This Pioneer Square eatery does excellent business but never seems too crowded. Specialties include gyros and various falafel sandwiches. The belly ... More
This Pioneer Square eatery does excellent business but never seems too crowded. Specialties include gyros and various falafel sandwiches. The belly dancing on Friday tends to bring in the fraternity crowd, so attend at your own risk. The decor here is not ostentatious but is well chosen. The wall decorations come from all over the Middle East, and the large windows are open on warm days to allow fresh air in. Everything you would expect is here—Baklava, gyros and falafel—but the menu is also wide and varied. Beer and wine are available.
Zaina's is a, as it says on the marquee, "A place for friends."
My friend recently left for the Coast Guard. The ambiance of Zaina's, as well as the service were great. The four of us found that sharing a hookah, while enjoying drinks and food, was a perfect way to send her well as she was leaving.
The staff there are more than happy to assist with anything you may need, and we continue to plan our visits back!
This review is for Zaina on Third Ave downtown across from westlake center. It is more of a casual lunch type place, and after eating there four or five times I am ready to give what I feel is an honest (if somewhat glowing) review.
The food is great, I would venture to say they have the most delicious, creamiest hummus I have had anywhere, and I've been around the world more than once so that's saying something. I'm not actually a big hummus fan, but recently I have found myself craving theirs!
Their selection is broader than most "falafel huts" and the ingredients are always fresh and flavorful. Something that really stands out about this place though, is the property. They managed to turn a garage entry into a dining space, and I am not talking about a simple square garage, that's done all the time. This is the curved ground floor entry to a multi-level parking garage, so it's like a crescent that curves out of sight. Basically you are sitting (if you choose to sit outside) right on 3rd in downtown...excellent for people watching. It's a very interesting experience and really makes me feel like I am traveling, it's that different from any other dining space in Seattle.
Back to the food. Mmmmm! Their lamb shwarma is succulent and tender, and not overcooked,, which happens too often with lamb in public. The sauces are all delicate and definite, not a hodge podge of "mediteranean seasoning" in a base of one thing or another, each is distinctive and no one flavor is ruling the meal.
The falafel is light and tender inside, crispy outside, not greasy at all. The gyro is just what you would expect in a gyro, but MUCH tastier that most I've had locally. Again, emphasis on the freshness of the ingredients and the destinctiveness of each flavor, holding its own in the mix of half a dozen delights all bound together by fresh, fluffy warm pita.
The dessert selection is what you would expect, but the quality again is a step or two above average.
All in all I would say this is my new favorite for gyros and falafel in town. And definitely my favorite for hummus, anywhere.
I have not been to their Cherry street location, but I imagine it's probably as good, with more ambiance and perhaps a bit pricier?
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