So, my beautiful friend Aloha and I took a day trip to Charleston (with Mr. Foodie) for some sightseeing. Since moving to South Carolina, I have been “trying” to make it a thing to try local food. Okay, obviously that is the point of my website!
So Charleston is so full of history and delicious local eateries. I’m going to eat my way through this state.
Today, we stopped into Leyla’s Fine Lebanese Cuisine. Mind you, we’ve been here for a full week, and I’m still looking for a job while I do some remote work.
I know you all know how much I LOVE any type of food from the Middle East, and if not, well I absolutely do!
Leyla’s is located in downtown Charleston on King Street, in between George Street and Society Street, in the middle of the block. See the map below.
King Street is a one way street, so parking is limited to street parking or a public parking lot. When we walked in, we were greeted by a host (I’m thinking the owner, maybe) and promptly seated. It was about 1pmish, so the lunch rush was over.
When you walk in, you walk past a decently stocked bar. My instant thought was “partay!” But I mean, silly me.
We were seated and handed menus. Oy my pocketbook! Yelp should have added a third dollar sign!
We order our drinks, and waited to order. It took a bit of time (maybe ten to fifteen minutes), before our server came back to take our order. The menu was very detailed, listing cold and hot appetizers, as well as the entrees, a full page for desserts and the wine list. As much as I wanted an entree (Beef Kabab was about $30.00 for a plate), my wallet kept screaming at me. So, to stay within my budget, I ordered chicken wings and Sanboosik (which is basically meat pies). Aloha ordered a cheese plate, Chef Hummos and the beef shawarma. Mr. Foodie ordered cheese rolls.
Maybe about twenty minutes later, our food comes out, and was well presented.
Square dining ware is the business! The cheese plate was well liked, except for the large ball of cheese. It was too salty for me, but Aloha and Mr. Foodie enjoyed it. The cheese plate was an assortment of Lebanese cheese with pistachio and fruit preserve. I don’t remember eating pistachios. I also skipped the fruit preserve.
The Chef Hummos, I definitely liked as there was pomegranate and toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top. It was a little thin than I was accustomed to, but everyone makes hummus different.
The sanboosik was pretty good. It was literally a mini meat pie. Too cute to eat, but was certainly delish.
The chicken wings were tossed with a lot of lemon juice, so good thing I liked it. If my mom was with us, it would not have sat well with her.
The cheese rolls were, cheese rolls. Mr. Foodie liked it, but I also shared my wings with him. I think the cheese rolls with basterma would have been a better choice. This is what happens when you move across country and buy items necessary for living (like a new dryer). Thin wallet.
The experience was okay. The soda that Aloha ordered was forgotten, but then served to her after she asked for it, when she received her entree. I wasn’t super impressed with Aloha’s beef shawarma, but maybe because rice to me is a serving of basmati rice with a hint of saffron (like Grill House Cafe in Mira Mesa, CA). The rice, looked liked parboiled rice, but I may be mistaken.
Our server was nice, but we did kinda have to flag her down a few times for refills on the pita bread, because 6 pita bread slices doesn’t really work with a bowl full of hummos, especially between three people.
It made me miss my Lebanese friends in California, but I don’t know if I would give that establishment a second visit. I definitely miss eating delicious Lebanese food and I was hoping that this place would fill the void, but alas, not so much. I really didn’t feel the welcoming atmosphere that most Lebanese or in fact Middle Eastern individuals show when you come into their establishment. Okay, I guess any establishment. Regardless, warm welcome, not there. Maybe it was an off day or something. I think it was just too pricey for me.
Just remember, this is my review, which is my personal opinion and I always say to experience a restaurant on your own as your experience may be different from mine.