Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fun Playing with Food at Tastee Bites

Tastee Bites is a relatively new player on the Mayfield Road lunch scene near my Lyndhurst office. Owners Charlotte Bechara and her husband Tony are working hard to bring fresh, affordable food to a neighborhood awash in fast food chains. Also, this neighborhood offers some competition for "fresh" - Appetite, Antalya, Eat at Joe's and Kalie's Diner also offer modestly priced food, cooked fresh to order, and Antalya is also Mediterranean.

I first lunched at Tastee Bites right after they opened, and it didn't seem fair to write about them until they had a chance to work out the opening kinks. I'm pleased to report that the food I've tasted since then has been very good to outstanding, and Tastee Bites is recommended for lunch, and even for dinner take-out if the family is in a Mediterranean mood. Charlotte makes outstanding hummus and babaganoush. Other Mediterranean items include tabouli, yogurt dip, white bean dip, Kafta, and Fatoush. And don't forget the desserts (which I usually do)!

How can you not love a place that has chairbacks like these? These are obviously people who enjoy playing with food. The restaurant has about 5 tables, so one can lunch there, or take out.

Falafel Sandwich

This was my partner Anna's lunch the last time we "ate in". She liked it.

Falafel Salad

This was a serious salad that included big hunks of fresh vegetables together with the more traditional salad items. The falafel were good, and the dressing simply fabulous. It was all served over a cleverly toasted pita "shell."

We also enjoyed some Baklava. Charlotte makes all of this from scratch and it is lovely.

The next couple of visits were for take out, and just for me. First - a "chicken burger" - sounds weird, but tastes mighty good! Rather than the ubiquitous food service frozen-reheated rubber chicken breast, Charlotte uses ground chicken for this delicacy.

This sandwich was cooked to order and most delicious. And - a lighter alternative to the hamburger that is also on the menu. They also offer a garden burger and a salmon burger, which I have not yet tried.

Babaganoush (Eggplant Dip) with Pita

I loved the baba! The only thing missing was a dash of hot sauce. Huge smoky eggplant flavor and fresh tahini.

For lunch today, I ordered the Daily Special. The Daily Special is disclosed on a white board in the window - today, it was Steak Wrap, side of grilled veggies, fruit salad and can of pop.

Grilled Vegetables

These babies had actual flavor and didn't taste of a food service bag.

Steak Wrap

They asked if I wanted regular (onions, peppers and swiss cheese) or Mediterranean. I opted for the latter.

Steak with Grilled Onions, Peppers, Tomatoes, Pickled Turnips and Hummus

One bite of this sandwich, and my mouth was singing! It was that good - in addition to the listed goodies, I saw Charlotte squirting the meat with her "secret sauce" as it cooked - it had a veritable explosion of flavor to offer! And those pickled turnips - YUM!

Did I mention this special (which cost just $6.49) also came with a cup of fresh fruit?

Delicious! I didn't think you needed to see the can of pop (I'm trying to cut out pop anyway), but that was also included.

If you are traveling Mayfield Road and looking for freshly prepared, inexpensive, tasty eats - I can recommend giving Tastee Bites a try for fun food! But don't be in too much of a hurry - everything cooked is cooked from raw - and this takes a little more time than your average microblasted fast food. But it is well worth the slight wait to play with Tastee Bites!


  1. Based on your recommendation we dined at Tastee tonight. We really enjoyed it, thanks! Here's a link to our review, although it is not very different from yours. Great post and beautiful pictures!

  2. Thank you for the nice comment Sarah. Tastee Bites is in a terrible location, largely due to local regulations that severely limit their signage - a lot of folks drive by and don't even know that they are there! They aren't allowed to put up sandwich boards closer to Mayfield Road or anything else eye-catching outside their store or in the parking lot. And the strip mall they are in has never had this type of business in it, so folks don't know to look there for it.

    But the food is great and the prices can't be beat - local and owner-operated - I want to support them.

  3. Nancy - thanks for bringing ths spot to my attention. I crave this food and am glad to know of another option in my area.

  4. Thanks for the recommendation - I stumbled on your blog as I was looking for Tastee Bites hours. My fiance and I were looking to try a new restaurant tonight, and your comments and pictures have convinced us to try Tastee Bites! So thanks!

  5. OK - this is just the best restaurant in this area and we need to get the word out. Just realized there was an update here on your blog and after having eaten lunch there today....these photos make me feel like I could just taste it all over again! Do you place ads on your blog? I am compelled to help this lady market herself so that we can keep her in business. Curious if you can tell me more about getting the word out for these folks. Please email me at or 440-605-9516. Thank you for your fantastic blog!

  6. Amy - check out my more recent post here:

    Tastee Bites keeps getting better and better!