After a long season of turkey and ham, John Gilchrist decided this week to head to Aida's — a Lebanese restaurant in Mission that has been around since 2000.
With a party of eight, Gilchrist visited in the evening for "let's call it meze because that's really what it is."
"That's that sort of small plate style of dining in the Eastern Mediterranean," says Gilchrist.
"My eight friends — all picky eaters — they all thought it was great too and thought that the price was quite worth while."- John Gilchrist
"We started with this four dip combo of hummus, baba ganoush, labneh — which is the yogurt-cucumber dip — and muhammara," said Gilchrist.
"And muhammara is my favourite. It's this mix of red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate together with some olive oil, some bread crumbs and it's just creamy and rich and flavourful. It's one of the best things about Lebanese food and certainly about Aida's too."
After enjoying all the dips, Gilchrist moved on to the main course.
"I tried the shish taouk platter of lemon and garlic marinated chicken skewers that are served over rice with fattoush and muhammara," said Gilchrist.
"It's a great salad, I mean aside from the great name you've got greens, you've got tomatoes, onions, peppers and pita chips. So its got a little bit of that crunch, it's got some sumac on it. That's the Middle-Eastern sumac that just adds savoury bite to the dish not North American sumac, which will kill you."
Despite a bit of confusion between platters and entrées, Gilchrist says the owner Aida has some great menu options.
"She also offers some couscous dishes and a bunch of rich, creamy, sweet Lebanese desserts too."
"Everyone in our group seriously enjoyed Aida's. Katherine said it may have been the best food she's ever had there over the last 14 years," says Gilchrist.
"Service was pleasant if a touch slow, I mean because it's always packed at Aida's it's the kind of place where people are constantly coming and going.
"My eight friends — all picky eaters — they all thought it was great too and thought that the price was quite worth while."
John gives Aida's at 2208, 4th Street S.W. an 8.5 out of 10.