The Short Course
To avoid wait: Go before 7pm for dinner
Noise level: High if full
Bathroom amenities: Changing tables in men’s and women’s
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? No, but they offer mint lemonade, fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies and pop.
Kids’ menu? Yes
Anything healthy for kids? Try the chicken kabob with rice.
Food allergy concerns? Please inform the server of your concern. They can identify ingredients and work with the kitchen to accommodate your needs.
At the corner of Carpenter and Washtenaw, Palm Palace transports you to another world.
“They decorated perfectly!” proclaimed my ten-year-old daughter upon entering Palm Palace. As we strolled through the Mediterranean restaurant to our table, I agreed. There are three dining rooms, each with tile floors, cascading drapes, warm colors, lighting fixtures and accent pieces exuding Mediterranean influence.
My husband and I started with hot mint tea flavored with cardamom, cinnamon, black tea, mint and lemon zest. My daughter chose a smoothie with bananas, strawberries, honey and mango. Our drinks were flavorful and yummy.
A large basket of hot pita bread, fired in a stone oven, was served with garlic sauce. The warm pockets were smoky and delicious, the sauce creamy and strong. We agreed that our son, 13, would have lived on the bread. Alas, he wa
s attending another event that night and did not accompany us.
To complement the bread, we added the starter combo appetizer: small bowls of hummus (pureed chickpeas with tahini, lemon juice and garlic), baba ghanoush (fire roasted eggplant with tahini, lemon juice and garlic) and tabouli (parsley, tomatoes, onion, cracked wheat, olive oil, and spices). We each decided on a favorite.
“I feel full and I haven’t had my dinner yet,” said my daughter.
Bounty of flavors
The menu at Palm Palace is rife with Mediterranean delicacies. Soups like Moroccan harira, salads such as fattoush, and sandwiches like falafel, accompany numerous chicken, lamb and seafood entrees, from ghallaba to shawarma. Entrees are served with soup or salad and a choice or rice, vegetables or potato wedges.
I chose the lamb ghallaba, lamb tips sautéed with vegetables, herbs and spices, and a cup of crushed lentil soup ($17.99). My husband selected shish tawook, grilled chicken breast cubes marinated in lemon and oregano, with rice and a house salad ($16.99).
The kids’ menu offers Mac and cheese, chicken tenders, chicken kabob or chicken or lamb shawarma with rice or fries. My daughter picked the chicken kabob with rice ($7.99).
My lentil soup was tasty with blended carrots, onion and lentils. It wasn’t long before our main dishes were served. My lamb ghallaba was zesty, with crisp-tender green peppers and carrots among loads of lamb. I liked the crunch from the toasted almonds in the rice. I took half of the portion home for lunch the next day.
“Delish, isn’t it?” my husband enthused about his shish tawook, which had an appetizing char grilled flavor. He cheerfully finished his plate. My daughter’s chicken kabob and rice were equally flavorful, and just as cheerfully consumed.
We finished with the Mediterranean delight, baklava ($3.99). Okay, so I finished with baklava as my husband and daughter were stuffed. Light and flaky with bits of pistachio and honey, it was drier than what my childhood friend’s mother used to make, which was dripping in honey, but it still satisfied my sweet tooth.
From lentil soup to baklava, surrounded by the sights and sounds of Mediterranean culture, we were immersed in a tasty experience at Palm Palace.
Palm Palace 2370 Carpenter Road | Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone: (734) 606-0706
Hours: Sun-Thur 10am-10pm; Fri-Sat 10am-11pm