I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this restaurant. It’s an assumption on my part, but since Ferdos is so close to UT, I assumed it’d have low to medium quality food and decor that felt cheap or fast-food in essence. My assumptions were not assauged when we found the place (after passing it once). It’s location isn’t pretty. It’s very much a bare parking lot and a non-descript building. Very urban, but not in the cool way.
However, I was pleasantly surprised after entering the restaurant. It looked nice. Not uber-fancy or stellar, but nice. (There is exposed ceiling ductwork, but that’s often a popular design choice, so they don’t get points off for that). I’d say the atmosphere is good for an evening out with friends, a relaxed/casual night out with your honey, or perhaps a casual business meeting. But not for a fancy or particularly special occasion evening out with your honey. Nor would I fee comfortable going there in a sweatsuit or torn/ready-for-the-rag-bin t-shirt.
Okay, but the really important part is the food. To a certain extent, I don’t care what the place looks like, as long as the food is stellar. And it was quite, quite tasty here. We immensely enjoyed everything we ate. Even the rice, which when I first took a bite, I thought was rather bland, turned out to be a perfect partner to the meat. Which I belated realized was the point, if the rice had too many spices, it would have overpowered or warred with the kabob. My shish kabob was tender, juicy, and not overcooked and I really enjoyed the spices and seasonings in Legend’s kafta (and I normally don’t like kafta). The baba ghannouji was great, too, and I’m only recently coming to enjoy eggplant. Also, the portions were huge, so I got three meals out of one (others may get two meals out of it, I don’t eat much beef). The pre-meal bread was also very tasty and we loved the dipping oil with herbs that came with it. However, they were just trying out herbs, so I don’t know if they’ve adopted them as standard or if was just for the summer.
Our waiter, Patrick, was stellar. He knew the menu inside and out and he suggested an excellent wine to go with my shish kabob — the wine was just the right strength to compliment my meal, neither being too wimpy nor too bombastic and he was right about the plum notes in the wine going excellently with the beef. Apparently, Patrick normally works in the kitchen, but they let him out on some weekends to earn a little extra cash. I’m really glad they do. He was formerly a waiter a Real Seafood Co. (if I recall correctly) and you can tell he has that wonderful polished waiter manner that is informative without being pushy and is just attentive enough without bugging you during your meal. Absolutely wonderful. Tip him well! :)
Legend and I had a wonderful evening out. The food, wine, and waiter were amazing and the restaurant was comfortable, which facilitated a fun and relaxed date night with my honey. After only one visit, Ferdos has become my favorite Mediterranian/Middle Eastern restaurant in Toledo (beating out The Grape Leaf, Sahara, and Ambrosia — all also very good).
1 sampler (baba ghannouji, fatoosh, grape leaves, hummus, tabbouleh): $9.95
1 pop: $1.95
1 Shish kafta entree: $13.95
1 Shish Kabob entree: $15.95
1 glass Norton Malbec (a red wine) $6.00
3065 West Bancroft Street., Toledo, OH 43606
We used a www.restaurant.com gift certificate. They honor them all year round at this restaurant, but they only sell them in the summer. So stock up during the summer months! :)
Returned to Ferdos on 10/25/2010. This time I got the beef Galaba ($12.95) and the same wine.
Galaba is essentially a Mediterranian stir fry. Very tasty, very filling. I highly recommend it.