South Bend, Indiana does have a small amount of international cuisine options available to University of Notre Dame students and residents. There is a good amount of Asian restaurants (compared to other Indiana cities) such as Vietnamese and Thai. There are only a few options we have found for Arabic cuisine such as Jordanian and Lebanese. We drove past Elia’s Mediterranean Restaurant a few weeks ago and decided we had to test it out. After all we do eat lots of Jordanian food in our household thanks to our lovely Jordanian friends. See my vegan review:
Genki Husband and I had just finished an hour workout at the gym and were famished. Seeing as we just completed a long workout and burnt off a lot of calories, we chose to test out this restaurant. I mean that’s why we exercise right? So we can eat!
Normal fare is available to vegans- nothing odd or out-of-the-ordinary from other Mediterranean restaurants. When you have falafels though, need there be any more? I think not. We ordered 1 entrees which were the Vegetarian Combo (Falafel, Vegetarian Grape Leaf Rolls, Midardara and Tabouli Salad.) and also 1 appetizer called the Mezzah (Appetizer sampler of hoummos, baba ghannouge, vegetarian grape leaf rolls and tabouli.) Photo above. Both were supposed to come with pitas but unfortunately we received 1 pita cut into 4 pieces- yes that’s one serving.
Everything was ordered via telephone and we were given a time everything should have been ready for pickup. They do not deliver-most places do not deliver here. We arrived and then waited probably around another 10 minutes on top of the time given for the two items to be completed. It was probably around 40 minutes to get both items ready (sad since most of it is pre-made). It was not busy inside. So if you are in a rush, be well prepared and order very early.
The food itself was okay, very ordinary. Nothing special but nothing odd either. It was normal fare – almost as if someone was making the items for the first time from recipes. The restaurant is supposed to be Lebanese family owned and operated but I am not sure where this family is originally born and raised.
In our opinion, we were a bit surprised at the cost compared to size given. At first sight, the take out containers do appear to be full but it’s sad to find out different. The hummus and baba ganoush was probably only two tablespoons in total and we were only given 1 pita. Considering we ordered a appetizer that needs to be consumed with pita and shared with others, this was not enough. The price was very steep in general terms, without even taking into consideration the amount given. As a comparison, we paid close to $30 for these two items. At other restaurants with the same type of food, we normally pay around $15-20 for more food in our area.
So whether it matters or not, we will not be recommending this restaurant to vegans. I can not speak for carnivores since we did not order anything with animal meat in it. If you are in the area and want Arabic (Mediterranean) cuisine, we would highly recommend Alladin’s Eatery, just a few miles further down the road in Mishawaka, Indiana. The price, quality and quantity is just miles better than Elia’s.
*This review was on our own personal opinion and we were not paid to write this review. We paid for all food items with our own money.