Ephesus Mediterranean Grill was the restaurant Hubby and I chose for our Valentine’s Day lunch. This little restaurant is right on the main road of The Strip (“aka” Cumberland Ave. for all of you non-locals.) It opened in August 2007 and is just off the University of Tennessee campus. The location is close to and on the same side of the street as Regions Bank.
Like everywhere on The Strip, parking is a challenge. Street parking is scattered throughout the Cumberland Ave. area. The Regions Bank lot is tempting. Unfortunately, there are signs about towing for non-bank customers. If you do decide to park there it will be at your own risk.
Ephesus Mediterranean Grill is very casual restaurant that caters to the college crowd. In fact, UT students will enjoy a 15% savings by presenting their ID. The mom and pop kind of place is owned by the Zahir family. You have to give credit where credit is due. It’s hard for a small family owned business to compete with the big guys. The kids help wait the tables. To me, that adds to the total picture.
When you walk in you seat yourself. A row of booths line one wall and tables line the other side of the restaurant. They have table service and wireless internet.
The walls are decorated with huge photographs of the city in Turkey named Ephesus. You may also be familiar with Ephesus as the Biblical city where the apostle Paul sent several letters. Other wall decor includes decorative plates and Turkish wall hangings. Native music plays in the background to add to the ambience.
In the Ephesus Mediterranean Grill you seat yourself. Very soon, a server will appear to answer any questions about the menu and to bring your drinks. On this day, our server was a young man who appeared to be in his teens. He was very nice and served us promptly.
We decided to order an appetizer. The costs range from $1.99 for French Fries to $5.99 for the Feta Cheese Rolls. They also have Tabouleh, Hummus and Grape Leaves among other appetizers.
The food is advertised to be authentic Turkish and Greek cuisine. It has to be. The food tastes too good to not be authentic.
The Falafel tempted us so we ordered it. The cost was $4.99. It came with six meatball-sized pieces that had been fried to perfection. The outside was crispy. Inside, was moist and tender. A side of Tzatziki sauce accompanied the appetizer.
Their entrees consist mainly of salads, kabobs and gyro sandwiches or wraps. I decided to order the Great Gyro. For $6.95 you get sliced gyro meat, tomatoes, sautéed onions and handmade pita bread. I also decided to get the french fries at $1.99.
My husband ordered the Chicken Shish Kabob. It was priced at $9.99 and came with rice, salad, onion salad and pita bread all on the same plate.
We both thought the food was very good. The bread was excellent. It was light and fresh. Too bad you can’t take a bag home with you!
Hubby’s chicken kabob had the right blend of seasonings. The salad and onion salads were fresh. These took up half of his platter. The white rice was placed on the other side and the kabob was served in between these. He said the rice had a light delicate flavor that seemed to compliment the other items perfectly.
My gyro was tasty. The meat and fries were served hot. I’ll probably order it again but there are other meals that I would like to try first. Everything on the menu sounds tempting.
Next time we go we’ll probably get the Ephesus Combo and share it. This seems to come with a good selection of items. It has beef, chicken and shrimp kabobs and an Adana kabob. The price is $16.99. They also have Chicken Tava for $9.99 and a Gyro platter for $8.99.
Another option for trying a variety of Mediterranean food is to get the Ephesus Vegetarian Plate. This comes with Tabouleh, Hummus, Cheese Rolls, Pita Bread and Tzatziki Sauce. It is $8.49.
We paid $31.78 for our meal including the tip. It’s a little more than we usually spend on lunch. Given the occasion, we were in the mood to celebrate and splurge a little. It should be noted that they only have the one menu instead of a separate one for lunch and another for dinner.
The Ephesus Mediterranean Grills offers dine in, take-out and catering. It is a WI-FI hotspot that is popular with UT students. Their last health department score was a 96. This is a tribute to their hard work in running a great restaurant.
This restaurant gets 4 Stars in my opinion. As you can tell, I’ll be going back.
Ephesus Mediterranean Grill
1823 Cumberland Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37916
Monday ‘” Thursday 11:00 ‘” 8:30 pm.
Saturday 11:00 ‘” 8:00
Sunday 12:00 ‘” 8:30
See them on Facebook
Source: Personal Experience
Tennessee State Health Department