Rushi in Austin (I-35/Parmer) closed / went to Byblos instead
We took a trip out to Rushi and were so sad to find it had closed. It is now replaced by "Clay Pot", which is a seafood soup buffet (looked Korean to us).
Thankfully we were able to go next door to Byblos and have some decent Lebanese, which is really hard to find around here. Their baba ghanoush was great, as were the fava beans. Oh and they had my beloved garlic spread, which made me happy. :) Their hummus was decent but I can make better at home, and the beef kafta was not as seasoned as it should be. But everyone was friendly and it was cheap and good. We'll go back.
Sorry for the late response.
I think the baba ghanoush at Byblos was great -- one of the best I've had (and I've had a lot!). The smoky flavor was pronounced and it had lots of bright lemon, which is exactly how I like it.
The fava beans were really outstanding, too.
I will be sure and order the Zataar bread next time as that's a favorite of mine. I often make it at home. I do like mdardara, although it's not a favorite, so I'll have to give theirs a chance. I would like to try their bread with cheese, as I'm hoping it's like some I used to get from great hole-in-the wall ME place back in college.
I have been to Phoenicia for groceries, but never ordered any food. The food on their carry out menu was really overpriced ($6 for a tiny tub of hummous when I can make a food-processor-bowl-full for $1) and I'd heard their falafel isn't great (why is it so hard to find great falafel?). Their grocery section is wonderful, though -- divine olives and cheeses! mmmm
BTW I noticed that Byblos gets their pita from Phoenicia. It's great pita for storebought, but how wonderful would it be if they made their own? I haven't discovered fresh pita anywhere around Austin yet.
When at Byblos, try the zatar bread. The flat bread with a mix of sesame, sumac, thyme, salt, olive oil and other magic just out of the oven is truly addictive. If you don't see any pre-made all the better. Definitely ask for it. The mixture of lentils and rice called mdardarah is also worth a try (or in my case, a double side of it when ording a combo meal, it's very yummy). If you like Lenanese food, this is the place (except for desserts and sweets - then your place is probably Phoenicia)
Clay Pot is a seafood hot pot place. It's expensive, and I think only worth it if a) you have lots of time for a meal and b) know what you want in your hot pot. The pot has two sides, one with a spicier broth and one with a milder salty one. Everyone in my party preferred the spicy broth. They do have a small buffet too with hot items which were the standard American-Chinese buffet.
Yes, Rushi has been closed for about a year. I hate to keep repeating myself, but you should check out Bombay Express in the same center for Indian food next time you are out this way.
Would you say the baba ghanoush is the best thing at Byblos? I've only had their wraps which i enjoyed, but I'd like to branch out.