Q | What are the most popular items on your menu? Why?
A | While we have many popular dishes such as our Lamb and Beef Kefta or Falafel, our “dippable” items are the ones our customers can’t seem to get enough of! The hummus, baba ghanoush, or flavor-exploding black bean hummus are all individually exciting experiences. Columbus is a culturally rich city. As a result, many of our first time customers come in having heard of or previously experienced similar foods, but are delightfully surprised at the new flavors they discover with each bite.
Q | Are there any items NOT on your menu that are staff favorites (that you’d be willing to serve up to any customer who asked)?
A | The dishes on our menu are recipes that my dad has developed over his long career of being a chef and restaurant owner. But we also have Rami Sabra, our executive chef who is beyond creative and truly loves to create new versions of traditional Middle Eastern dishes. Our daily specials are where he really gets to show off his talents and our staff loves to indulge in these just as much as our customers. The Mencef (slow-baked, fresh, locally-raised lamb in a lemon yogurt sauce over rice) has become a Friday staple, since we introduced it into our rotation of specials a few years ago.
Q | What makes your food different from other Mediterranean restaurants around town?
A | There are many things we pride ourselves on, one being that we are located in Clintonville! We love Columbus and Clintonville is truly a gem of a neighborhood. As for our food, we go above and beyond to ensure and maintain the highest quality products. All of our meat is halal, raised in healthy and responsible environments. The seasonings for our Shawarma and Kefta are shipped in from the Middle East. Above all, we try to enrich our customers’ understanding of our culture, one bite and interaction at a time. Our culture is much more complex than what’s portrayed on the news.
Q | You go to some great lengths to cater to the vegan and/or gluten-free crowd. How exactly does that work?
A | Lucky for us, the Mediterranean diet just so happens to be especially healthy. Honestly, a lot of our menu is vegan and gluten-free because of history. Over generations, meat, dairy, and wheat were not prevalent in the region’s nomadic diets. We capitalized on this fact when we created our menu in order to give Columbus a place to eat out where they are not limited by options.
Q | Your dessert case looks so delicious! What are some of your sweet specialties?
A | Our homemade sweet cheese baklava is definitely a fan favorite. Sweet ricotta cheese is wrapped in flaky Phyllo dough and sweetened with our own special simple syrup. We also offer delicious cakes from Nanak Bakery, which is a local bakery that has been around for over 20 years!
Best of the Menu note: this is the best Middle Eastern food I’ve ever had. The Pita bread alone is a reason to visit Lavash. It is about 1″ thick and nice and chewy (clearly freshly baked). Every single item packs a flavor punch and is absolutely amazing. A must-try in Columbus!