Dining Out: Alarz Restaurant & Grill
Last week, Allen and I had the unexpected pleasure of dining at Alarz Restaurant & Grill on Street Road in Bensalem. As they had just joined our family of advertisers in the Carrier Pigeon, and I hadn’t prepared anything for dinner, we considered going out. We thought we’d check out Alarz “incognito,” use the coupon from their ad and give me a vacation from the kitchen. Little did we know how delighted we’d be with our decision to travel north on Street Road!!
Alarz is located in the Bensalem Plaza Shopping Center, before you hit the racetrack. Clearly, it’s a destination if you live in the far reaches of our distribution area, but is it ever worth the effort!
The first thing we noticed is the indoor/outdoor carpeting that covers the entrance walkway to the restaurant. I loved the idea of walking on carpet as I was entering…. I think it set the tone for what our dining experience would be. The dining room was bright and open, and the tables were covered with white linen tablecloths. (Allen’s mother would have been thrilled!)
We were escorted to a booth, handed our menus and left alone to peruse their offerings. Our waitress, Amanda was very sweet. During the evening we learned she is the daughter of the owner, Sam Kazan…. In fact, we learned that Alarz is totally a family effort. Amanda’s uncle is the head chef and her mother also shares some time in the kitchen.
Water was served with a smile and we started to focus in on our dinner selections. The menu was extensive; filled with many appetizers, salads, fresh fish options, pasta choices, lamb, chicken and veal. The food has an Italian and Mediterranean bend to it, at times gently melding the two cuisines. And while I’ve never done this in a review, I encourage you to go to their website to see the menu itself. Your mouth will start watering as you review the dishes starting with the broad ranging appetizers themselves.
For us, that evening, our choices were picture perfect! Allen started out with the Crab Bisque. Always on the menu, it was not too tomato-y. Filled with fine morsels of crab, I was able to enjoy its fragrance wafting across the table. And yes, I tasted it. Delish!
I ordered the Mediterranean Combo figuring I’d be sharing. (Yes, I did!) A huge presentation of my favorites including hummus, grilled portabello mushrooms, babaganouj, marinated red peppers, cheese, olives, rice wrapped in grape leaves and grilled eggplant served over a bed of greens… it was outstanding. It can easily serve as an appetizer for four or a meal for one. I might consider that on our next visit.
They also offer a Lemon Ricotta Bruschetta, challah topped with Ricotta cheese, honey and lemon zest. It sounded very appealing as did the mussels, calamari and more. Again, I’ll point you to their menu on their website.
Allen’s entrée was Grilled Shrimp, charbroiled, over risotto and spinach, topped with freshly diced tomatoes, scallions and olives. We were overwhelmed by its presentation. The shrimp were huge and it tasted delicious. So surprised we were to find a restaurant of this caliber, almost hidden away…. Allen lapped up every morsel of his dish!
One of my dining-out favorites is Fettucine Alfredo. Amanda recommended that pasta dish, saying her uncle always makes it for her and her girlfriend. I was not disappointed. The sauce had just-the-right consistency – which is not an easy thing to achieve with Alfredo. It wasn’t too thick or heavy and wasn’t too light or thin. As the baby bear said, “It was just right.” You can order it with chicken or shrimp, whatever your preference.
We didn’t check out dessert this time, we were just too full AND satisfied to enjoy one more bite. Next time I might start with dessert!!
Unlike some of the other restaurants we visit, Allen and I kept remarking how delicious our meal was. That’s how much we enjoyed everything… from the moment we entered to the moment we left. Presentation, taste, ambiance – everything about our experience at Alarz, has made it a go-to place in our book. I think we found another “Favorite” to add to our select list of favorite restaurants. Maybe it can be yours!
When we were finished, I said to Allen we needed to go over to the owner, introduce ourselves, thank them for the ad they’re running, and even more let them know how much fun we had that evening. Sam and his wife were very gracious. I told them Amanda, their daughter, was and is their best salesperson. Just listening to her share the wonders of Alarz, her uncle the chef and the delicious food leaving the kitchen, your eyes will start to smile, too!
Go visit, let us know what you think. Alarz is a BYOB and a welcomed addition to the greater restaurant scene in the Bucks and Montgomery area.
P.S. We never did use that coupon!!!
Alarz Restaurant & Grill
Bensalem Plaza Shopping Center
2088 Street Road, Bensalem, PA 19020