Winner: Pasha Mediterranean Grill
Multiple locations, gopasha.com
Big things have small beginnings, especially for Pasha and the restaurant group behind it, which celebrated 10 years this June. Their Wurzbach location now goes through 70 50-pound bags of flour for naan a week. Back in 2008, when founders Daniel Deiri and Kamran Hajivandi teamed up to open the restaurant inside a former Sombrero Rosa (hence the distinctive façade), the only diners familiar with the fare were members of the military. The success of the restaurant is that it found its niche early on: serving big portions, priced well for its freshness.
Introducing tasty versions of new-to-SA dishes also helped. There was that unleavened bread that is a good replacement for chips and salsa. There's the koobideh ground beef kebab that's now one of the top-selling plates. There's the chicken sheesh tawook marinated in garlic, olive oil and herb that's also a favorite.
And they're diving into fast-casual territory with the new Pasha Express on Culebra Road, with enough seating for 40, plus more on the patio. There are seven plates to choose from or customers can build their own salad/bowl/wrap, which uses the signature naan bread. At the end of the cafeteria-style line? A display case filled with single servings of hummus, dolmas and desserts from Baklovah.
2. Mina & Dimi's Greek House
7159 W. US Hwy 90
3. Jerusalem Grill