Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sultan Mediterranean Restaurant – Rock Island, IL

While I was back visiting the family in Illinois over Thanksgiving, my brother in law wanted to eat some food that wasn’t Applebee’s. My sister isn’t very adventurous when it comes to food, so I told him D.Rough and I would show him the good stuff. But we had to make sure the place we chose had something other people in my family could also eat. My niece had mentioned there was a new Mediterranean restaurant open in the area, so we thought we’d take them there. Worst case scenario, they get a plate of rice and complain about it for the next ten years. Hahahaha

The restaurant is located in a small strip mall in the Kmart parking lot, so it was easy to find for everyone. We rolled inside and found a set of tables we could combine to fit our family. There were other people eating inside, so that was a good sign. Sadly, my niece Frog, who recommended the place, couldn’t join us. But, DeliveryBoy and AmandaHugginkiss and their new twins were able to – bonus!!!! We looked at the menus given to us and eventually realized we had to go up and order at the counter – whoops. I was surprised a lot of the Mediterranean things D.Rough and I like to eat weren’t on the menu. We’re in training for our honeymoon, where we’ll be staying in Santorini, Greece, so we’re trying to eat as much Greek food as possible. No dolmades and no mousakka for us at this place. It’s ok, there were other things that sounded good. D.Rough got a gyro salad and I got the special for the day, Shevid Baghali Polo – basmati rice with dill, lima beans, and seasonings, topped with marinated chicken.
The food arrived in a reasonable amount of time, but since other family members’ food came out first, I helped myself to their plates (I always blame it on the blog writing, even though I’m just rude).
The red pepper hummus and the garlic hummus were pretty good. Much smoother than a lot of places I’ve had, so no complaints on that part. The falafel ball I ate was pretty good, although just a tiny bit dry for my taste. The tahini that came with it helped a lot, though.
The homemade fries were good, but I wasn’t in the mood for fries. They were a lot like my mother makes, so we knew we had to tell my dad so he could sneak away and eat thousands of fries without my mother’s knowledge. He’s sneaky like that. In fact, he’s from a long line of sneaky people (his diabetic brother tried to get me to sneak him cookies without letting my aunt find out).

D.Rough’s salad arrived and it looked pretty good, even if all of the lettuce was iceberg. There was plenty of meat and feta on it, so it passed as a Greek salad just fine. The flavor was good, according to her, and she ate almost all of it, so I know it wasn’t terrible. The balsamic tasted like it should have and there weren’t any surprises in the salad like some of the Quad City restaurants like to throw in to keep it “Midwestern”. She did knock it a point for using canned black olives, but aside from that, she enjoyed it.

My dish wasn’t at all what I expected, but I still enjoyed it. The rice was really quite flavorful and I loved the seasonings they used, even though they were pretty mild. I also love lima beans, so I’ve got that going for me. The chicken was cooked well and I was pretty happy with the amount of meat on the plate. The grilled veggie kabobs were a nice addition to the plate, both for color and flavor. I even sprinkled some of the magic dust the place has on the tables. I’m not sure what was in it, but it isn’t spicy – just unique. I’d use it again the next time I went, and I’d use a LOT of it – like I said, it’s pretty mild.

Overall, I thought it was a decent Mediterranean meal, especially for a Midwestern town. It isn’t fancy, but it’s good food and filling. I think everyone was happy with their meals, since I didn’t get any complaints. I’d eat here again if the family wanted to when I come home next time. I did, however, tell my brother in law that he can eat a guinea pig at two different restaurants when he comes up to visit us in Minneapolis. THAT’s incentive…

Top 5 things about Sultan
1. Shevid Baghali Polo
2. Gyro Salad
3. Hummus
4. Friendly staff
5. It wasn’t terrible expensive

Bottom 5 things
1. The fries get RAVED about in online reviews, but I thought they were just meh
2. One of the workers offended my niece by commenting on her children - yikes
3. Limited menu, and missing some standards
4. We didn’t get the baklava we ordered and then forgot about it and paid for it
5. The falafel was a bit dry

No comments: