Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine, 2228 Wealthy St SE, East Grand Rapids - 8/23/12
This is a sweet, little setting in which to enjoy mid-eastern fare. It’s casual space and holds about 11 tables. The take-out window was busier than the dining room when we visited.
Our server promptly brought us menus but didn’t take beverage orders and didn’t bring us water until we requested it when she returned a while later. Other than that initial bump, the service was perfect, attentive without being over-whelming, and well-timed dishes. Beginning with the falafel appetizer, we enjoyed the three deep-fried fava bean patties served with lettuce, tomato, onion, and tahini.
Fast upon this were our salads, fatoush and lebanese. Both were delicious, fresh, and lovely creations, and although there was too much of it, we ended up preferring the lemon vinaigrette dressing on the lebanese salad. The ingredients for the “zestier” fatoush dressing would not be revealed (but you can find their hummus recipe on their website).
We both chose pita sandwiches for our entrees: grilled lamb (marinated lightly in red wine with hommous - spelled differently in various places on their website so pick your spelling :), tomato and onion; and shawarma (thin slices of beef marinated in lebanese spices) with tahini, tomato, and onion. Visually identical, both sandwiches took a few bites to reach the onion and tomato but were excellent combinations of flavors. And don't miss the home-made, pickled turnip served on the side!
A woman who appeared to be an owner was very familiar and friendly with customers and spent a bit of time in the dining room. She greeted the two middle-schoolers seated next to us by name, and later we had the pleasure of helping them figure out what to tip the server, after they had an awkward moment with her. This friendly place is welcoming, offers freshly-prepared food, and is worthy of your business. Find more information about the background of the restaurant and view the menu at: http://www.ostaslebanese.com