Even though Portland, Oregon is a foodie city with countless food options covering all demographics, cultures and price points, I am not a very adventurous eater. Give me a steak, a hamburger or a big plate of pasta and I’m as happy as a clam in butter.
My wife, though, world traveler that she is, is much more adventurous. Her taste buds easily get bored if they are not being teased and tantalized and introduced and reacquainted to new and classic flavors. So, for our last date night when I, gentleman that I am, asked her where she wanted to grab dinner before we went to watch some sappy Rom-com, she said “Yara.”
“Yara?” I said, “What on earth is Yara?” I asked this last question knowing that, regardless of her answer, I was going to have a fair amount of concern going forward.
“Yara. Lebanese Cuisine.” She pulled it up on the old Google machine: “Yara Lebanese Cuisine, where the atmosphere is sun-drenched, the recipes are generations-old family secrets, and the hip Mississippi neighborhood is just outside. Try the lamb as shank or in kebabs, foul mudammas, baklava, and more.”
“I only know what two of those things are,” I said.
“Trust me, honey,” She said, batting her adorable eye lashes at me. “You’re going to love it…one way or the other.”
I caught her drift and decided, right then and there, that I would be a fan of Lebanese food.
Although, after arriving at the spacious and charming restaurant and bearing witness to the reasonable portions and tantalizing aromas, more then my wife’s innuendo, Yara itself made loving Lebanese food quite easy.
Located in the hip and artistic Mississippi Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, Yara Lebanese Cuisine offers authentic Lebanese and Mediterranean faire. As I soon discovered, the attentive staff and succulent menu items made Yara a new found destination for my family and I.
We started with the hummus plate. Hummus was something I was familiar with so I figured that was a good place to start. The plate, piled high with flatbread, olives and a variety of vegetables, successfully satiated my appetite, which was growing with each passing entrée, wafting past with aromatic herbs and spices. By the time the food arrived—which was really not long after ordering—I was ravenous.
The Mrs. and I decided to share. She ordered a Lamb Shawarma and I ordered the beef kabobs. We also got salad, rice, a yogurt dipping sauce, and some fries. After dividing our plates evenly, we devoured our food, yet still enjoyed the flavors lingering on our taste buds as the spices tempted us to take another bite and another. We washed it all down with some hot tea, and we finished and let our stomachs do their jobs. And, when the bill came in at under $40, we were even happier.
Yara is open seven days a week and is located at 3928 N Mississippi Ave Portland, OR 97227. They also have a food cart located in downtown Portland at 1967 SW 4th Ave Portland, OR 97201. It is open seven days a week.