Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pasha Turkish Restaurant- A petite restaurant near Rice University

Restaurant- Pasha Restaurant
2325 University Boulevard Houston, Texas 77005
Buffet or a-la-carte? a-la-carte
Date of visit: 10/5/2013


Photo Credit: (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CWrSdvcHkug/T96FSxcRcSI/AAAAAAAAFOs/e1ke8LSw0xM/s250-c-k-no/Pasha%2BRestaurant)

Background:
Salam/Hello guys! Today I will be reviewing Pasha restaurant, a Turkish restaurant that is opposite Rice University. Pasha is frequently populated by Rice Students. It is a petite restaurant, which is common in that area of Houston. I was craving for something that would fill me up. The Chemistry lab today was so long that we had to stay until 2:30 just to finish it up. Thus I had little time to eat and come back to finish my homework. With the Galleria area ruled out, I only had the choice of Pasha, or going vegetarian. Of course, the anti-vegetarian me went here. Getting here was very difficult. Driving around the Rice University area is very challenging. Most roads are single lanes, and you have to watch out for cars that are parallel parked or backing out. The roads are not marked properly, so look out for any cars coming near you. When you turn left into a shop or house, you end up causing the whole road to stop just so you could turn. To top it off, the roads were in poor conditions. My car (2013 Camry SE) was susceptible to scratches on its bumper because of all the surprising ditches. Unlike most models, the SE is lower to give it the sporty feeling. When turning to the parking lot of the restaurant. There was another surprise ditch >.< Now back to the restaurant. Pasha has been awarded many times by food review companies, most notably Zagat. Now having a Zagat is something to brag about because it reviews restaurants worldwide and gives recommendations to those who stand out. So after parking my car and checking for damage (Thankfully there wasn't any), I went in.



Let The Experience Begin:
Inside Pasha is very dark. it seems like the lights were not on. on the walls were pictures of famous landmarks in Turkey. There were also pictures with the Turkey tourism logo seal with it. There was also Turkish music playing. It actually reminded me of my trip to Turkey during senior year of High School, eating delicious kafta kababs in front of the Maiden's Tower in Istanbul on a chilly sunny day. Or eating a delicious buffet at a ski resort near Mount Erciyus in the central city of Kayseri. Or eating at a restaurant frequented by government officials in Ankara, the capital city. In reality, I was eating with a view of Rice University, big houses, and trees. The waitress noticed me and helped me to a table. After skimming through the menu, I proceeded to order.



Let's Eat!
After seeing the menu, I had decided to strike out the things that I have had during my trip to Turkey and the Turkish restaurant in Pittsburgh. This included doner (gyro), adana, shish, and kafta. Now don't get me wrong, I love Turkish food. I went to a school run by Turkish Muslims, where they have invited me to their homes and fed us really delicious food. And in Turkey, it was like Man vs. Food FOR 10 CONSECUTIVE DAYS! Constantly being stuffed down with Turkish delicacies like Kayseri dumplings and Iskender (gyro with yogurt and tomato paste). I have tried everything from pide (turkish pizza) to lahmacun (minced meat on top of bread) to dolma (rice and meat stuffed in grape leaves). There was only one thing I didn't try, the Beyti Kabab. Beyti kabab is basically beef and lamb kabab that is packed in a special Anatolian flatbread called lavash. It's actually named after the world famous chef at the famous Beyti restaurant in Istanbul. It's actually the most popular item in that same place where celebrities, politicians and other notable people have dined in. Along with it came vegetables, rice, and yogurt sauce. Along with that, I got free water. While waiting, the waitress gave me free bread to eat while waiting. A nice touch. The waiting time was a modest 10 minutes and 32 seconds. The price was quite expensive at $15.70 (tax included). After paying the bill, you get free Turkish tea! Another nice touch.



Menu: This restaurant has separate menus for lunch and dinner. It even has one dedicated to dessert and Turkish pizzas. Also, alcohol is served but not used in cooking.



Bread and water (don't know what that sauce is)



Beyti Kabab



Turkish Tea



The Verdict:
The food definitely reminded me of the Turkey trip. It was fantastic. It was like being there again and feasting on the food. The lavash was very tasty, but the kabab was the best. The rice was well cooked, the vegetables were fresh, and the yogurt sauce was a perfect condiment. The bread at the beginning was very tasty, and the Turkish tea was absolutely phenomenal. All it needed was one sugar cube and it did the trick. The food was drained by a much needed bottle of water. One area of improvement can be the portion size. There could be some more rice and vegetables because they are perfect accompaniments with the kabab. A couple more pieces of kabab would also be nice. The reason why I am saying is because the $15 I am paying for to eat the food should be filling. In Turkey, I only had to pay around $13 at the kabab place in front of the Maiden's Tower to get some nice filling kafta kabab. Taste wise, they are spot on, but the portions can be a little bigger.



Conclusion:
No doubt Turkish home cooked food is better, but between this and Kebab Factory in Pittsburgh, this one takes the cake for being closest to it. Kebab factory may have bigger portions, but this one is definitely better in taste. And you get free stuff too. I cannot however determine whether it is the best Turkish restaurant in this area of Houston. This is because in a 10 mile radius, there are 6 other Turkish restaurants, half of which are near Rice University. So until I try out the other Turkish restaurants, I can't decide. But I can say that Pasha sets a high standard for Turkish restaurants here, and that I would definitely dine here again.



Grading:
Service: 9/10
Food: 9/10
Waiting Time: 10/10
Total: 28/30 = 93.3% (A)
Pricing: $$$ out of $$$$ (Dinner is expensive)


Restaurant Information
Pasha Restaurant
2325 University Boulevard Houston, Texas 77005
Phone: (713) 592-0020
Timings: Sun-Thu: 11 AM - 10 PM; Fri-Sat: 11 AM - 11 PM; Mon: Closed
Caters: Yes
Party Room available


Feel free to comment below!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

2 comments:

  1. This is really cool! Ive been dying to try malaysian or african halal food - can you review one of those next? (I dont know any halal malaysian or african restaurants though...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I actually did a review on an Ethiopian restaurant. The link is below

      http://worldhalalrestaurantsreviews.blogspot.com/2013/08/lucy-ethiopian-restaurant-and-lounge.html?m=0

      Delete