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Feb 19, 2008 06:13 AM

Anyone been to The Pomegranate Grill in Lakewood, NJ

I went to this restaurant once after the owner reopened it. It used to be Heimish Pizza which had great gyros and pre-made foods. It was pretty good, but service was a little bit crazy (probably due to inexperienced waitstaff). It has become a mediteranean grill with fish, lamb couscous and other things I can't remember (since I haven't been there in over a month). I was just curious if anyone else had been there and what they're opinion of it was.

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  1. Is it kosher? It sounds as though you have tried it. If so, what did you have and what did you think of it?

    5 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      What part of Lakewood was it in? There are some not so safe places for a resto to be in.

      1. re: RGR

        Sorry for the late reply, RGR. It isn't kosher anymore. When I went, I had a shish kabob dish that was delicious. The shrimp was grilled so the outside was crispy and the inside was tender and sweet. Same for the beef. It was deliciously cooked to medium rare. I wanted the lamb couscous, but they ran out that night. I would say it was quite good, but a little out of my way since I don't go onto route 9 that often.

        Barbarella, I'm not sure what you're talking about. This was on Route 9 between Toms River and lakewood. The address is 1209 river road (did a quick google lookup).

        1. re: alielle

          Thanks for the (delayed) report, alielle. We rarely go down that way to eat these days, but Pomegranate Gill might be worth checking out sometime. Googling turned up no website. But I did come across a bunch of photos from a private party that was held there. One snap shows the outdoor sign. Slight correction re: the address you gave. It's 1211 River Road.

          1. re: RGR

            One more piece of information. Andrea Clurfeld gave a generally positive review in this weeks APP.

      2. I went to the Pomegranate Grill last weekend. The restaurant upgraded my local dining experience, food is delicious, the place is authentic and service is great. Definitely worth checking it out!!!
        You can check out the menu at

        4 Replies
        1. re: Devochka

          Thanks for the url but the next time please do not put... after url as you killed the link...

          1. re: Devochka

            Hey, Devochka,

            Welcome to Chowhound! :-) I've been considering trying Pomegranate Which dishes in particular did you like and would recommend?

            1. re: RGR

              Hello. Thank you, RGR:-))
              For the appetizers we shared Burekas, which was fillo dough stuffed with spinach, and it was hot, fluffy and good. We also had Mediterranean starter platter for 2, which gave us a little bit of everything. The best thing on the platter was the assorted eggplant salads and stuffed grape leaves.
              For main courses we had lamb and beef shish kebabs and lamb couscous, which was out of this world. Every dish was sooo different and well prepared. One can tell it's a family owned restaurant and not a chain store...
              If you try the places, don't forget to order the apple shtrudel. It's as if my grandma made it:-)))

          2. Do they still have Belly Dancing on weekends? I have only heard good things so far ....I must try it sometime.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Tapas52

              yeah, they do. I believe on friday and saturday. we were there saturday night, the belly dancer was there, beautiful performance!!!
              i think they have the schedule and hours on their web site.
              and starting next week they will have ladies nigth on thursdays with belly dancing lessons, i'm really looking forward for it:-)))

              1. re: Devochka

                Thank you so much I gotta get over there for dinner for sure.
                It sounds intriguing!!

            2. here's the website for anyone that wants it.
              we went last night and liked the food. evelyn's food in new brunswick is definitely better, but for ocean county it was good!

              4 Replies
              1. re: aLisa6

                Just took the family tonight for an early dinner.

                The "welcome plate" with excellent fresh baked pita and turkish bread along with about 8 little plates of mezze was wonderful. We went through 2 bowls of bread. The shrimp cocktail was big and full of nice sized shrimp and the mixed fried appetizer was very good as well. We shared one of each of onion soup and shrimp bisque and thought maybe soup wasn't their strong point, but the ceaser salad was decent enough.

                For mains we shared a ribeye steak, which came with spanish potatoes and grilled veggies which was the best of the three mains. We also had a grilled salmon that was fair ( I like my fish slightly undercooked at least ) and the spanish rice with it was good but not as good as the potatoes. Oddly enough, the worst of the mains was the Couscous Tagine with Lamb which was bland and full of mushy vegetables. I loooove stews and make all kinds from all different cultures at home and was looking forward to something I would want to add to my list, but this was not it - feh.

                For dessert we shared some baklava that was nowhere near as good as I was expecting and a nice plate of fruit with a chocolate fondue dip that made the kids very happy.

                All in all it was a mixed experience, but on the whole I agree that Evelyn's food is better. I think that, for the area, you can't get better Turkish food, but from Freehold it's better to go to Marmara or up to New Brunswick.

                1. re: seal

                  Thanks for the report, seal. Considering your mixed experience, and the fact that we're further north of Freehold, I don't think Pomegranate is worth the shlep for us, especially since Marmara is only 4 minutes away. Plus, as you know, we spend a good deal of time in NYC, and we have several favorite Turkish places there.

                  1. re: RGR

                    I drove past the restaurant this afternoon and noticed a sign proclaiming that it's under new ownership and now kosher.

                    1. re: bgut1

                      Considering the large observant Jewish population in Lakewood, that seems like a change which would be good for business.

              2. Don't Bother!!! They are not ready for Prime Time!! We were there on 11/2/2008 with a party of 5. They also stated this was their first day and (I don't doubt it) they said they used to be a pizza parlor, the waitress kept apolgizing, obviously not her fault. They did not seem familiar with their website, or its menu, though the decor and half-covered sign outside matched their website photos and logo. The new sign also entitled Pomegranite Grill did not completely cover the old Pomegranite Grill sign. Their receipt still says Heimishe Pizza in big letters and underneath that Pomegranite Grill . The menu does not correspond to their web site, (no seafood or fish for example) There was also no Prix Fix menu either (though it is hyped on their website.) and the food was expensive, which would be acceptable if it were good, but alas..... We arrived at 4:30pm I had to go into the kitchen to find someone, they were supposed to be open at 2:30 pm. There was one waitress and that was the entire non-kitchen staff. They provided a free appetizer some hummous and some stewed onion/tomato in olive oil dip which was good with fresh store-bought pita. After that things went downhill. The vegetarian mushroom pastries we tried were soggy wads of dough with one thin slice of mushroom inside. The pomegranate salad was good, though really just iceberg lettuce with fresh avocado morsels and pomegranate seeds. These extras were all additional a la carte. Then came the entrees priced at $25 each for chicken and couscous, and they were pretty bad considering. The couscous tangine was served on a plate, not in a tangine, (despite its name and the pictures on the website) the dishwater sauce provided was tasteless (why bother?) and came 10 minutes before the couscous, consisting of 3 pieces of stringy lamb and a few very old baked vegetables, like celery on a bed of tasteless mediocre couscous. The food and plate were actually served COLD: After apologizing and reheating, the couscous was still flavorless. We also tried a chicken dish served with fried potato slices and overcooked stringbeans which no one finished. The chicken was cooked chopped through the bone but was still dry. The fried potato slivers were good. Finally, two coffees took 45 minutes more, though there was only one other party in the restaurant. and they had ABSOLUTELY no milk for the American coffee. They did not charge for the coffees as a result, but I still felt heartilly ripped off, the food was mediocre at best and very overpriced. Obviously, nobody was watching what was coming out of the kitchen. I was grateful it did not make us sick. It is interesting that the original post dating back to February 2008 reports that it used to be Heimish Pizza, then it went Mediterranean. It sounds as though it went back to pizza parlor and now it is back to Mediterranean again, without the fish. Not recommended.

                7 Replies
                1. re: mars373

                  Sorry mars373 - the reason for no milk is because the restaurant is kosher. They should however have offered some non-dairy creamer.

                    1. re: mars373

                      Are you sure it was butter? It was probably margarine.

                  1. re: mars373

                    That does sound awful. But just to add to what bgut said about what is forbidden in kosher restaurants, there would not be any seafood (shellfish) on the menu either though fish with scales is permissible.

                    1. re: RGR

                      The menu on their website has shrimp cocktail, shrimp bisque, salmon and mussels. The website is dated 2008 , if they have revised their menu they should revise their website!

                      Re: dairy, I don't recall if the new menu had anything with dairy in it, but they did provide us with butter when requested, and they looked for milk? I'm not an expert but I think that Kosher dietary laws only require that utensils and plates used for dairy and meat are separated.

                      1. re: mars373

                        You are thinking about kosher dietary laws as they relate to home kitchens. However, when it comes to restaurants, those that are certified kosher cannot serve both meat and dairy -- it's either or.

                        Are you sure you were not given margarine? If it was butter, then they are not kosher.

                        With regard to the on-line menu, the change to supposedly being kosher is recent, so that would be the menu from when the restaurant was not kosher. If they are truly kosher now, I agree it should be up-dated.

                        1. re: RGR

                          Sorry about the repeated question. I just noticed RGR's post. She 100% correct BTW. :)