Home  >  Dining  >  Dining Reviews

Chowtown

A heaping helping of news & reviews from DFW’s dining scene.

Review: Al Wadi Cafe in Bedford

Al Wadi Café 2712 Brown Trail Bedford 817-282-2156 Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday


Posted 6:20pm on Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2011

When it comes to pronounced flavors, Lebanese cuisine never disappoints. And it’s easy on the pocketbook, too.

But my favorite part is the near-ridiculous amount of olive oil in many of the dishes. At home, I’m one with the olive: I’ll cook anything in olive oil, from pasta and steaks to eggs and even pancakes. (It’s a healthy choice.)

So in that regard, the fattoush salad ($5.95) is the best place to start at Al Wadi Cafe. A mix of bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, mint, onions, tomatoes and parsley is drenched in olive oil. Throw in some lemon and crispy pita chips, and you’ve got fresh, tangy decadence.

On the other hand, my brain (and mouth) has yet to understand dolmas ($4.95-$6.95), the popular Middle Eastern appetizer of vegetarian or nonvegetarian stuffing wrapped in grape leaves. I find their taste to be overly pungent, and I’ve tried to convert myself many times to no avail. Regardless, you’ll find both hot and cold versions at Al Wadi, and they’re fresh.

There are other appetizers, like manakeesh meat (ground beef with pine nuts, $3.95), sambousik (pastry dough filled with cheese or beef, $4.45) and kibbeh ($4.95-$7.95), a starchy, deep-fried dough stuffed with flavorful, lightly seasoned beef, bulgur wheat and spices. The dough is thick, and the spices give the dish a subtle cinnamon flavor complemented by the accompanying pomegranate molasses.

At first glance, the skewers on the lamb kebab dish (lunch, $9.95; dinner, $12.95) seem insufficient, but between the tender, peppery lamb and a full plate of hummus, parsley salad, fluffy rice and vegetables, you might want to prep the to-go box beforehand. There’s enough there for two people.

Most of the above are Lebanese dishes, but Al Wadi has a few Greek plates if you want both worlds in one sitting. The gyro ($5.95) is prepared with thinly sliced lamb and beef and topped with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. The meat is flavorful and pleasantly salty, and unlike most gyros I’ve tried, Al Wadi’s was moist and tender.

The mousaka ($9.95), another Greek dish, is my favorite at the café. It’s a layered stack of eggplant, ground beef and potatoes in a sweet marinara sauce. The eggplant and potatoes are soft, and there’s plenty of beef in the dish to please my meathead sensibilities. It’s basically a variation on Italian lasagna. (Another dish, the pastitsio, is almost identical to Italian lasagna.)

You can try many of these dishes on Al Wadi’s lunch buffet (11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday). The restaurant’s traditional offerings make an appearance, but about a quarter of the buffet is reserved for new items not on the menu.

And if that’s not enough to get you there, the place also has flavored hookahs on the patio. Now that the weather seems to be chilling out a bit, we can hookah it up all evening. On a full stomach, of course.

Loading map ...

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?


Hey there. or join DFW.com. Your account. Log out.

Remember me




We now have a new, simpler way for you to enter and search for events, at listings.dfw.com. As always, when you submit an event to appear online, it will also be available for us in our print publication. But now you can simply enter your event and provide an email address, rather than creating a separate account and registering. Our new listings tool is still a work in progress, so we appreciate your patience as we fine-tune it. Please contact us at hsvokos@dfw.com if you have any questions or concerns.