Friday, December 02, 2011
129 W Chapman Ave
Byblos Cafe is in the Orange Circle. The New Diner has been to a restaurant on the east part of the Orange Circle; Watson Drug & Soda Fountain, one on the north part; Beach Pit BBQ, and one on the south part; Felix Continental Cafe so it made sense to review a restaurant on the east side of the Orange Circle. So Byblos was my choice.
Walking around the Orange Circle I almost feel as though I will see Biff saying "Hello McFly, anybody home?" The city Orange tries to go back to the future, and bring that old time feel into today's hustle and bustle world.
The lentil soup-with celery, swiss chard, and lentils, comes with an order of kebobs. I don't eat much soup, and this may have been my first experience eating lentil soup. I was impressed with the soup, though it had a tangy sour taste, which comes from the Swiss chard. The broth was thin, I always thought lentil soup broth was a bit thicker, and the lentils were cooked perfectly. I would have liked this better if there wasn't the tangy sour taste.
Sirloin beef kebob with hummus, $10.99, with lentil soup. The first thing I noticed was the small portion! I know this was lunch, but the amount of beef was pretty small. The beef was perfectly cooked and very tender. They say it's sirloin and I'm sure it was, but this was more tender and flavorful than other Middle Eastern restaurants that called their kebobs, filet mignon.
The rice pilaf was nothing to write home about. It was there, it wasn't memorable, it added some carbs to the meal.
The hummus was wonderful. Most hummus is too tangy for me. This hummus was much more mild. It was very smooth, no lumps, and had the right consistency. It was made better by the warm pita bread. I hate going to Middle Eastern restaurants that serve cold pita bread.
Service was very good. I believe the owner was serving us. She was nice, friendly and informative. She was the only server and kept the 15 or so diners happy.
Overall I did enjoy my meal at Byblos Cafe, but I didn't think it's a good value. The portions are small and while the quality of the beef is very good, it's not worth making a trip back.