed by their client focus and equally that they didn’t charge me anything extra!

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is a nice, reasonably priced and pleasant space to get a quick, good lunch!  Even if it is part of a small chain with 4 locations in Maryland,  it’s worth exploring and I think I’ll be back!

FACTS: Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill ; Columbia; 6455 Dobbin Rd.; 443.283.0006; http://www.eatgarbanzo.com/ ; Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner; No alcohol; Vegetarian & non-Gluten options; adjacent free parking

 

 

 

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