One of the more exotic options for Athens cuisine, Restaurant Salaam (“Salaam” is Arabic for “peace”) offers “fine world cuisine,” a thorough mixture of Indian, Mediterranean, and African dishes. A mixture of spices and seasonings from such places as Morocco and Turkey garnish prominent dishes in Salaam’s menu. A healthy variety of lamb, chicken and beef options are served in gyros, kebabs, and assorted other dishes. Make no mistake, you won’t find a menu like this anywhere else in the region. Salaam specializes in bringing to the table things few other places offer.
I have to admit, I’ve had few opportunities to try Indian cuisine, and I’ve taken a liking to even fewer of those dishes. To be fair to Salaam, I gave a sample to its Middle Eastern specialty kebabs for a first experience with the place. The lamb meat is served with a variety of roasted vegetables as well as a strong lemon rice.
Appetizer bread and olive oil are offered to all patrons, and side salads are offered for the Kebab dish.
- Mediterranean salad: With a healthy variety of very fresh veggies and bleu cheese and nuts, the Salaam Salad which I tried was definitely a fitting meal light. A pomegranate vinaigrette made it perfect, and the salad is offered with grilled meats or without for a very healthy alternative.
- Lamb Kebab: No question it was a good choice. The roasted vegetable variety cooked between the lamb meat sucked up its juices, and you’re left with very delicious peppers, onions, and squash. The lamb meat is seared to order, and my lamb meat was perfect. Exactly what I had in mind when I asked for it “well-done.” It was soaked in some Turkish marinade and garnished with middle eastern spices. In other words, it was perfect.
- Coconut Chicken Curry: Mildly spiced chicken in a velvety curry sauce with steamed veggies. A nod to good Indian cuisine. With a side of basmati rice and crunchy papadum. A lighter hand on this dish for sure.
Service was great. Two waiters converged on me and my companion Alex constantly with refills and offers for more food. There was even a belly dancer to entertain the restaurant who danced around the tables with finesse. Once again another accent to Salaam that ensures you won’t find it anywhere else.
Salaam had great food and an environment with flavor that is remarkably unique. You won’t find this kind of experience anywhere else in this part of Ohio. Whether with a date or a group of friends on a nice night out, Salaam is worth a taste.
- Come to Salaam with an open mind; this is not your typical Southeast Ohio cuisine.
- Dinner guests pay slightly larger bills but are treated to the entertainment of a belly dancer.
- A variety of vegetarian options have led Salaam to win a number of awards from area publications. Vegetarians will find plenty on the menu to try, including delicious salads.