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Pomegranate - Berkeley

c
chemchef Apr 10, 2008 08:46 AM

Is this place any good? I couldn't find much on CH, and the Yelp reviews seemed pretty poor. Any other opinions?

I've been invited to lunch here today, and am wondering if I should go or not.

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  1. Glencora Apr 10, 2008 08:49 AM

    I remember enjoying it, but that was years ago. I'd be curious to hear a more recent report. The interior was more pleasant than I expected. Go and report back!

    1. Robert Lauriston Apr 10, 2008 09:15 AM

      I haven't been there in a while, but I haven't heard of any chef or ownership change.

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39589...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        c
        chemchef Apr 10, 2008 09:58 AM

        So... you recommend it?

        1. re: chemchef
          Robert Lauriston Apr 10, 2008 10:03 AM

          I'd go. See the link for dishes I'd order again.

      2. nicedragonboy Apr 10, 2008 10:34 AM

        I think i've gone twice during the last year and I liked it both times. I think the combo appetizer plate, hummus, babaganoush, olives tabouleh and those little balls of rice wrapped in grapeleaves? with pita bread. Yum. The pomegrante chicken has been good. The Salmon, only okay, a little dry. Nothing too fancy, the people were nice and pretty casual. They have an open kitchen, so you can watch them cook.

        1. r
          rfneid Apr 10, 2008 10:57 AM

          We've had a number of really enjoyable meals at Pomegranate. One dish that stands out was a celery root stuffed with a lamb/rice mixture. God, it was good. I've never seen it since. I asked the owner about it & he said he had trouble getting the proper size celery roots. That seems unlikely, but there you go. If you ever see it on the menu, get it.

          1. rworange Apr 10, 2008 06:08 PM

            So ... did you go?

            -----
            Pomegranate Mediterranean Cuisine
            1585 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703

            3 Replies
            1. re: rworange
              c
              chemchef Apr 11, 2008 07:01 AM

              I did. Sorry, been running nonstop since lunch with no time to post. It was good, but not great. Good enough that I would go back if in the area and craving med food, but not so great to make it a destination. I was with several Brazilian colleagues who all loved it though, so there you have it.

              The place was empty. We were the only ones dining which seemed weird to me at the heart of lunchtime, but maybe its more of a dinner place. Decor is nice, white tablecloths, etc. Two guys in chefs coats were working the place. That's it. The older man seated us, took our order, brought us complimentary hummus and bread (not pita, and not lavash, some sort of hybrid). We were told that they were out of bread so we couldn't order sandwiches, even though we were eating bread at our table. That seemed weird to me, but whatever. The hummus, as others mentioned, had an unusual flavor to it. It didn't taste like roasted garlic to me, but rather more reminiscent of pepperoni? Odd. It didn't taste bad, just different. There was a dusting of some kind of chili powder/flakes on top of it, so maybe that's where that flavor was coming from.

              I ordered the baba ghanoush appetizer, falafel platter, and a pomegranate lemonade. The falafel platter came with Greek salad and tzatziki on the side.

              The baba ghanoush was also unusual. It had a bit of a yellow hue (sorry I didn't take any pics) possibly from the addition of curry powder, although it didn't taste decidedly like curry. It was coarser textured than traditional baba ghanoush, you could see the eggplant, and it had flavors of mint and parsley. Pretty good.

              The falafel came as two large patties, deep fried , and very light and crispy. The inside was sort of creamy/crumbly like dry refried beans. I know that doesn't sound appetizing, but they were actually pretty good, though maybe a bit too salty for my taste. The menu said that they were made from garbanzos and fava beans. With the tzatziki, they were good, it seemed to mellow their saltiness. They were hard to eat, though, b/c they crumbled when you cut into them, and I would've liked to have whole pieces of pita to put them in, but all the bread that came to the table had been cut into squares, about 2"x2", so very difficult to eat like a sandwich. The Greek salad was nice; lightly dressed, olives, feta, tomatoes, romaine. The lettuce could've been cut smaller, but its ok. I also am not a huge fan of feta, so I wouldn't have minded a little less, but if you like it, then it was a good deal b/c there was a lot on the salad.

              The pomegranate lemonade was very good. Not too sweet and with good pomegranate flavor. I was impressed that I could actually taste the pomegranate, as it seems that the trend is to put pomegranate in everything, but I can rarely actually taste it. Also, the fact that it wasn’t overly sweet made it nice and refreshing.

              1. re: chemchef
                Robert Lauriston Apr 16, 2008 11:12 AM

                The pita's thick, closer to a Turkish pide or Persian naan. They make sandwiches on regular bread.

                If the baba ganoush looks yellow, that's probably from turmeric, Persians sometimes add it to eggplant dishes.

                Next time, try the gyros pizza.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  k
                  katya Apr 16, 2008 06:13 PM

                  >Next time, try the gyros pizza.

                  Or the filet mignon kabob (barg) or chicken kabob with zeresht polo (rice with barberries and other goodies).

            2. l
              lacerise Apr 17, 2008 11:05 AM

              The pomegranate chicken is very good and a great deal for nearly half a chicken w/garlic mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked vegetables. Also, the lamb shanks are very tasty. The Anatolian walnut spread is another favorite....comes w/lots of their pita which is good when it's fresh. I find that their dolmas, hummus and baba ganoush are middle-of-the-road and I don't like their felafel at all. Now that the Mediterranean on Shattuck has morphed (once again) into a Turkish restaurant, I don't know where to get a crispy on the outside, tasty, nongreasy felafel locally. Any suggestions?

              3 Replies
              1. re: lacerise
                Robert Lauriston Apr 17, 2008 11:07 AM

                Have you tried Sunrise or Holy Land?

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                Holy Land Restaurant
                2965 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                Sunrise Deli
                2456 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  c
                  chemchef Apr 17, 2008 11:38 AM

                  What do you recommend at Holy Land, Robert? I really liked their baba ganoush the last time I was there.

                  1. re: chemchef
                    Robert Lauriston Apr 17, 2008 11:53 AM

                    I usually get the "combination salad" with two or four falafels, depending on how hungry I am.

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