Let’s Go Kabobbin’! – Sidon Lebanese Grille & Bakery

. February 1, 2016.
sidon-grille

Sidon Lebanese Grille & Bakery
4625 W. Bancroft St. Toledo 43615
419-558-3900
Mon-Thur: 8am-9pm | Fri-Sat: 8am-10pm | Sun: 8am-8pm

The Short Course

Kid-friendly: Yes
To avoid wait: Go anytime
Noise level: Moderate
Bathroom amenities: Clean but no changing station
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes and a selection of bottled juices
Kids’ menu? Yes
Food allergy concerns? Always make them aware prior to ordering; no dairy or nuts are on the line and they do not use peanut oil

Though it may be the time of year to grab your toboggan, the kids and I are off to go kabobbin’! As we continue to eat our way around town, we were delighted to discover a new Lebanese restaurant that’s not only authentically delicious but also family friendly and affordable. And they are open for breakfast, too! It was love at first bite.

Local family brings the taste of Lebanon to Toledo

There are several Lebanese restaurants in the area, each a bit unique in their own way. The new Sidon Lebanese Grille and Bakery is no exception. Named after the third largest city in Lebanon, it recently opened in November on Bancroft Street between Talmadge and Reynolds roads. Father and son owners, Mahmoud and Bahaa Hariri, opened the Grille beside their new location of Middle East Market. The mid-sized market, loaded with fresh meats, cheeses, produce, deli offerings and dry goods, is conveniently located next to the restaurant.

Bahaa Hariri, Mahmoud’s son and husband of Toledo Parent editor, Nadine, was born in Toledo. He and his family moved back to Lebanon for many years before returning here where they call home, according to Bahaa. After owning Middle East Market (formerly on Dorr near Reynolds) for many years, the family recognized the potential for a successful restaurant, and opened Sidon as a way to offer customers much more than the market’s deli counter.

Fast casual and comfortable

Sidon incorporates the fast casual concept of dining where you order your meal at the counter, seat yourself, and your food is delivered to your table. Noticing we were newbies and a bit intimidated by the menu, friendly employees were patient and helpful in guiding our dining decisions.

They offer a variety of kids’ menu items at reasonable prices, but my boys were having none of that. They wanted to try a bit of everything just like me! Eventually we ordered and then seated ourselves at a table in the dining area, which my teen described as “rustic chic.” We helped ourselves to a pitcher of water and bottled juice and milk are also available for your children. There are plans to debut a juice bar at the front of the restaurant in the near future as well.

Stone fire oven heats things up

Clearly one of the main features that sets Sidon apart from other Lebanese restaurants is their stone-fire oven. Just as bread is prepared in Lebanon in stone-fire ovens, the Lebanese pizzas called manakeesh and their pita bread is made the same way. “We’ve gotten great feedback on the taste of our fresh bread and manakeesh, diners can taste the difference,” said Bahaa.

Their varieties of kabobs are grilled on a natural charcoal barbeque.  We began dinner with two of their 15 choices of manakeesh. The cheese manakeesh is prepared with Akawi cheese. It’s a white brine cheese with origins in the Middle East. It was a sure fire hit with my bunch. The pizzas are another affordable option for the younger set.

The menu offers eight varieties of pita sandwiches, burgers, and 11 choices of kabob dinners. Fatayer (pastries filled with cheese, meat or vegetables) and authentic breakfast items are also on the menu. Between the four of us, we gobbled up shish tawook and shish kafta kabobs. The charcoal-fired flavor was outstanding! The boys devoured a shish tawook pita sandwich and a Lebanese burger served with cole slaw and fresh-cut fries right on the sandwich! The portions were plentiful, leaving us with enough to enjoy leftovers the following day.  As the parent of three growing children with ravenous appetites, I was pleased at the amount of high quality, authentic food we shared together without breaking the bank.

Unlike many restaurants, they keep prices reasonable by offering fries as an add-on. Often times two servings of fries between us are ample, and I would prefer saving the extra money or spending it on additional appetizers.

Bottom Line: The unique stone fire oven and natural charcoal barbeque will win over your taste buds with your first bite. Sidon’s inviting atmosphere, as well as its friendly service, are additional reasons to stop in with the family. From adventurous options to chicken nuggets, there is sure to be something pleasing for the younger set.

Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH. She can be reached in c/o editor@toledoparent.com.