Meza Mediterranean Restaurant In Baldwin Park, Orlando, Florida
On the side streets of Baldwin Park lies Meza Mediterranean Restaurant. Definitively, you will recognize Meza Mediterranean Restaurant as home to Lebanese cuisine among a few others. It’s easy to pass by without notice but the answer you seek is usually right in front of your face. Meza is more than we expected and more than we deserve. It is a bright, vibrant, and open approach not found in your typical Mediterranean restaurant. Owner, Nazih, is a seasoned restauranteur who owned and operated Café Annie in Downtown Orlando for 30 years and has since pioneered Meza in Baldwin Park. The staff exudes Nazih’s knowledge, kindness, and humble demeanor.
“My philosophy is that if you start with a good product, your outcome will be good. “– Nazih Sebaali
Meza Is A Fresh Kitchen With Handmade Mediterranean Staples
As a fresh kitchen, almost everything on the menu is made from scratch. Hummus, baba ghanouj, tzatziki, and taboule, just to name a few. One of the obvious heavy hitters on the menu is the “dolmades” which Nazih makes by hand. You’ll want to hurry over there though because it is first come first serve on the finite menu items. The dolmades are so unbelievably delicious that during our visit a patron came in to leave her phone number to secure the dolmades that Nazih was preparing in the kitchen. We overheard her say that she had missed them the last few times she was dining in and wanted to make sure she didn’t miss them again. Can you imagine how spectacular your cuisine has to be for people to come and leave their phone number with the request of “Call me when they’re ready”? We will be back soon, specifically to try these handmade dolmades.
Meza Mediterranean Restaurant Has Plenty To Choose From
Park Ave Magazine has been blessed with many food review opportunities, with more to come, but Meza is among the top on our list. When we walked in, we were greeted by the friendliest of staff and Nazih himself. He is very easy to get along with and if you speak the language of food, you can hold a conversation with him over the span of a few hours. Before we could prepare our notebook, we were brought a Greek salad loaded with goat cheese, triple dip, and warm pita bread.
The presentation is beautiful, it’s like consuming little bowls of fine art. We were also recommended to try a Massaya Lebanese white wine which we were told, and can confirm, pairs very well with the assortment of dips and spreads. If you fancy yourself a wine connoisseur, you’ll have nothing to complain about when it comes to Meza’s wine selection. They also offer a full bar with an extensive, top-shelf, Scotch, and whiskey list.
It never works, but usually, we try not to eat ourselves into a food coma. We couldn’t help it. Bite after bite, the elegantly prepared, fresh, items on Meza’s menu just keep on giving. The best way that we found to enjoy the triple dip is to spread some tzatziki on a piece of warm pita and then top with your choice of homemade hummus, taboule, or baba ghanouj.
We are not rookies in the world of Mediterranean, Greek, or even Lebanese food but Meza grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go without a fight. It is a truly captivating experience. All the flavors are there, the execution is there, and the ambiance is there. Sprinkle in some culture to taste, marinade for a few hours, and leave happy, full, and slightly buzzed.
Kabobs From Meza
After stuffing our faces with dips and spreads from the other side of the world, we were served the combo kabobs. Plated as chicken and beef kabobs with rice and veggies, this is a dish to write home about. It may seem silly, but plenty of restaurants prepare rice incorrectly. Something as simple as rice can preface your expectations for the rest of the meal. So, we tried that first. We were so impressed we literally started to drool a little bit at the sight of the rest of the plate.
The rice is seasoned perfectly with an abundance of flavor that surprises you. After all, it’s just rice, right? Wrong. We ran into the same issue with the vegetable medley. As a mixture of carrots, squash, and zucchini the vegetable medley is prepared exactly as it should be and you can tell that Meza isn’t afraid of butter. In complete candor, we’ve never eaten the rice and vegetables off a plate of food first. But hey, there’s a first time for everything. We’ve discussed this before, but occasionally, you run into a dish that creates a craving. We now have a craving for rice and vegetables from Meza.
Flavor Is A Priority At Meza
The chicken is ultra-tender, and so juicy that you can watch the juice drip from the chicken as you plop bites into your mouth. Again, the seasoning is right on point and the bit of char from the grill adds that additional flavor that we all love. Normally, we can decode spices and marinades used in dishes but whichever marinade that Meza is using for its beef eludes us. It does however make you happy as you eat it.
The chef does recommend medium rare for the beef so keep that in mind during your visit. Meza exhibits culturally accurate, upscale cuisine that the foodie world pines after. Meza has confirmed our belief that the world can find peace through food. Thank you Nazih and staff for hosting us in fabulous fashion.
Often, restaurants that should be considered world-class fail to reach their full potential. This happens because of nothing other than a lack of spotlight. We hope that Meza is around for another 30 years, but it takes a community’s support to achieve that goal. Do yourself and the community a favor by visiting Meza Mediterranean Restaurant. Nazih is surely doing us a favor by introducing us to his breathtaking, Mediterranean masterpieces. Be sure to check out their menu here and be sure to call ahead for the dolmades.
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