If north Arlington loves one Mediterranean restaurant, why not two?
Olives Mediterranean Grill opened 12 blocks east of Prince Lebanese Grill, offering a cozier and less crowded stop for Greek salads or baba ghannouj.
Don’t expect Prince’s extensive menu or Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives photos.
But Olives is the Shah-Hosseini family’s earnest little effort at simple Mediterranean dishes, and it’s a pleasant place for a gyro or souvlaki, or just a baklava stop.
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Olives is one of several small, family-owned Greek or Mediterranean restaurants to open lately, along with the influx of chains such as Zoës Kitchen, which moved to Plano from Alabama, and Alabama-based Tazikis.
Our DFW.com review praised the sandwiches and prices, particularly the $7 beef-lamb gyro, and the shredded-chicken salad Olivier (chicken potato salad).
In an unusual touch, Baklava Bakery’s best desserts are served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.
Olives is in a funky, rambling, 30-year-old building that used to be a burger grill and has been home to a half-dozen concepts since.
It’s not Prince, but it’s a good backup; 1714 W. Randol Mill Road, 817-795-1958, olivesmediterraneangrill.com.
Homey Lebanese cafe
In west Fort Worth, Qana Cafe and Hookah Lounge is new in the Western Hills neighborhood.
It’s deep in the neighborhood, in a former convenience store decorated like a comfortable home on Chapin Road near Williams Road (Cherry Lane).
Qana’s dishes are all handmade and genuine, with Hilal Chamseddine offering everything from her breakfast parfaits to sandwiches, salads and soups.
It’s open weekdays and Saturdays for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sundays for lunch and dinner; 7860 Chapin Road, 817-862-9728, qanacafeandhookah.com.
New tastes at R Bar
The R Bar & Grill, an ambitious concept in the Hilton Arlington hotel, has a new chef with experience across Dallas and Fort Worth.
Marcelo Vasquez cooked at the Omni Fort Worth and was chef at the Stoneleigh in Dallas and Kona Grill in Fort Worth. He brings his Chilean upbringing and knowledge of Latin and Asian food to Arlington’s most prominent hotel restaurant.
The new menu adds banh mi and a Kobe burger to the Cooper Street tacos, steaks and grilled platters.
The prices are more competitive, too, with sandwiches about $10, platters for less than $20 and an 18-ounce rib-eye topping the menu at $26.
Desserts include chile-pepper peach cobbler, Dr Pepper cake and passion-fruit creme brulee.
R Bar & Grill is inside the Hilton, 2401 E. Lamar Blvd., arlingtontx.hilton.com.
Bud Kennedy's column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538