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Mar 17, 2008 02:50 AM

Is $7.50 a pound too much for Tabbouleh?

I was quite taken aback to pay this at Leb. Taverna take-out near Lorcom Lane. I didn't realize the cost till my mid-size container (3 1/2 " high = one pond of tabbouleh) was filled. Ouch! For parsley, more or less...?

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  1. I had the same reaction when I saw the prices for miniscule tubs of guacamole in some stores. Some stuff I just refuse to order because I think the prices are ridiculous considering what you're getting.

      1. re: alkapal

        That's ridiculous. Just make your own at home.

        1. re: xena1441

          i know. so easy. i was lazy. i'm going to see how much i could make for that price.

          1. re: alkapal

            Enought for about forty people, I'd guess. Its just bulgur, parsely, onion, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, water and lemon.

            1. re: Ellen

              Don't forget energy and time.

              1. re: MikeR

                It doesn't take me much energy or time to make Tabbouleh. If this was chicken or tuna salad, I could understand, but this is wheat soaked in water, the other main ingredient. Whole Foods doesn't charge that much, and they ain't cheap.

      2. Now, Leb. Taverna has increased its prices for ALL takeout mezze dishes: $7.99 per pound. it could be green beans and olive oil. or turnips, or tabbouleh. kibbes are about 1.75 each -- up from last week. I'm sorry, but that is it for me! they don't seem to care a whit when you talk about the vastly increasing prices.

        5 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          gas prices risisng, ingrediants costs risisng, food prices rising- pretty simple

          according to the Wa Po. pizza makes are stuggling becuase every ingrediant used to make ppizza has gone sky high

          its the economy.....

          1. re: cocoagirl

            wheat has doubled in price in the last year, along with gas prices, higher gas and electric bills, I think they have a good case for raising their prices. Maybe the time has come for people to cook at home more

            1. re: cleveland park

              Or maybe not eat pizza three times a week.

              Mrs. Monkey picked up hand cranked grain mill and about 30 lbs of whole grain wheat. Even managed to get the neighborhood kids working it. Now's the time to put those pudgy little kids TO WORK.

              You can also adapt your eating habits. I'm saving a few shekels by using romaine lettuce leaves instead of flour tortillas when I make fajitas and burritos. If it's good enough for the Koreans...

            2. re: cocoagirl

              Maybe I'm a sucker, but I pay over $2 for a single scoop of frozen custard at Dairy Godmother or Frozen Dairy Bar. Infrequently, of course, both because of my wallet and my waistline.

              This is a pretty simple concoction - mix, some flavoring, push the button, and scoop it out, far less labor intensive than making tabouleh, but the mix has to get there by truck (rising gas prices), and the freezer has a large refrigeration unit attached (rising electrical prices). Somebody's gotta pay for that, and in this case, it's me.

          2. Sounds like a pretty fair price.

            Imagine if you had a craving (like I do sometimes)

            So you drive/walk/metro to your local Giant/Safeway/Whole foods

            @ peapod

            2 bunches of parsley - 1.98
            1 head of garlic - 0.69
            1 package of mint - 2.49
            1 white onion - 74
            4 roma tomatoes - 1.98
            2 lemons - 1.46
            1 package of bulghur - ~3.00

            = 12.34

            + salt, pepper, and olive oil that you should have on hand (or more if you don't)

            And I'm not sure after you do all of that you'll actually have 16 oz.s of finished product.

            And if you don't eat all 1lb of the tabbouleh and end up throwing some away......

            2 Replies
            1. re: WestIndianArchie

              are those the peapod prices? they aren't reflective of the recent prices i have seen in stores; but in any event, your recipe with that 2 bunches of parsley and "package" of bulgur will make at least three or four pound of tabbouleh.

              1. re: alkapal

                You can check the site if you want. The only thing it didn't have was the bulghur. And I googled that real quick. Even w/o the wheat, it's 9.34.

            2. i just made about two pounds with a cost of about $2.50.

              there is not enough wheat in tabbouleh to come near to justifying these price hikes. i shop for groceries, so i know ingredients' costs at retail. folks, please don't opine in the abstract; you have to know the dishes that i am talking about --- and for which LT is charging now 8 bucks a pound (and a pound is not very much of some dishes). the per pound price now at LT is unrelated to the cost of ingredients of the individual dishes. i am so annoyed with them.

              westindianarchie, a pound of tabbouleh fits in a 3 1/2" deli container!

              7 Replies
              1. re: alkapal

                Let's see the receipts.

                Chances are if you have a hankering for tabbouleh, you're going to spend more than 7.50 for a pound to make it fresh.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Although this is getting petty, I am having fun with this. I do have one question, where do you shop? I would love to buy all the ingredients that go into tabbouleh for 2.50 (or even about that number)

                  1. re: cleveland park

                    i shop at giant and safeway and harris teeter. do any of you naysayers actually make tabbouleh, or is your objection on some abstract level? i suspect the latter, in a BIG way. i actually make it. my law partner was lebanese so i know how to do tabbouleh. if you want to pay the prices, more power to you!

                    1. re: alkapal

                      No, I don't make tabbouleh. I'd rather buy it ready made, in a reasonably sized quantity. There are lots of things that anyone with the ingredients and ability to follow directions can assemble cheaper than it can be bought ready
                      If I can get a refreshing lunch out of 1/3 of a pound of tabbouleh for less than three bucks, I'm a happy boy. The $5 lunches I used to have less than two years ago are now $6.50. Steak is $30/pound at Ray's The Steaks (and that's a cheap steak house), but cheaper at Harris Teeter and Safeway, too,

                      Now, is the $8/pound tabbouleh good? That's what we should be talking about. If it is, then let those willing ot pay for it alone. If it isn't, then let us know and we'll avoid it because of what it is (or isn't) and not how much more it costs than the ingredients.

                      No, I'm not the moderator, but I post messages that are sometimes moved or removed by one. ;)

                      1. re: MikeR

                        I'll answer the question "Is the tabbouleh good?" Merely sublime. Merely the best I've tasted.

                        To be fair, I'm not comparing LTM's version to the miserable commercial versions pre-packaged in plastic containers. I'm comparing LTM's version to that of other Middle Eastern food stores or groceries with in-store kitchens.

                        Somehow LTM gets the ratios right. The abundance of parsley gives their version a green freshness compared to those with too much grain. The quantity of lemon juice gives the salad an acidic brightness that tempers the bite of the garlic. Best of all, the tabbouleh is always fresh so the parsley is never wilted by sitting too long in the lemon juice.

                        Bottom line: I'd much rather pay what LTM is charging for access to the best version of a dish that has disappointed me elsewhere. If the other Middle Eastern stores don't get the taste right as far as I'm concerned, I don't think trying recipes at home is a particularly cost- and time-effective strategy either. Since I'm not buying tabbouleh from LTM daily, or even, weekly, I make the choice to continue to shop there for the priviledge of eating their unique version. Clearly a case of your mileage may vary.

                        1. re: Indy 67

                          Well said, Indy, and thanks for the subjective report on the taste and quality. That's what we're here for.

                          If your family eats tabbouleh a few times a week, it's worth developing a great home recipe that you like, and make up a fresh batch whenever it's in the menu plan. When it's lamb chops night and a scoop of tabbouleh might go well with them, it makes sense, as long as it's convenient, to pick up as much as you need at a market where you know they make it the way you like it.

                          I trust that you don't have to buy a full pound at LTM, but that you can ask for a smaller quantity at the counter.

                          1. re: MikeR

                            I´m glad we all got along and now we are getting "with it"