Zane’s Lebanese Grill Features build-your-own Lebanese cuisine 

Chefs working in a kitchen.
Zane Ismail, center, takes an order from a customer. Photo by Laurie Bertke.

Zane’s Lebanese Grill is a fast casual spot in Sylvania that puts a Mediterranean twist on the build-your-own bowl concept, popularized by chains like Chipotle. 

Owned and operated by Zane Ismail and his children, the restaurant’s concise menu provides for endless combinations. “What makes us special is, it’s homemade, 100-percent-authentic, made-from-scratch Lebanese food that you can pick from to customize yiur meal,” explains Ali Ismail. “You can adapt to your health needs or your dietary restrictions.” 

Zane’s is a true family operation and the odds are good that at least one of the employees serving you is either its namesake or one of his adult children. Zane has worked in the industry since he opened the first Lebanese restaurant in Toledo in 1974, Sharif’s, and Ali describes his father as the expert and “recipe master.” 

The current concept evolved in 2008 when the family took over operation of an existing business ( then called Pita Sub) located at Convent and Main in Sylvania. A few years later, Ali came up with the idea of scaling down the menu and adopting the “build your own” formula. 

Around 2017, the family accepted an invitation to move their business to a space in the Sylvan Square shopping center at Brint and N. McCord Rds, near the Lourdes University campus. They continued to finetune their concept and changed the name about four years ago. 

Fast and friendly

Zane himself was working the grill when we visited on a Saturday night, and while we waited in line, he enthusiastically greeted guests and handed out generous samples of tender chicken — a shawarma-tawook hybrid — as well as chicken lemon soup and chai tea. While some people are surprised by this, Ali says they love to give samples because the practice is beneficial from a moral, spiritual and marketing perspective. 

The most popular selection on the menu is the bowl: start with a base of rice, lettuce or hummus and top with a protein or two. Options include beef, chicken, gyro, falafel or grilled veggies. Bowls can be made gluten free or dairy free. Ali notes that Zane’s does not use dairy in their garlic sauce. 

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The family is passionate about healthy food and healthy eating, and there not a freezer, fryer or microwave oven in the kitchen. “Everything’s made from scratch,” Ali said. “Do we go through a lot of extra steps to do that? Yes, we do. But it’s worth it and people can tell with the food.”

There is not a separate kid’s menu, but parents can customize to select items their child will eat. The BBQ chicken is popular among younger guests, as are the non-fried pita chips and “quesapita,” a cheese quesadilla with Zane’s garlic sauce. “It’s like if a cheese quesadilla and a garlic cheesy bread had a Lebanese baby,” Ali said. “It’s full of cheese but it’s light.”

A new addition to the Sylvania location is Zane’s Mediterranean Cafe, which features a tantalizing menu of cold and hot concoctions brewed with single-origin, organic Yemeni teas and coffee. Zane notes the chai is made with fresh cardamom and other spices that are prominently displayed on the counter, rather than a syrup. There are also plenty of cold refreshers including apple cider mint, pomegranate and lemonade. 

Made fresh to order

The food from Zane’s met with rave reviews from my entire family. My husband went with an original bowl ($11) with a base of yellow rice and seasoned beef and lamb kafta, while I ordered two premium platters ($18) that I shared with my three children. An employee told me the platters are meant to feed two people.

The proteins — we selected a combination of chicken, beef shawarma and gyro — came hot off the grill, nestled on a bed of yellow rice and topped with grilled zucchini and onion. We chose fattoush for our included salad, and the platter comes accompanied by hummus, garlic sauce and pita bread. The amount of food fed the four of us comfortably, though next time I will order extra pita bread to enjoy with the generous portion of hummus. 

For dessert we sampled a four piece mix of baklava ($7) and the cheesecake ($7). The baklava comes fresh daily from a bakery in Dearborn, Mich., while the cheesecake is made from scratch in house. 

Entrees at Zane’s come packaged for carryout and dine-in seating is limited, especially for larger groups, so my family opted to take our dinner home to eat. 

Bottom line

Zane’s formula for fast casual Lebanese has proved so successful that they added a second location in Lambertville in 2022. The restaurant is extremely clean, the staff is warm and welcoming and the food is top notch, making it a great spot to pick up a quick and healthy family meal.


Grill: Monday-Saturday, 11am-9pm

Cafe: Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm

The Short Course:

Online ordering? Yes

Carryout? Yes

Delivery? Yes

Outdoor Dining? No

Kids Menu? No

Changing Table? No

Booster Seat/High Chair? Yes


4.8 of 5 on Facebook with 239 reviews

4.8 of 5 on Google with 598 reviews

4.6 of 5 on Grubhub with 287 reviews

Zane’s makes it fresh, fast and delicious 

4900 N McCord Rd., Sylvania. 419-882-1796.