Neighbor Roy & I went to Za'atar one afternoon, partially because it sounded interesting and partially because I had an Arizona Daily Star Dining Club on which they were included. As we entered, the first thing we noticed was the bakery to the right of the cashier. The glass case was filled with baklava and other tasty pasties. On checkout, we resisted the temptation.
Our server introduced himself and said he is Kurdish. The first Kurdish person either of us had ever met or knew that we had met. We both ordered the Beef Kabob Plate: Grilled Ground Sirloin with onions and herbs served with hummus and slices of pita bread and salad ($13). It sounded good, and it was.
The salad was fresh and crispy: chopped tomato, cucumber, onion and chickpeas tossed with Za'atar dressing. Very good. The pita bread was very fresh and served to make a sandwich of the sirloin steak. Especially tasty was the hummus. Neither Roy nor I usually care for hummus, it is usually a dull paste. But this hummus was really good: chickpeas blended with sesame seed paste, olive oil and lemon juice.
Za'atar also serves a Gyro Plate: thinly sliced gyro meat served with tzatziki ($11); a Chicken Shawarma Plate: spice chicken with garlic sauce ($11); and a Veggie Combo Plate: falafel, a salad and your choice of two dips ($11).
Roy usually orders hot tea with his meal, but lately we have been to places that do not serve tea. Za'atar offered an elaborate tea set ($3) and Roy said the tea was definitely not ordinary Liptons. He enjoyed it so much he ordered a second serving.
Za'atar also offers family meals for take out.
We rated Za'atar four saguaros: very good: Very good food, moderately priced, clean if not average setting, good service.
Za'atar Mediterranean Restaurant & Bakery
2310 N. Country Club Road
Tucson, AZ 85716