I waited as long as I could, but my original "affordable feast" dinner destination didn't pan out. But on the bright side, you're going to spend a lot less money now...
In a converted former Taco Bell in St Ann, of all places, we find Omar's, a totally unexpected restaurant specializing in Mediterranean cuisine. That, of course, is kind of a catch-all term for the various cuisines that ring the Mediterranean Sea. In Omar's case, that means Italian, Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese, for the most part; so you're sure to find some very appealing dishes here regardless of how adventurous you're feeling!
Cuisine - A quick look at the appetizers and you realize Omar's knows it's in St Louis, with toasted ravioli right at the top of the menu... along with some other pretty generic choices like onion rings and chicken wings. But just when you start to get concerned, you notice falafel... and kibbeh... and baba ghanouj! Now we're firmly in middle eastern territory. A number of the entrees hail from this area, such as shawerma (beef or lamb marinated with Turkish spices, roasted, and thinly sliced), kofta kabob (ground beef and lamb seasoned with lots of garlic and served on a skewer), or shish tawook (spicy chicken breast chunks on a skewer). A look at the salads is like a tour of the region, with a Caesar, two Greek styles, a Turkish style, and a Lebanese one! If you're feeling a bit less adventurous, there's a whole page of pastas, with just about every choice you'd expect in a good Italian restaurant. And while we're in Italy, there's another entire page of pizza choices! Rounding out the menu are some steak and chicken entrees; check out the "chicken royal"; it might be one of the best chicken dishes I've ever tasted... pounded boneless skinless breast stuffed with crab, shrimp, cream cheese, and spinach, served with a lemon cream sauce. I rarely order chicken but this dish sounded just too good... and tasted even better! A few other choices like lamb chops and Cornish hen offer even more temptation. Bottom line here is a great selection of Mediterranean dishes that are nothing short of delicious!
Cost - The best news is, the prices are amazing. While not all of the menu falls into the $10 range, the majority of the middle eastern dishes are in that ballpark, as are nearly all the pastas. A few of the entrees (the steak or lamb chops, for example) run in the mid or upper teens. The killer deal is the pizza, which starts well under $10 and tops out under $20... for an extra large (20") that could probably feed four to six people! Appetizers and sandwiches are great deals too, ranging from about $4-$7. You're not going to find too many instances of food this delicious - and interesting - and prices like this!
Other Information - Omar's is located on the north side of St Charles Rock Rd, between St Gregory Ln and Wright Ave... midway between Lindbergh and I-170. It's small so be careful not to miss it! Their parking lot isn't too big either, but you may park in the lot at the church across the side street.
And as you might notice, this event is on two consecutive nights! Please only RSVP for one night or the other; I will remove duplicate RSVPs leaving only the latest one.
I'll be looking forward to seeing lots of my frugal foodies at Omar's restaurant on Thursday the 8th of March!