Pasha’s Mediterranean Grill is one of those places where you are pretty sure what you’re going to order during the drive over. If you’re with a close friend, such as your spouse, it’s likely you know what he or she will order, too.
With us, the negotiations begin outside the door. He, for instance, almost always gets the Vegetarian Plate. This means that I can forget getting some of the Baba Ghannouj (puréed, roasted eggplant) that he loves, but I might get a crunchy falafel (fried chickpea patties).
On the other hand, if I give him at least one of the pickles from my plate, he will allow me to have a couple of spoonfuls of hummus from his. Who says romance is dead?
At Pasha, which is on Wurzbach Road just west of I-10, you’ll also find some of the friendliest, most attentive employees in the city. I don’t say this lightly. I have favorites in all parts of town. But the servers, hosts and even managers here are nothing but helpful.
The restaurant is informal. You stand in line and order as in other fast-serve restaurants in town. At Pasha, though, after you are seated they bring the meal to your table, the bread, the water and any re-orders you might wish to make.
The food at Pasha is better than good. I won’t say that every dish there is the best example of each dish that I’ve ever had. I might have tasted a better tabbouleh salad at one place, or a peerless hummus with a generous sheen of olive oil and a dash of powdered sumac at another.
But at Pasha, you can count on good, straightforward dishes that taste like what the menu says.
The chicken breast on the kebabs two of us ordered recently were not in the least overcooked. The flavors of the marinade on my chicken kebab, marinated in saffron, lemon juice and olive oil, actually tasted of these things instead of time too long spent on the broiler. The dish comes with Pasha’s beautiful basmati rice, but they nicely substituted a smaller version of a Greek salad for me.
A friend’s Sheesh Tawook Kebab, was, if anything, even juicier than mine. Yes, he liked the other food on the dish, the potatoes and cabbage and pickles, but what really won him over was an innocent appearing, but quite powerful, creamy garlic sauce served as a condiment.
I was not particularly happy with the sliced beef and lamb mixture on my Gyros Plate on another visit. It was cool and dry. I loved the garlicky flavor, but this meat needs to be sliced onto the plate immediately before serving to get to the table warm. It didn’t seem to be a fluke, either. A companion on another visit had the same cool, dry slices.
The big, puffy rounds of freshly baked flatbread that come to the table look to me like Indian naan. (I haven’t asked if they have tandoor oven back there.) Whatever it is, it’s an appealing, hot, puffy loaf that you tear apart. If you go into Pasha and order just a side dish of hummus, bread and some pickles, you’ll have a fine afternoon snack.
On my next visit, I have decided to not go to Pasha with my mind made up. The Greek Moussaka, a casserole extraordinaire, or Joojeh Kebab, a Cornish hen marinated in saffron, lemon juice and olive oil, grilled, and served with rice and grilled tomatoes are tempting. And, I’m trusting Pasha to do it right.
Pasha Mediterranean Grill
9330 Wurzbach Road
Lunch and dinner: Daily