…. that could very easily be siblings. One in Landsdale, PA and the other in Tarrytown, NY. Both serving Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food in similar settings.
Let me begin with The Oasis at Landsdale, PA. Kudos to the owner for the absolutely appropriate name, for the place is truly an Oasis in a town that has nothing to offer except standard fast food, some token Chinese food and a sad little Indian restaurant. This restaurant is run by a Lebanese man in his house. The ambience is informal and nothing fancy. The service is a tad slow because it is the owner who takes orders, serves your food and cleans up after you. Not a complaint, I personally would not go to such a place to have a hurried weekday lunch.
Our party of two vegetarians and two non-vegetarians ordered a Vegetarian Shawarma Sandwich, Falafel sandwich, Chicken Shawarma Sandwich and a Shish Tawook Sanwich. The vegetarian sandwiches were great. Except, I cannot comment on the “Shawarma” aspect of the sandwich because a Shawarma is usually spit roasted meat. The eggplant in this vegetarian version was not spit roasted and tasted very different from the Chicken apparently. Nonetheless, it was a great tasting sandwich with juicy vegetables and spicy tahini sauce. The Falafel sandwich and the Shish Tawook were both spot on. The biggest disappointment was the Chicken Shawarma. Cold, dry and rolled up with some potatoes. Certainly not authentic.
We did look at the desserts on a display case as we walked in to the restaurant. When we told the owner that we would order some from the menu, he just walked over to the display case, put two of each kind on a platter and got it over to our table. And oh, they also serve Turkish coffee. The sweets were good, not great. Ditto with the coffee.
The Verdict: We left the restaurant with a full stomach, a sugar rush and wallets that were hardly dented. If you ever end up in Landsdale, go here. If you live there, patronize it.
The other sibling goes by the name of Santorini. It is located in a quiet corner of Tarrytown and if you haven’t guessed already, this operates out of a house too. Just A little more professional than The Oasis. Santorini’s menu tends a little more towards Greek cuisine with Dolmadakia, Fish and Saganaki being the most obvious differences between the two. The husband and I shared a plate of Dolmadakia, among the better that I have eaten. I quite liked them, something that doesn’t happen at all places. The Tsatsiki that came with them was nice and creamy. I suspect much more sour cream than needed. We also had some black lentil soup. Very nice. For main course, we had the vegetarian Moussaka. My only gripe was that the dish did not have enough salt.
The Verdict: Again, a nice and reasonably priced restaurant. I will go back to eat some Saganaki and Baklava. Do go there once.