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Name: Gwin Tate
Occupation: Federal Mediator
Lives In: Miami Springs
Restaurant Pick: Maroosh
Reviewed Maroosh: January 16th, 2010

No reservations were recommended, nor needed for parties smaller than six. There was plenty of parking, both on the street, and in covered/uncovered lots. Although I didn't arrive during the dancing performance on this visit, I have seen it previously, and it's definitely worth seeing, especially on a special occasion when wanting to entertain out of town visitors. The service here is excellent. I've been eating at Maroosh since 1988, and the service has always been great, with the wait staff being intimately familiar with all dishes, and the various ingredients. At $35 for my salad, appetizer, entree, and 2 glasses of wine, I felt that considering the quality, quantity, and variety of the food, the price was just right. Entrees average $17, which is quite reasonable for a restaurant of this quality. The menu is very extensive, with many entrees containing chicken, beef, shrimp, and lamb. I had the kebabs were cooked medium, as I asked, and consisted of chicken chunks alternated with onions and peppers. The moutabal was seasoned perfectly, very smooth and thick. Even if "Middle Eastern" food isn't what a person would typically try, there are many things which aren't too exotic, so there should be something to appeal to every palate, including vegetarians. There are many wonderful appetizers, and you can create your own 'appetizer platter' which serves as a very large entree, with tons of freshly make Pita bread for dipping, scooping, etc. I highly recommend Maroosh - I've been a faithful customer for over 20 years, which is longer than many marriages.

Name: April Gaddis
Occupation: Academic Advisor
Lives In: Sunny Isles Beach
Restaurant Pick: Miami Juice
Reviewed Maroosh: January 15th,2010

The restaurant was a little hard to find due to the street signs in Coral Gables being very low to the ground, but I made it in time for my reservation. There were plenty of self-parking spots located near the restaurant, which I elected to do, instead of the valet option the restaurant offers. I immediately noticed the restaurant as I was walking up because it was well lit. At first glance, the décor of the restaurant was truly authentic and warm. The restaurant was small, but I noticed it had an upper level. We waited at the door for a moment, and then the friendly hostess brought a plate of assorted pickled veggies. The veggies were great starters and had a nice spicy kick to them. It was hard to hear our waitress with all of the music and belly dancing that was going on, but we managed. We ordered three appetizers: Hummus, Falafel, and Moutabal (Baba Ghannouj). The hummus was fine, but I prefer it to be really creamy and this had a little more of a stiff texture to it. I wasn’t dissatisfied; I just felt like I could get this exact hummus out of a local grocery store. The falafel was great! It’s hard to go wrong with this dish. The tahini sauce was an excellent compliment. I was not a big fan of Moutabal. I was looking for a really flavorful taste that I have come to expect from grilled eggplant, but it just wasn’t there. After the appetizers, the house salads that came with the entrees were brought out. They were tasty and very fresh. The crispness of the lettuce coupled with the cucumbers was delicious. After a while, I began to appreciate the intense flavors of the olive oil in the dressing, as it complimented the fresh salad and feta cheese well. After our salads, the entrees were brought to the table. The entrees looked well prepared, and I was really excited about the Mediterranean Charcoal Grilled Chicken because it was highly recommended by the waitress. The chicken was a great recommendation; it had a wonderful balance of flavor between the garlic and lemon. It was also well cooked. However, the Mediterranean Fish Filet was absolutely the group’s favorite dish. This filet of grouper was a great piece of fish drenched in a special sauce accompanied with pine nuts. It was steamed to perfection and tasted awesome. The Maroosh Scampi was not short of praise either. The presentation was remarkable and I was ready to dive in. The final dish we tried was the Vegetable Curry with Chicken. This was my least favorite at the table. The chicken pieces were tender, the veggies fresh, but I was not a fan of the curry sauce. In my opinion, there was nothing special about the dish by any stretch of the imagination, even though others at the table enjoyed it. We did not order any desserts. We had white wine with meals. I was satisfied with the Hanwood Estate, Australia Chardonnay that I ordered. My dinner guests were pleased with their Schmitt Sohne, Germany, Riesling. I liked the wine list because it was simplified and didn’t have an overbearing number of choices. After dinner, we danced with the belly dancer, which was really fun. In a nutshell, this restaurant had great service, atmosphere, and location but it is not on my list of restaurants to die for. It’s more like a “Try it only because it’s in your neighborhood” kind of restaurant. Overall, my food tasted fine and I was happy with most of my selections. However, I would recommend only to friends and family if they were in the area by chance.

Name: Sajid Lopez
Occupation: Physician
Lives In: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Imlee
Reviewed Maroosh: January 19th, 2010

Maroosh is located in the heart of Coral Gables in an attractive two-story building. When we entered the restaurant, we were immediately greeted and asked to sit anywhere that we would like. I’ve been to this restaurant before and the owner is always present, greeting guests and making sure everyone is well taken care of. We ordered falafels as an appetizer and they were crispy on the outside and soft in the inside. The accompanying tahini sauce was somewhat bland, but the falafels stood on their own. The lamb kabobs where cooked perfectly, but slightly under seasoned. The almond rice was delicious! The baked mousaka was good, but not necessarily something I would order again. As the evening progressed our service slowed down due to multiple large parties that arrived, so I opted to skip dessert.

Overall, Maroosh has a Pleasant staff with good food. I would recommend the place to a friend if he is specifically looking for Mediterranean cuisine.

Restaurant Information

Location: 223 Valencia Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Phone: 305-945-0444
Restaurant Owners: Samir Al-Barq
Executive Chef: Samir Al-Barq
Pastry Chef: Wendy Rodriguez

Type of Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Signature Dishes: Lamb specialties
Vegetarian Options: Yes
Alcohol Served: Wine/Beer
Corkage Fee: $15.00
Bottle Limit: Two (per table)

Restaurant Hours:
Monday – close
Tuesday – 11:30 – 10:00pm
Wednesday – 11:30 – 10:00pm
Thursday – 11:30 – 10:00pm
Friday – 11:30 – 11:00pm
Saturday – 12:00 11:00pm
Sunday – 12:00 – 10:00pm

Meals Served: Lunch and Dinner

Prix Fix Menu: For parties of 6 or more

Take-Out: Yes

Delivery: Yes

Average Dinner Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, %15 gratuity, w/o alcohol):$30

Average Lunch Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, %15 gratuity, w/o alcohol):$15

Payment Options: do you accept credit cards and if so, which ones? Visa, Master Card, AMEX and Discovery

Accept Reservations: No

Need Reservations: Yes, 4 people and up

How far in advance do you require reservations be made: 1 to 2 days

Accommodations for Children: N/A
Dining Style: Upscale, casual full service dining
Disabled Access: Yes
Restaurant Size: 100 seats
Accommodate Groups: Yes
Private Dining Room: Yes
Tables with Scenic Views: Yes
Outdoor Dining: Yes
Entertainment: Yes, belly dancing Friday and Saturday and for private parties.