A Mediterranean restaurant has landed in Garland with a Texas twist. Called Ferah Tex-Med Kitchen, it's a newly opened restaurant in Firewheel Town Center, at 690 Beebalm Ln., in a space that was home for many years to Avocado California Roll Sushi, and then a short-termer called Ichi Sushi.
Ferah has been a lifelong dream of chef Burak Özcan, which he opened with his wife Stephanie. They've created an inviting space to experience what they call "Tex-Med" cuisine.
They'll host their grand opening and ribbon cutting on June 21 at 4 pm.
A native of Turkey, where he attended the world-famous Mengen Anatolian Culinary School, Özcan moved to Texas in 2009. He has over 15 years of experience in gourmet kitchens around the world, including a stint as sous chef at Samar By Stephan Pyles, and has worked at numerous hotel restaurants both in Dallas and Istanbul, including Westin, Renaissance, and Marriott.
"I found that I loved the cuisine here as well," he says. "So I combined the food of my native country with the flavors of Texas."
The "chef's sampler" is a good example, combining falafel with a crab cake, fried goat cheese, hummus, and arancini, a fried rice ball with corn, black bean, and peas. Or there's his fusion quinoa & hummus tostada, topping the traditional Mexican toasted corn tortilla with hummus, avocado, red onion, tomato, and poblano aioli.
They're also careful to accommodate different tastes and dietary needs.
"At one table you may have someone who loves meat and potatoes, a vegan, and someone following a low-carb plan," Stephanie says. "It can be difficult to find one place to cater to all of these needs. At Ferah, we have a diverse menu with options for all."
That includes having heartier regional favorites like cowboy strip steak and their barbecue burger next to healthier options like salmon and frisee quinoa salad.
Their menu includes a scattering of Middle Eastern standards such as tabbouleh, but they rotate in specials such as crab cake sliders, and host a "Taco Tuesday" event where they feature a trio of their best-selling tacos including falafel, jalapeño-rubbed salmon, and gyro, for $6.
Most entrees are in the $12 to $16 range.
Even their kids' menu is well conceived, replacing the usual dismissive chicken tenders with dishes such as chicken pasta and gyro & rice. When you're in Garland, especially in a family-oriented area such as the neighborhoods surrounding Firewheel, you need something like this.
"We love Garland, and thought we could really make our mark on the community here," Stephanie says.