When your day is filled with work and meetings, it can be hard to find time to sit down to lunch, and if you’re like a lot of people and you aren’t willing to eat at a fast food place, it can be almost impossible. Tabooli, located on East Michigan Ave., gives hungry people in a hurry a tasty, less greasy alternative to fast food. I stopped at the Mediterranean restaurant on my lunch break recently, and if I’m completely honest, I wasn’t sure that I would like it. As someone who has eaten “real” Mediterranean food made by my mom and aunt, I’m a pretty harsh critic of the stuff that restaurants make. But I told myself to keep an open mind as I pulled up to the brightly colored building. As soon as I walked in, I was hit with the smell of garlic and spices; it smelled delicious, and I found myself starting to change my mind about the place. If it smelled that good, the food had to be pretty good, too! I had heard people call Tabooli the Subway of Mediterranean food, and now I understand why; all of the food that they serve is on display in containers behind a glass case. Customers can create their own entrée from the selections or they can order off the menu and add whatever toppings they want. When I walked up to the counter to order, I was greeted by a cheerful staff member who didn’t stop smiling throughout our entire interaction, which I appreciated. When I asked her what I should order, she made a lot of suggestions, and ultimately piled my bowl full of rice, chicken shawarma, tabouli, baba ganoush, hummus, cucumbers, feta salsa, pickled turnips and pita bread. I will say that if you’re someone who doesn’t like it when your food touches, this probably wouldn’t be a great choice for you — but it doesn’t bother me, so I didn’t think it was a big deal when all of my food was piled into one bowl. I was actually a little impressed with how much she managed to fit. I had been planning to try the fatoush salad as well, but with the amount of food in front of me, I decided I’d have to come back another time to try that. The dining room is bright, colorful and clean, and when I sat down to eat, I was feeling pretty optimistic about the restaurant. Everything about my visit up to that point had been very pleasant, and I was excited to try my food. Even though nothing will ever compare to the Mediterranean food that my mom and aunt make, Tabooli’s food was pretty good, and I got it very fast. Everything in my bowl was fresh and flavorful, and the fact that it took less than 20 minutes for me to walk in, order, pay and eat was really great. If you’re looking for a quick meal on a busy work day, I would definitely recommend Tabooli as a fresher, faster option.
Alicia Pilmore is a Communications Specialist at M3 Group and Editor for the Capital Area Women's Lifestyle Magazine. She loves writing, wine tasting and spoiling her cat, Pishi.