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Report: Pyramids Middle Eastern food in Austin, TX

f
fatmonky Oct 13, 2003 04:08 PM

I went to Pyramids, the Middle Eastern restaurant in Austin. It was near a freeway intersection, though I cannot remember for my life which one it is. We went there for lunch with my friend, his cousin and her boyfriend.

The baba ghanoush came, and the only complaint is that it was small: a small saucer of the food. It was ok, and honestly a little bland, lacking some of the roasty smoky flavour that some baba ghanoushes have. But it's ok. Not bad at all. Free servings of flat breads came with it.

I had the beef and lamb shish kebob combo plate. It looked promising, coming on a plate of rice. The meat looked cooked. Good, since I'm not ordering a tartare.

I bit into it. Hmm. Crunchy. A little tough and dried out. Which can and frequently does happen... I try not to be too picky about such things...

Wait a minute, though. Something's not quite right here...

And then I realized that the meat was completely unseasoned. Not even the slightest bit of salt or flavor.

It's the kind of beginner's mistake that I once made when cooking beef... it's more forgiveable that I made the mistake, since I had to eat my own cooking (and didn't inflict it on anyone else), and I'm not a professional cook. But to charge me $14 for a plate of unseasoned and overcooked meat is nothing short of criminal. I could chew on a wad of Kleenex for free, and get the same amount of flavor and texture.

I didn't say anything then, because I was more focused on making friends than the food, honestly, which was a good thing since the food was horrible.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

cheers
PJ

  1. p
    Prentiss Riddle May 9, 2004 11:17 PM

    Despite the reports on this board I drove by Pyramids today, saw that it had an "Under New Management" sign and decided to give it a try. It was just fine. I ordered the kafta kabab plate and it was fresh and tasty with generous portions.

    My only complaint was that the pita bread was the standard cold lifeless stuff you'd get at the supermarket, whereas Alborz makes fresh naan and serves it hot. Probably just a difference between Lebanese and Iranian cuisine.

    Link: http://aprendizdetodo.com/

    1. w
      whinysista Oct 14, 2003 01:16 AM

      Same story, different page.

      I first went to Pyramids a couple of months ago after reading a glowing post here. Went during lunch (around 1pm), expecting to find a rush. Turns out we were the only ppl in there. Maybe it was the rain, we were thinking. Ordered the baba ghanoush and gyro plate (comes with fries) and found the food totally without flavor. No salt, no sauce, dry as a bone. Even the fries couldn't help grease up the rest of the meal. Only thing I remember about the baba ghanoush was that it was bitter and sour and small portioned as the OP mentioned. Not going back until I hear it's changed for the better.

      1. n
        Nacho Oct 13, 2003 05:36 PM

        Just in case you don't decide to give Pyramids a second chance (which you should ;-)), another Middle Eastern favorite is Ararat @ 111 E North Loop Blvd.

        Ararat certainly adheres to the Keep Austin Weird mantra, so don't expect posh surroundings. Think old strip mall with Persian rugs hanging to hide the cinder block walls and exposed a/c vents. I love it!

        And it's BYOB...they'll provide opener and wine glasses.

        But don't let the descriptions of a make-shift restaurant discourage you....both the food and service are a rare treat.

        Link: http://austin.citysearch.com/review/1...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nacho
          j
          John Morthland Oct 14, 2003 08:33 AM

          And don't forget Alborz on Anderson Lane, everything very zesty and fresh in my experience, even the lunch buffet.

        2. n
          Nacho Oct 13, 2003 05:14 PM

          Sorry to hear about the horrible meal.

          Although, I have been to this restaurant multiple times, and have always thought the food was very good. I went there the first time b/c of high praise from a friend of mine who grew up in Greece.

          I've ordered the kebobs as well, and they were seasoned very nicely and not over cooked at all. You should have sent your dinner back. :)

          The restaurant is located at I35 and 290, right behind the Texas Land and Cattle Steakhouse.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nacho
            d
            Denise Jul 6, 2005 07:48 PM

            Not sure what the first reviewer expected of Middle Eastern food, but it is not supposed to be a spicy cuisine. We are talking Middle East, not Pakistan here. I visited Pyramids Restaurant in Austin last month and was pleasantly surprised to find Middle Eastern cuisine in the heart of Texas. The atmosphere is fabulous and the food that I had was wonderful.

            To start with, I had a nice salad, with assorted greens, green peppers, red onion, feta cheese and a garlic dressing. I also ordered tabouleh and feasted on that with fresh pita bread and lemon.

            For my entree, I chose a shiskabob of beef and chicken. It was well prepared, very tasty and had lots of fresh roasted vegetables, such as green and red peppers and onions. Not to mention the rice and the delicious hummus dip.

            My family hails from Lebanon and it was a delight for me to find this gem of a restaurant, nestled on the highways in Austin, Texas. There was Arabic music playing in the background and I read that there were belly dancers on the weekends.

            I highly recommend the Pyramids Restaurant in Austin, Texas to anyone looking for authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Well prepared, wonderful service and a delightful Middle Eastern atmosphere.

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