Monday, June 27, 2011


409 West Prien Lake Road
Lake Charles LA

Monday thru Saturday 11 AM to 9 PM $2 to $27
It seemed like forever for this outpost of Lafayette Zeus Café to open. I had never been to one but I know people who love it. One day as I was passing by I noticed it was open. I therefore contacted my group and set up a time. My sister, our baking friend, our enthusiastic friend and our internet friend joined together for a late lunch. Our baking friend got an Appetizer Sampler which included hummus, baba ganoush, feta cheese, a meat grape leaf, a vegetarian grape leaf and mujadarah. My sister and our enthusiastic friend went with a version of the Lunch Vegetarian plate with spinach pies, Grecian dip, rice pilaf, feta salad and hummus. Our internet friend ordered the Lunch Fish which was a pan sautéed tilapia fillet sitting in a lake of mushroom cream sauce. I also ordered the Sampler and a few other items to do a Meze. I expected small plates to come out which I would pass around. What I got after a long wait was a platter of cold items. They included meat pies, spinach pies, kubbies, fried eggplant, and meat grape leafs with Grecian dip. The comments around table indicated the food was good but not great. The one exception was the fish with the marvelous sauce. I found out later that they had only been open two days. Taking that in account I would think such kinks are being worked out

In for lunch a week later I ran into my particular friend and his artistic wife. They were at the bar as the restaurant was full and I joined them there. They were well into their beef kabob and lamb kabob and had nothing but good things to say about them. I ordered the Lunch Fish as it had looked so good before. It did not disappoint. A perfectly cooked fish appeared. It had soaked up the fantastic flavors of the mushroom cream sauce. There was enough sauce to coat the rice that came with it and the salad was good also. It made for a nice filling meal

Next round I ordered Manakish Zatar. The grilled pita bread came out seasoned with Zatar and chopped fresh bell pepper. It proved a delight. The salad topped with feta crumbles and tossed in an oregano spiked dressing proved a delight also. The main entrée Vegetarian Eggplant Royale however was a disappointment. Under the lovely layer of mushroom cream sauce I encountered a layer of stringy cheese that made it hard to get a bite. That hid a mixture of mushroom, peas and carrots. The same frozen peas and carrots used in the pilaf. They lay in a pool of oil in the hollowed out eggplant. By the way there was no eggplant in the stuffing. The only thing that saved it for me was the cream sauce. I hope this was just an off night for the kitchen

Not wanting to finish on a sour note I went for one more meal and kept it simple. I got the Vegetarian Moussaka which satisfied my eggplant craving. A little different in that it had more of a brown sauce than a red sauce but it was delicious, I then opted for the Mixed Grill choosing Chicken Schwarma and Kefta Kabob as my meats. You also get a skewer of vegetables over rice. The chicken was moist and flavorful with those mid east spices. The grilled vegetables add more flavor. Kefta is ground meat seasoned and formed around a flat skewer then cooked. Think of it as a long hamburger patty, also a winner. I forsook the rice for pita bread making variations of the ingredients into sandwiches. I feel that the glitches I encounter here will be worked, just be patient. I now have another place to get my Middle Eastern coffee. Hooray


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