Name of Restaurant: Neomonde
Location: 3817 Beryl Road, Raleigh, NC 27607

Cuisine: Mediterranean
Date: one Friday, early November 2010
Time: 8 pm

What we ordered:
1. Stuffed Grape Leaves
2. Chicken Shwarma
3. Beef Shwarma
4. Baklava
5. Lady Finger

We paid:
$20 (ish)

1. Ambience: 8/10
2. Service: 8/10
3. Food: 5/10

1. I had an excessively long Friday at work and had (pretty much) made up my mind to dine at Neo’s. I was prepared to do it alone. Menon decided to come along. We took the bus from the library, got off at Beryl Street and walked about 5 minutes to get to Neo’s. It’s a shady route, behind the railway tracks.
2. When you get there, it’s cozy and nicely done up and all that, but I think I’ve just developed a slight prejudice for the place now, given that I had high expectations from the food and they were not even remotely met.
3. The grape leaves were decent. The rice stuffing was too sour. Sour is not a flavour I’m excessively fond of. So that didn’t quite work for me.

yes, they look like shit. :S

4. The shwarmas were served in pita bread, cut open half. I always thought shwarmas were more like wraps. They were greasy from too much olive oil. They had parsley sprinkled all over, as if the guys who made the sharmas were trying to hide something that went wrong with the basic recipe. And then, there was too much pickled stuff in the pita. No. That’s not my idea of a shwarma. I’ve read and heard about shwarmas more often than I’ve actually eaten them. And as far as I know, they can be served with a variety of bread, the lavash and taboon (both are flatbreads and are used to make wraps) being more prevalent/popular. Maybe we should have been asked whether we wanted ours in pita or in lavash. To me, shwarmas are wraps filled with grilled meat and garlic mayo and a few veggies (pickled and otherwise). At Neo’s, the pickles were too many, the garlic mayo absent, the meat just about ok. Quite a downer, in my opinion.

5. The baklava was ok. I’ve had more baklava than you can imagine, autheticity possibly dubious, but the baklava experiences have ranged from good to oooooh-fuck-this-is-just-so-fucing-intense. The baklava at Neo was good. I was possibly expecting the latter. The lady finger was effectively baklava. Or I was too put off to tell the difference.
6. They have a really nice grocery store in the back, though, where I picked up some dried fruits and other stuff, and almost bought a hookah. I’ll buy the hookah someday, though. Cheaper. 🙂
7. This post had been long due. Secretly, I was hoping to have gotten another chance to eat at Neomonde, given that my first time was such a let down. Adi loves the place and as far as I know, he doesn’t have THAT bad a sense of food/taste. Sadly, I went to Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro twice since my first (and only) visit to Neomonde and I’ve come to LOVE Jasmin. A second visit to Neomonde has taken a back seat.
8. Lesson learnt: Don’t build your expectations up so high. Trust only YOUR judgement of food-places. Adi possibly sucks in this regard. Or maybe he doesn’t. I’m going there again. 🙂


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