Welcome back to campus! After a nice break from school and work this past month, I was excited to jump back into writing about my latest dining experience at King David’s Restaurant.

When it comes to reviews, I’m not interested in chains and want to bring commentary about local cuisine to my readers. Although King David’s has three locations – two in the Syracuse area and a newer addition located here in Rochester, a mere 10 minutes from campus – the restaurant most definitely did not have a chain feel to it and had fair prices that would rival any chain.

The prices – combined with a nice atmosphere, service and food quality – made it worth reviewing this week.

The restaurant itself is located in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Park Point Plaza (try saying that five times fast); a great location because of its proximity to college students. There are a number of other restaurants as well as the Barnes & Noble at RIT, which serves as the anchor of the plaza.

Naturally, you can imagine that the area feels like any other plaza, but as we entered the restaurant, it felt like being transported to an entirely different location. While the walls and tables were adorned with some traditional Middle Eastern artwork, lamps and statues, there was also a relaxed feeling to the environment, which made it easy to grab a booth and engage the menu.

Speaking of the menu, the options offered were widespread, which is definitely a plus. With meat options, such as chicken and lamb, as well as vegetarian choices, you can really find something that works for you. However, as always, having many choices can also make picking just the right meal a challenge – the good thing is you can’t go wrong.

The menu’s organization is very standard, starting with Greek ‘pitzas’ which were personalized pizzas on sliced pitas, moving through to ‘mazzas’ or hors d’oeuvres, salads, pocket sandwiches and pita, and ending with House Specials. With two fellow diners, we all picked differently to get a good scope of the menu. One person ordered Mousaka, another ordered chicken kebab over rice, and I ordered a chicken gyro platter.

Each dish offered something a little different.

Mousaka – which is a traditional Middle Eastern meal with seasoned ground beef, layers of potatoes and eggplant topped with a creamy b’eacute;chamel sauce – was delicious, as I could see from my dining cohort’s reaction.

The chicken kebab dinner had two kebabs with about six pieces of chicken each, as well as vegetables, over a nice size bed of traditional rice, and there was more than enough for leftovers.

My meal was a good choice for me because it had multiple components to it, which kept it interesting. The gyro was huge and stuffed with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and a homemade tzatziki sauce. As with all of the pocket sandwiches and pitas, you have the option of adding a side salad and side carbohydrate for $3.50 instead of just having the pita alone, which isn’t enough if you’re hungry.

Since I had just spent all day driving to get back to school, I opted for the platter, with the salad and sweet potato fries that were hot and crispy. I’m always on the prowl for good, sweet potato fries, so this was an awesome surprise for me.’ ‘

My fellow diners also found their meals to be very well balanced.
‘I thought this falafel was really good. It’s usually too dry for me, but this I thought was great,’ senior Elisabeth Mead said.

Our server, who was very kind and energetic about helping us out with our selections, also made sure everything met our expectations as the meal progressed.

Of course, a review isn’t complete without knowing how much a meal is going to cost, and as I mentioned earlier, these prices are very fair. With the salads averaging $6, the pocket sandwiches and pitas $5.75, the platters for those sandwiches $9, and the House Specials capping out at $13, the prices’ are excellent and within the range of the college student’s budget.

This week’s ‘Best Bang For Your Buck’ would be the Gyro Platters, because to get a huge gyro, a pile of fries and a side salad for about $9 really is a steal. The gyros and sandwiches can be combined in a bunch of different ways with multiple sides so you can use that to your advantage when ordering.

Overall, King David’s Restaurant is a fun little place that’s great on a budget and I’m glad that this chain made it to Rochester. King David’s does offer a dining option that I have yet to see paralleled in the area. With great food and good service, it’s an experience that you should definitely indulge yourself in.
For more information, visit www.kingdavids.com.’ ‘

Siegel is a member of the class of 2010.

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