Thursday, August 21, 2014

Yara Lebanese Cuisine

3928 N Mississippi Avenue
Happy Hour: 4 - 7 PM, Sunday through Thursday

Not everyone likes happy hour as much as I do. Sure, they love the discounts. They enjoy that they can snack and have a drink or two without spending much cash. But they don't all want it to become dinner...not like I do. For me, happy hour is a chance to go out to eat (sometimes to a super fancy place that I'd usually have to save for a special occasion) on the cheap. But that's hard for some people. The portions are too small, they say. It's not enough to fill me up. I say, they're just not working the menu like they should. I'm usually stuffed after a happy hour outing. (Of course, I often go to two or three in a row...I guess that's a different story.)

Happy Hour at Yara on North Mississippi is one of those places that can become dinner without any question. It's Lebanese food. There's fresh pita and hummus, falafel and tabbouleh. It's the same as you would get if you were there for lunch or dinner, but it's cheaper. That's what makes a happy hour a good happy hour. And the happy hour at Yara Lebanese Cuisine is right on track.

Five days a week, you can get a super discounted meal between 4 and 7 PM. It doesn't matter where you sit, there's no requirement that you purchase beer or wine, it's just cheap. And it's good. We were there recently and ordered the hummus ($4), a spinach pie ($5.50), and a falafel sandwich ($5). On the way out, I even picked up a chicken shawarma sandwich for my husband.

There's no way to get around loving fresh pita (as long as you still consume bread, that is). It's hot (almost too hot to start), it's delicious, and it works wonders at getting the goodness that is hummus from the plate to my mouth. Sure, cucumbers work too...but warm pita is so much better.

I loved the hummus (as I usually do) but wasn't the biggest fan of the other sauces that accompanied our selections. They were just a bit too spicy for me. For those of you with stronger spice tolerance, be sure to give them a try.

The spinach pie--also known as a fatayer--took a little longer than the rest of the meal (which seems to be the case at every Lebanese restaurant) but was worth the wait. Just don't forget that it's on its way...sometimes I get too full before the fatayer makes it to the table and end up taking it to go.

My favorite part of the meal--which was also quite delicious as leftovers--was the falafel sandwich. It wasn't ginormous (which happens at some places) but was enough for me to not finish what I started. The falafel had a good crispiness to it without being overcooked in the middle, the pita was just as fresh as the rest of the pita I had already eaten, and the veggies added just enough freshness to make every bite perfect.

Happy Hour at Yara is an easy sell. It's good and it's super affordable. What's tough about it is that it's on Mississippi Avenue along with SO many other really good happy hour options. Knowing that, I still want to go there right now for another falafel sandwich because when you're in the mood for a specific flavor, that's what you're going to have.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Exceeds


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