Mediterranean Grill, Bryn Mawr

April 20th, 2006

870 W. Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA
610-525-2627

Rating: 3 silver spoons out of 5

Overall: A cute little BYOB in the heart of Bryn Mawr; offers simple, reasonably-priced, well-prepared Persian cuisine.

Food: Although technically considered Persian, Mediterranean Grill’s menu is similar to a traditional Greek place, featuring a variety of appetizers, kabobs and other specialities. First, we were served warm, savory pita bread that was quite good, although desperately called out for some olive oil on the side. We tried a couple appetizers, first the hummus, which although a tad dry was solid. Far more interesting was the tahdig, literally “bottom of the pot”, a crispy rice (from the bottom of the pot) that was almost like crackling pork skin. Choose the herb sauce and this is a can’t miss dish.

For entrees, I decided to try one of the more adventerous items on the menu — Fessenjan, which is Persian meatballs with pomegranite and walnut paste. This dish was way too powdery and starchy, and was generally strange. In addition, the meat to sauce ratio was way too low and thus really wasn’t a satisfying meal. As fun as it is to try new things, I’d stay away from this one.

Thankfully, I was able to try some of the other meals we ordered, which were simplier but also much tastier. Both the filet strips and the lamb kabob featured tender, flavorful meat on a bed of light, fluffy saffron rice. I would highly recommend either — simple but incredibly tasty.

Ambiance: Very small, open room right on the street. The only problem with this place is that there really isn’t a waiting area; some tables are right next to the door.

Value: This is solid, simple fare and is priced accordingly, a reasonable value at around $20 for entrees. Comparatively, the food and prices are pretty similiar to nearby Lourdas, and this is a fair match. The other Mediterranean restaurant in town, Cafe Fresko, is a bit pricer but also offers more interesting, consistent cuisine.

13 Responses to “Mediterranean Grill, Bryn Mawr”

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  1. royalovesthis says:

    you are in for a tender marinated meat when you order the kabab barg. the tah-dig is crispy rice with a delicious choice of topping. i LOVE the fesinjan topping which has a pomegranate flavor to it, but any of the toppings are mouth watering! i love the yogurt appetizers, especially the mast-o-kihar (which is yogurt, salt, mint, and cucumber. another favorite of mine (although an acquired taste) is dough–which is a carbonated beverage with yogurt and a salty mint taste. this restaurant is my absolute favorite! the servers are ok–so i would not go if you want perfect service, but the food is delicious!

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  2. Michele says:

    I’ve been to this restaurant several times and am always pleased. Tahdeg is my favorite, veggie lasagna fulfilling, pita, hummus, moussaka always solid. I am disappointed by the falafel, though, I can’t seem to like falafel anywhere try as I may. I found it too salty. Pasta is good, prices are great, and it’s byo. Really can’t miss. There’s something for everyone!

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  3. Karen says:

    We tried to make a reservation for dinner but the owner required that WE call back to confirm. I don’t want to work that hard to go out do dinner. What happened to making the customer feel special?

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  4. Natalie says:

    Casual and cozy place. The menu is diverse, which is a plus since my boyfriend is not very adventurous like me when it comes to food. Luckily we found a place with pasta for him and a variety of exotic dishes for me. It was cool to try out some persian dishes like the tahdig, for an appetizer and meatball dish with the amazing rice. If your a fan of trying new foods and don’t want to travel into the city , this is the place to go. It’s also a BYOB which is a plus since it drives the price of the bill down considerably.

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  5. anonymous says:

    The Mediterranean grill is nice casual restaurant. I agree that the service could be better but you have to consider the time you decide to go have your dinner. since i myself once worked in the restaurant business, i understand that it can get very hectic. And because the restaurant is so small reservations are the first priority in seating. so i suggest if your really picky about where you sit, call ahead. and regarding the food, it is probably the best Persian food i have had around the Philadelphia area. but because it is a different cuisine it may not be the best choice for all taste buds. and don’t judge the entire menu if you’ve only tried one dish. there are so many to choose from i am certain you will find one that you will fall in love with. also i suggest going during lunch hours its almost all the same wonderful food but a little bit less pricey and it doesn’t get as crowded as it does during dinner hours.

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  6. Work in Bryn Mawr says:

    Wonderful meal to have when working extra hours. Other choices in area are Pizza, Subs and mo Subs. This is a breath of fresh air. We are fortunate to have authentic food such as this as these Persians restaurants are rare in Pennsylvania.

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  7. Jen says:

    Eating at this restaurant was the WORST experience that we have had in years. The server was very nice but the food was horrible. The Tabouli was all parsley. It was not even recognizable as tabouli. The lamb was fatty and tasted gamey with very little to no flavor although it stated that it was spiced. And the deserts were partially frozen which made the Phyllo dough soggy. Considering the fact that for 2 people it cost over $80 for TERRIBLE food we would not recommend it or ever return.

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  8. Larry says:

    The food is good, but it is impossible to get table as it is very small. The staff on the phone was not very helpful to make a reservation, which they only accept during certain hours before 5 or after 8 pm (what’s the point then of making a reservation).

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  9. John says:

    I agree that the food is solid, which is probably the only saving grace for this restaurant, as I found the service (specifically our waitress) to be a bit pushy and might I add condescending. I find it extremely difficult to tolerate wait staff who insist that patrons be seated at a certain table, or area of the dining room (wedged in tightly between other diners) when the dining area is mostly empty and there are other tables from which to choose.

    Having been to this restaurant dozens of times, I have realistic expectations of what the staff can reasonably deliver. On this particular night, my friend and I made a reasonable request to be seated at a table for two at an area of the dining room which we felt might afford some small measure of privacy, to which we were met with a condescending remark that “the restaurant is small,” the implication being that since the restaurant is small, there’s no difference where one is seated.

    When we were, at last, seated at our table, our waitress said something to the effect that “now that you’ve had a tour of the restaurant, how about this?” That last sarcastic remark was not necessary, nor was it appreciated.
    What was even more galling was when another party of two, who arrived after us, was seated, at their request, at a table which we were earlier denied.

    Having worked in the restaurant and food business for many years, I understand the importance of positive first impressions. Although the food was good, the service and the initial encounter with our server undermined whatever continued goodwill we might have felt for Mediterranean Grill. Being an EXTREMELY and consistently generous tipper, my only regret was that I was not able to, nor did my conscience allow me to, tip as I generally do.

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  10. dee says:

    i had heard about the resturant alot when they open. i had been going there for a while and enjoyed the food, eventhough the service was something to be desire. The last time we were there,it was very embrassing, because no one came to our table for 15 minutes. Then we got all our food bread,salad,appetizer, and main course all the same time. We also were chrged for item that did not have ordered.I think the resturant is changing for worse.

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  11. mary says:

    Tables for two are a little on the crowded side–we felt like we were in the middle of the next table’s conversation. But the food was very good to excellent and the service friendly and professional. Great addition to the ethnic BYOB restaurants here on the Main Line.

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  12. Mary & Mike says:

    We were extremely pleased to hear that Mediterranen Grill would be opening in Bryn Mawr, as my husband I had visited and enjoyed owner Tony’s two previous restaurants in center city Philadelphia, Parisa and Roya (which have subsequently closed so Tony can focus on this new location). We have since visited over a dozen times, along with our children and whenever friends visit from out of town, we like to take them to Mediterranean Grill. The service is excellent, the food is healthy and delicious, and even the children love it (ages 11,13,14 & 16). My son and I cannot eat wheat (gluten) products, and the kebobs with saffron rice are perfect for us. The fact that is a BYOB is even more inviting. It is a great spot to visit before or after a movie at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. We are glad to see the restaurant receiving so many wonderful reviews in the papers, as they are well deserved. We look forward to returning again and again!

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  13. Ben Hatcher says:

    Meditteranean is simply fabulous. I sail the sea at least once a week and genuinely look forward to each voyage. The warm pita hits the spot every time, and the best thing about it is that it doesn’t fill you up, so you can keep on seducing your taste buds without fear of filling up before the main entree. The usual for me is a beef kabob. Tender marinated beef on without a doubt the most incredibly delicious rice on earth. Sail the sea and you won’t be dissapointed (or you will walk the plank).

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