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Monday, August 7, 2017

Zatar - Now Open for Sunday Brunch!

Last weekend, I got invited to go check out brunch at Zatar in Deep Ellum. I was invited to a media dinner at the beginning of this year but had to decline due to work conflicts. I was so bummed! I've heard really great things about this place. So I jumped on this invite and accepted immediately. :) Plus... I love brunch!

Zatar - Lebanese Tapas & Bar
2825 Commerce St.
Dallas, TX 75226
(972) 863-7100
Price (for brunch): $$

It was different going to Deep Ellum on a Sunday morning. No need to fight traffic or circle for parking spots! Woot! We arrived at 11:30AM. The place was pretty quiet, only 2 other tables so far. But brunch doesn't start until 11:30 anyways and it goes til 3PM! That's pretty awesome since a lot of places end brunch at 2... They just started brunch about a month ago, btw. It's super new, and so far no need for a reservation, so go sooner than later, I say! :)

I really liked the decor. High ceilings... they also have a huge outdoor (but covered) seating area. Lots of cool art on the walls and chandeliers. I love chandeliers. We were seated close to the window, yes, for light. hehe. Turned out it was the owner himself that seated us. Marc was super nice and he actually remembered inviting me back in Jan! Wow, great memory! Well, I'm so glad to have finally made it in.

It was pretty early in the day so my husband and I started with the Arabic Teapot (black tea with fresh mint) $4~ 
Neither of us really drink much alcohol anyways... but just so you know... they have Frose. I really enjoyed the tea, the mint was fragrant, but wasn't overpowering. It was great to just sip on it throughout the meal. The teapot was bigger than I thought too, the one pot lasted the both of us for the entire meal.

We were greeted by the PR rep that invited me. She was also incredibly nice. She gave us some history tidbits of the restaurant. Their oven was brought over brick by brick from Lebanon so as to ensure the most authentic baking of their breads. Oh my! I immediately added the hummus to our order so we can have some pita bread. hehe.

Hummus (chickpeas dip, with tahini, lemon, olive oil) $6~ 
It's gluten free and vegetarian. (The hummus, not the pita bread. haha.) It was a big portion, definitely shareable with multiple people. The pita bread was puffy and warm... right out of that amazing oven. OMG. This is the BEST hummus I've ever had. Seriously. And I've had quite a bit of hummus. It's one of my favorite things in mediterranean cuisine. Normally they're all fine... but this was spectacular. It had soooo much flavor! With a slight spicy kick to it. The texture was great, not gritty like it can sometimes get. Freaking amazing. And it's only $6 so you have to get it every time you go.

I got the Shish Taouk & Waffles (anise infused waffles topped with fried shish taouk chicken, drizzled with carob molasses) $13~ 
Added a fried egg on top. Chicken and waffles are like Brussels Sprouts and Pork Belly. If I see it on the menu, I'm very likely to order it. hehe. This was their twist on the popular dish. The waffles were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The carob molasses was quite interesting. Definitely not your typical maple syrup. The carob added a slight chocolate flavor and the molasses was dark, but not overpowering. The chicken was nice and juicy... I wished it was a little crispier but I don't know if that's the way they intended it. Just personally, I always prefer crispier chicken. And I wish the chicken pieces were a little bigger. I actually ended up removing the egg and eating it separately. The dish really didn't need that addition. It was definitely interesting! And we quite enjoyed it.

My husband got the Mother of All Pies (minced meat pie with cheese stuffed crust, topped with 2 sunny side up eggs) $14~ 
It was highly recommend by Marc. And he was right to suggest it. I loved the plating on the plank. It was actually completely different than what I was imagining. For some reason I was thinking more towards like the British style meat pies, but this was more like a Lebanese pizza. The dough/crust had great texture. It was nicely browned in their oven. The meat was flavorful and everything worked so well with the eggs on top. You can see some colorful pickled veggies they garnished the pie with... the red strips were radishes I think, and the green ones are actually cucumbers. I thought they were celery. So yummy. I liked this better than my waffles and my husband cleaned his plate!

We asked the waiter to box up some of the leftovers and I asked him about this chocolate cake they had that I've heard so much about. I didn't see it on the menu and wondered if they have it available. The waiter winked and said he'll see what they can do for me. hehe. And... they had it. Yessss! :)

Halawa Chocolate Cake
The waiter said halawa is some sort of fudge or candy made from sesame seeds. I did a Google search and it seems like the word is synonymous with Halva, which I've definitely heard before. It looked so rich and decadent! And the flavor totally matched the look. Ganache is like my favorite thing! And they definitely did it right. The halawa (sesame paste) is mixed with buttercream as the filling. It had a nice texture... and if you really tried to taste for it, you can taste the sesame a little. It was as good as I've heard. And it went so well with the tea.

What a great brunch! Part of me wished we had tried more things (the piggy side of me. ha!) but we had just the right amount. I wasn't dying for nap like I normally am after brunch. haha. Everyone was super nice and we definitely enjoyed the food. And now I'll definitely have to go back for dinner one night. Just FYI, other than Sunday brunch, they are only open for dinners. And closed on Mondays. Thanks, Zatar, for having us, we loved it! :)

*The meal was comped but all opinions are my own.*

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