In the wake of a successful career in Baton Rouge, Albasha Greek and Lebanese Restaurant expanded all over the state, choosing the retail hotbed of Youree Drive as its home in Shreveport.
Despite its expansion, Albasha has managed to stay true to its roots. Originally opened in Baton Rouge in 1992, the Albasha chain remains family-owned, and it shows in more ways than one.
Albasha was one of the first restaurants I visited upon moving to Shreveport about a year ago, and I’ve been hooked since then. While my companion and I usually go for dinner, Albasha offers a substantial lunch menu at competitive prices.
Our pick for dinner at Albasha is, hands down, the Meza for Two, although they offer all the old familiars like gyros, kabobs, and moussaka. Upon placing your order for the Meza, a Bacchanalic feast sweeps out of the kitchen accompanied by beaming waitstaff. A generously dressed feta cheese salad merely hints at what is to come: homemade hummus and baba ghanoush (a roasted eggplant dip) that only needs a spoon to be enjoyed, and a platter of stuffed grape and cabbage leaves (dolmades) accompanied by fried gems of kibbi and falafel (a cracked wheat purse stuffed with ground beef, pine nuts, onion and spices, and ball of wheat, beans, and chickpeas, respectively). When the last course, an overflowing plate of grilled chicken shawarma and succulent lamb, was brought triumphantly to the table, my partner and I were legitimately surprised. But–we were already so full! And all this–for $25? And now meat?! It was wrapped up without a second thought, but wonderful out of the fridge the next day.
Albasha also offers the Meza for Three for an extra $10, a great option if your third wheel is feeling a little awkward.
If you head over to Albasha, be sure to try the Lebanese iced tea, a curious mix of tea, lemon, and tangerine (and those are pine nuts floating in there, not seeds), and the tiramisu, which evaporates in your mouth like a coffee cloud.
Unfailingly friendly service and the secluded atmosphere (accented only by a conversational din on the weekends) make Albasha an unexpected oasis among the big chains of Youree Drive.
Albasha Greek and Lebanese Restaurant
7460 Youree Drive