“We pay extremely close attention to even the least expensive offering on our menu,” Jonathan Eid, one of the owners of the soon-to-open Mezza, explains. He and his brother, Pete, are just days away from soft opening their Elmwood Avenue venture, an addition to their thriving suburban business.
“We love Elmwood, we eat here, we hang out here, we party here, this has always been a place where we wanted to be and to try something different.” Pete’s Greek Isles, the family’s suburban eatery named for their father, may be located in a mall food court, but, in this writer’s opinion, it is the only mall eatery I have ever heard foodies extol the virtues of. Those familiar with Pete’s Greek will find a similar commitment to good quality and courteous service, but a very different menu at Mezza.
“Mezza“, the Eid brothers explain, is a way in which particular types of food are served throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. From their perspective as second generation Lebanese Americans, Mezza will translate into the opportunity for diners to sample many authentic Lebanese dishes in small portions (akin to tapas) or served on a large platter for the entire table to share. Mezza’s menu will include familiar items like falafel, hummus and tabouleh, but also less-available Lebanese favorites such as shawarma, shish taouk and fattoush. Entrees will feature kabobs and other classic Middle Eastern items as well as unique dishes like the brothers’ signature broiled salmon with signature pomegranate tahini sauce. Some changes have been made to the kitchen, including the addition of a charcoal grill and a special stove designed specifically for the preparation of saj bread, something the brothers claim is not found in our area. Small plates will run between $4 and $8, with entrees falling in the $14-$18 range.
Mezza’s goal is to provide great service and a delicious experience for their customers. A liquor license is en route, and the process of acquiring a permit for a patio has been undertaken. Eventually, guests will have the option of relaxing with traditional Lebanese arak or Almaza while enjoying hookah on the patio. Pete Eid further explains their decision to open in this long-empty Elmwood location, “This is such a diverse area, we just knew this was the place for us and what we want to do.”
Guests will find that the exterior of the building has been repainted, and an extensive deep cleaning in the kitchen and service areas, along with a new coat of paint, have spruced up the space. Other than that, no major changes have been made to the fixtures or finishes. The real change will be evident in the quality, freshness and diversity of the menu. Look for signs of opening in the next week or so, but please kindly remember that it always takes a while for a new staff and kitchen to work the kinks out.
929 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222