We stopped by Neomonde on Sunday afternoon for lunch and some sweets. I understood before stopping by that it wasn’t going to be a traditional deli, and that it would have more of a middle-eastern/Mediterranean focus. Indeed, instead of club sandwiches and chips, you’ll find kabob and couscous. The restaurant also has more of a small grocery vibe, with pre-packaged goods from around the world stacked up on shelves.
Upon entering for the first time, the newcomer might feel a bit overwhelmed. There are a few different boards with the menu items and prices, no hand-held menus that I could see, and you really have to get up and look at many of the items to get a description of what’s in them. My husband ordered the Large Kebab Platter with chicken, beef, pasta salad and potato salad. I wanted go a bit more authentic, so I ordered the Small Kebab Platter with chicken, couscous and tabouli. The only difference between the Large and Small is that the Large has 2 kebab sticks instead of 1.
We also wanted to pick up some desserts while we were there. While looking at the dessert case, I explained to the cashier that it was our first time there, and I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to have a tray or something (there were large metal trays sitting on the counter) and if we were supposed to get our food before paying for it. He said since it was our first time there, we would get 3 desserts – a walnut baklava, a pistachio baklava, and date mamoul. We also ordered a lady finger, walnut mamoul and namoura. All the desserts looked so good, and they were cheap too, only about $1 each.
We paid for our food there, and were directed to the soda fountain around the corner where we could get some water. Within a couple minutes our food was brought out on paper plates, no forks or spoons. I got frustrated looking for utensils around the soda area and just asked my husband to ask the cashier for some. I was hungry and in no mood to find a fork.
The food was messy and on paper plates, but it was delicious. I ate my chicken kabob pieces with huge forkfuls of couscous and tabouli. I even ate the lettuce it was on, and the pickled peppers. My husband was pretty impressed, I usually don’t wolf down my food that fast. I guess I should have gotten a large platter instead. He didn’t eat his pickled peppers so I ate those too. My husband liked the meat pretty well, but he didn’t like the potato salad and pasta salad as much. He liked the baklava pretty well too.
I was still pretty hungry after my plate, so I ate the date mamoul, the other baklava and the namoura. I thought the date mamoul was the best something like a shortbread cookie stuffed with dried date, but the namoura was pretty amazing too. It had a really weird taste and texture, something like a coconut cornmeal, but it was still good.
I think Neomonde would be a great lunch restaurant. Once you know what you’re going to order and understand the process, I think it would be a lot easier than the first time there. The portions are really good for a light lunch too, and at $8-$9 an entree, it’s pretty decently priced.
I don’t think it would be as good for a dinner restaurant. I prefer table service and real plates and silverware if I’m going to go out for dinner. Also, if I had to pick between Bosphorus and Neomonde, I would pick Bosphorus every time. But I know that’s a bit out of driving distance for those that work around RTP.