Portland's Best Mezza Platter and Shawarma plate

are at Southeast Hawthorne's Tarboush
- Willamette Week
Portland's #1 Lebanese Restaurant

2013, 2014 & 2015
WW Restaurant Guide
Portland's Best Mezza Platter and Shawarma plate

are at Southeast Hawthorne's Tarboush
- Willamette Week
Come enjoy one of our many Signature Lebanese

and Mediterranean Entrees!

We are always happy to hear of your experiences dining at TarBoush.

 

It would be great if you would take a quick minute and share your experience with others.

 

Okra stew, lamb sausage and pumpkin kibbeh at TarBoush Glisan.

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DOUBLE MEATLESS: Bamyeh (left) and kibbeh laqteen vegan entrees at TarBoush. - IMAGE: Jerek Hollender

      

Tags: lebanese food, Tarboush, restaurant reviews

Everyone wants the hummus. That, and grilled meat —lamb shawarma is the most popular dish, but chicken and beef kebabs are huge sellers.

And so the waiter working the nine tables at TarBoush’s new North Tabor outpost seemed surprised with our order. “Usually, I try to get people to order just one thing besides the regular stuff,” he said. 

It took some discipline, to be sure. Like you, I mostly want a Lebanese place to serve up chickpeas, meats and pita. Especially at TarBoush, which our taste-off determined makes the best beef shawarma and mezza plates in town (“Eye of the Shawarm,” WW, Sept. 25, 2013).

But the opening of TarBoush’s second location seemed like a good reason to dig deeper.  

Just below the hummus, baba and grape leaves you’ll find other cold starters meant to be eaten with the hot-from-the-oven pitas, baked a little darker than at most other Lebanese joints in town. My favorites were laban bi’khyar ($5.50), a cooling yogurt mixed with chunks of chopped cucumber and garlic and a sprinkle of crushed mint leaves; and mhammara ($9), a bowl of meaty walnuts ground into a gritty dark-red paste and blended with smoky roasted red pepper and olive oil.

Things get more interesting with the hot starters, which include familiar dishes like falafel and zaatar, those herb- and nut-topped pita breads often called “Lebanese pizza,” but also feature a plate of odd little sausages called makanik ($10). The sausages are an unfamiliar shape, longer and a little thinner than a Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, made in-house from gamey lamb sirloin, with natural casing and a secret spice blend. They’re seared and served with a candy-sweet salsa of chopped tomatoes and lemon, a heavy counterweight to the meat.

Another favorite from the hot-appetizer section is TarBoush’s house version of the Middle Eastern fava bean dip foul mouddamas ($10), which adds tahini to the usual lemon-garlic-olive oil sauce, taking on nutty depth. (Anything with the restaurant’s name in the title is an original riff.)

Among the entrees, I found two things you’d do well to try—both, coincidentally, vegan dishes in a cuisine best known for meat and bread.

Actually, my Turkish brother-in-law found the first one: His eyes lit up when he spotted bamyeh ($14), the hearty okra-based answer to chili, a thick tomato-based stew of fibrous green seedpods, onion, cilantro and garlic. It’s warming, like something dads make on cold Big Beirut nights.

The second is kibbeh laqteen ($15), triangular slices of pumpkin kibbeh that look like a dessert but are made with bulgur and pumpkin puree, a thin layer of stewed spinach, onions and sumac, and served with a sprinkle of toasted almonds and parsley. You’re meant to cut off a chunk and slather it with yogurt—like a savory pumpkin pie.

When it comes to the real desserts, you of course have carrot cake and baklava. But if you’re open to floral flavors—some people can’t get past the smell of grandma’s soap—there’s a very nice rice pudding called riz bi’ haleeb ($5). It’s thick,  creamy and heavy on rosewater. It’d make some people gag, no doubt, but you won’t know if you’re one of them unless you go beyond the baklava. 

EAT: TarBoush, 5663 NE Glisan St., 235-3274, tarboushbistro.com. 11 am-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday.

 

cheapeats_2014(mediterreanean)TARBOUSH - IMAGE: Jerek Hollender

      

Tags: Portland, Cheap Eats 2014, middle eastern, mediterranean

TarBoush

3257 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-3277, tarboushbistro.com. Lunch and dinner daily.

If you’re in the Lebanese restaurant game—and a dozen or so places in Portland are—you should nail your pita. Those puffs are always the first impression, and they hang around throughout the meal to be used as scoops for tabbouleh and fava beans. And yet too many local Lebanese restaurants mangle it, serving pale and underbaked dough rounds with all the character of decrusted Franz slices.

Southeast Hawthorne’s TarBoush does pita, and pretty much everything else, right. You’ll get a lot more food at a lower price at Nicholas, sure, but if you’re eye is on high quality, this is where you want to be. The bread at this converted Victorian house is kissed with brown crispiness on the outside while remaining pillowy within. You’re going to use a lot of it with the vegetarian mezze platter ($12). So order mint tea or choose from a long list of Lebanese wines and settle in for a platter of unusually thick hummus, acidic tabbouleh and two falafel balls lightly fried to remain pleasantly chewy.

Even though you won’t finish another appetizer, you’ll also want the TarBoush foul moudamas ($8.50), a house special of plump fava beans served in a tahini sauce so good you may want to eat it like soup.

Kabobs of beef, chicken and lamb are marinated, char-grilled and served on skewers over a bed of soft basmati rice laden with pine nuts. The beef is unusually lean with a nice herbiness. On the side, you get tart tzatziki and a side of acidic red sauce to cut the richness. In warmer months, look for an outdoor hookah lounge where you can linger, puffing, sipping mint tea and using that glorious pita to scrape every last fleck of hummus off the plate. MARTIN CIZMAR.

 

 

Searching for Portland’s best Lebanese mezze platter and shawarma plate.

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TARBOUSH AND LAMB: Portland’s best mezze platter and shawarma plate are at Southeast Hawthorne’s TarBoush. - IMAGE: Jerek Hollender

      

Tags: Lebanese Food, Taste Test, Tarboush

If you want great Lebanese food, you need to go south and east. Not too far—but the best places I found in trips to nine local Lebanese restaurants were both on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. The two worst, coincidentally, were both on Southwest Stark Street.

It all began because I wanted Portland’s best hummus. I asked a half-dozen people where to go and got a half-dozen different opinions on the city’s best Middle Eastern fare. I decided to start with Lebanese.

At each, I ordered a beef (or, when unavailable, lamb) shawarma and a vegetarian (not vegan) mezze platter to split. I allowed servers to suggest their favorite side dish as a wild card. Our cheapest meal was $36, the most expensive $46. Portions ranged from merely ample to ginormous. Quality varied—more than expected. Here are nine local Lebanese restaurants ranked from first to last.

 

1. TarBoush

3257 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-3277, tarboushbistro.com.

Tags: best, perfect pita, patio, hookah, foul moudamas, wine list.

Lebanese restaurants need to nail their pita. Those puffs are always the first impression, and yet too many locals serve pale and underbaked dough rounds with all the character of decrusted Franz slices. TarBoush does pita—and pretty much everything else—right. The bread at this converted Victorian house is kissed with brown crispiness on the outside while remaining pillowy within. Order mint tea or choose from a long list of Lebanese wines and settle in for the massive vegetarian mezze platter ($14), which includes unusually thick hummus, vinegar-heavy acidic tabbouleh and two falafel balls lightly fried to remain pleasantly chewy. Even though you won’t finish it, you’ll also want the house’s version of foul moudamas ($8.50), plump fava beans served in a tahini sauce. Beef shawarma is unusually lean but still flavorful and goes great with basmati rice laden with pine nuts.

Read Full Article Here!

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Cheap Eats 2013

TarBoush

3257 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-3277, tarboushbistro.com. Lunch and dinner daily. No hookah on Mondays. 

When I tell you that TarBoush feels like home, it’s important to know what kind of home. This Lebanese joint’s innards, all dark wood and soft lighting, were once the living room of a Victorian-era mini-mansion. Some of the restaurant’s refined good looks come courtesy of the building’s old tenant (RIP, Belly Timber), but the vibe at TarBoush is more family than fancy. While kids and picky types might not be crazy about the house-recommended sawda (a $7.50, slightly chalky chicken-liver appetizer best eaten with the excellent house-baked pita bread), the bamyeh ($13 and loaded with succulent okra and garlic) tastes like a second cousin of spaghetti. The excellent signature mezza plate ($17.50) showcases TarBoush’s fine hummus and baba ghanoush and two meats of your choice (the beef, which is really thick-cut steak chunks, is perfect). Just save room, because we’re all taking hits from a TarBoush hookah for dessert. CASEY JARMAN.

 

 

TarBoush: Restaurant Guide 2014

tarboush_chrisryan

TarBoush - IMAGE: Chris Ryan

      

Tags: tarboush, restaurant guide 2014, restaurant guide

3257 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-3277; 5663 NE Glisan St., 235-3274, tarboushbistro.com

[MEZZA AND BEYOND] TarBoush makes the best beef shawarma and mezza plates in town, but you should dig deeper into the menu at this Lebanese standout, which now has a second location in North Tabor. Just below the hummus, baba and grape leaves you'll find mhammara ($9), a bowl of meaty walnuts ground into a gritty dark-red paste and blended with smoky roasted red pepper and olive oil. Sure, there's falafel and zaatar, but also a bowl of odd little sausages called makanik, made in-house from gamey lamb sirloin, with natural casing and a secret spice blend, seared and served with a candy-sweet salsa of chopped tomatoes and lemon. In the entree section, look for bamyeh, a hearty okra-based chili, a thick tomato-based stew of fibrous green seedpods, onion, cilantro and garlic. It's warming, like something dads make on cold Big Beirut nights. Kibbeh laqteen ($15) are triangular slices of pumpkin kibbeh that look like a dessert but are made with bulgur and pumpkin puree, a thin layer of stewed spinach, onions and sumac, and served with a sprinkle of toasted almonds and parsley. You're meant to cut off a chunk and slather it with yogurt like a savory pumpkin pie. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Pro tip: The pita, hummus and beef shawarma plates really are the best in town, too.

Glisan: 11 am-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday. Hawthorne: Noon-10 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday. $$.

 

 

TarBoush Lebanese Bistro & Bar

3257 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-3277, tarboushbistro.com. Noon-midnight Monday-Saturday, noon-10 pm Sunday.

Want to get a measure of a Lebanese restaurant? Order its veggie mezza ($12). The traditional assortment of hummus, baba ghanouj, falafel, grape leaves and tabbouleh is as good a metric as any in determining a kitchen’s acumen. TarBoush’s accompanying pita bread, which comes out of the kitchen hot and appropriately puffed, ably serves as a vessel for the spreads, but lacks the slight yeasty tang of the best examples of this staple. The tabbouleh is great with everything—an unusually high parsley-to-bulgur ratio gives the salad a bright, astringent quality with a subtle nuttiness. Nice and crispy, the falafel is at its best when you assemble an ad-hoc sandwich with the other mezza accompaniments. Over on the hot side of the menu, The grilled chicken ($14) is tender and succulent, with a lovely garlicky finish, and the kafta kebab ($14) is easily one of the best versions in town, substantial and filling while still moist BRIAN PANGANIBAN.

 

http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-17189-cheap_eats_2011_listings_a_to_z.html

 

Restaurant Guide 2013: TarBoush

      

Tags: Middle Eastern/Greek, Lebanese, TarBoush, Restaurant Guide 2013

3257 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-3277, tarboushbistro.com.

[PITA POW] If you’re in the Lebanese restaurant game—a dozen or so places in Portland are—you should nail your pita. Those puffs are always the first impression, and they hang around throughout the meal to be used as scoops for tabbouleh and fava beans. And yet too many local Lebanese restaurants mangle it, serving pale and underbaked dough rounds with all the character of decrusted Franz slices. Southeast Hawthorne’s TarBoush does pita—and pretty much everything else—right. The bread at this converted Victorian house is kissed with brown crispiness on the outside while remaining pillowy within. You’re going to use a lot of it on the vegetarian mezze platter ($14), which includes unusually thick hummus, acidic tabbouleh and two falafel balls lightly fried to remain pleasantly chewy. Even though you won’t finish another appetizer, you’ll also want the TarBoush foul moudamas ($8.50), plump fava beans served in a tahini sauce so good you may want to eat it like soup. Entrees are predictably massive, with tart tzatziki and nutty basmati rice sitting separately from the meat to facilitate doggy-bagging.

Ideal meal: Vegetarian mezze, TarBoush foul moudamas and a beef shawarma plate ($15).

Best deal: Chicken shawarma plate ($13).

Pro tip: One side of the restaurant’s backyard patio is a smoking section with hookahs. More Portland Middle Eastern restaurants need hookahs.

Noon-10 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday. $$.