One evening when we were meeting our friends for dinner, we chose this place with two goals- good Mediterranean food and kid comfortable restaurant; only one goal was met!
We have eaten and enjoyed good Mediterranean food in the United States and across the globe, and this place is a sorry compromise for Mediterranean food! From the kids comfort point of view, the place is large and open, big enough for Kids to run around. I even saw some were heeling around Yes a lot of space and lot of unoccupied tables.
The place lacks appeal when you walk in. The ambience is missing. The atmosphere is just plain and unadorned. Adding Mediterranean settings would have given it some personality and warmth, but here it’s absent. We just had to walk in, prepay for the buffet and sit on one of the many tables in this open space. Our excitement and spirits for a great evening already came down.
Next we walked over to the large selection of buffet. Yes, there is a large variety of dishes in good quantity. But the quality was the one which seemed lacking. The specialty of Mediterranean and Greek food are the fresh pitas. Here unfortunately the pita bread served was hard and stiff. The zatar seasoned pitas were not bad, but also not soft and fresh. In the chicken category, the tandoori chicken and chicken kabab were good. The baked fish was not bad. But the Lamb shanks, typically one of the exquisite Mediterranean lamb entree was very greasy with distasteful here. The shanks were not trimmed of the excess fat hence the foul fatty flavor had got into the soup, and tainted its flavor. The rest of the fare was just average.
When I saw there were couple of options in the desserts, I raised my hopes which had fallen after the average food. One of my favorite desserts, the baklava which I have eaten in umpteen number of places and personally make it myself was also among the desserts. But the baklava here was bland and the worst I have ever eaten. Semolina cake is a crunchy delicious cake pastry made is the Middle East also called namoura or basbousa. Last time I ate the basbousa was when a Lebanese acquaintance had made it and got over this sweet dessert and all of us had jotted down its recipe. But at Dimassi’s, it was not even sweet! The jam cookies were not good either. The dessert selection was even more miserable.
What could have been a great evening with our good friends turned into a bad dining experience. I don’t particularly fancy buffet eating, but in some places it’s pretty decent. But this one was the worst of the lot. When you can see a large variety of food, yet none appealing, it’s bad.
Price Range: moderate
Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet
12636 Research Blvd
Austin, Tx 78759