This brand new Turkish restaurant needs no introduction. You will have probably visited already. If not, one of your friends or family may have, or you might have heard about it online. But if you really, really haven't heard of it you do now and you MUST go and visit. Welcome to Meze Lounge.
As you know I am a huge 'foodie' as it's told but really I think I am just a little hungry quite often and love to eat.
This little place is situated on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough, just a couple of minutes walk from the centre of town. It's the perfect place to pop for lunch, and trust me their lunch time special is a must!
I decided to pop down with a friend as I owe my proof reader a payment in the form of a meal, as she is totally great and punctuates me where I need punctuating and spells me where I need spell checking (you're the best Rach). It it just the greatest set up, Rachel gets fed and I get "proofed". Because this place is so good our boys decided that they could not fend for themselves that night and thought it was best to come along to, you know, make sure we were ok.
We decided to go for the Hot & Cold Meze starter which is huge. The perfect amount for 4 hungry tummies. I am a huge fan of little dishes so I can pick and choose what I like and this was great.
There was Suack - A kind of pepperoni type sausage with a little kick of spice. Halloumi, my favourite cheese in the world and filo filled with Turkish cheese. These lovely little bites were perfect for dipping into the accompaniments . The vine leaves, which are filled with rice and topped with a tomato sauce, are really filling and have a hint of mint: DELISH!
The accompaniments consisted of: a side of hummus which is just divine and Meze Lounge's bulgur wheat, which I have never tasted before. The bulgur wheat has such a soft texture and is very wholesome, the perfect alternative to rice or potato. And last but not least, there was a mix of aubergine and potato. I love a good starter and this was fantastic.
After an ice cold beer, from Turkey obviously, we got stuck into our mains.
Two of our meze party opted for the house special which I need to get next time. It is a delish plate full of tender beef, pide bread crutons, tomato sauce and creame fresh. It is a melt in your mouth kind of dish. Again, this comes with another side of pide bread. I assume that Turkey is a very carb heavy country.
Another diner opted for the vegetarian moussaka, layered cheese, sauce and aubergine. I also tend to go for the vegetarian option when I visit new places. This dish was oozing cheesy goodness, I don't know how I resisted.
The service here is one of the friendliest in town. The waiters will explain to you what everything is and suggest combinations, so don't be afraid to go and try something new. Do tell me what you have... you know how my food envy gets.
It is only a tiny place so make sure you book ahead, especially on weekends and evenings. This little gem has not been kept quiet for nothing.
Go on say hi, support your independents! From September 29th - October 5th it is Restaurant Week so make sure you eat out and support your community. I am, I don't really need an excuse.
Do you have any hidden gem restaurants that you love? I would love to know and add them to my list.