The Bottom Line
- Large portions with liberal use of proteins
- Reasonable prices for lunch
- Nice atmosphere
- Lots of vegetarian options
- Parking may be a problem
- All-season patio can blow hot air on diners in winter
- Anita's Kitchen is a Lebanese Cafe & Marketplace in downtown Ferndale.
- The restaurant has a large menu filled with Middle Eastern favorites.
- There are two distinct dining areas. The main dining room has comfortable chairs and a nice, warm atmosphere, but the covered patio has more room between tables.
Guide Review - Anita's Kitchen in Ferndale
Anita’s Kitchen, a Lebanese Café & Marketplace, is located in a storefront along Woodward Avenue in Ferndale, which means the space is narrow and deep. A bar/pastry counter that runs the length of one wall cuts deeply into the dining area space, which is filled with a few bar tables by the window and square wooden tables elsewhere. The space is painted a lime green and metal sculptures hang from the ceiling.
A covered patio greatly expands the area available for dining. It is filled with wrought iron tables that are given more space because of the greater dimensions of the patio. While comfortable in winter, a long heater that runs along the length of the ceiling can blow hot air on diners.
The large menu is filled with typically Middle Eastern cuisine. In other words, the dishes make use of seafood, chicken, lamb, hummus, pita bread, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. The menu also has nine salad options, as well as four, uniquely Lebanese Pita Pizzas with toppings that include eggplant, ground lamb and goat cheese (not necessarily on one pizza).
The menu is hard to classify in terms of cost. The entrees available for lunch are on the expensive side, while the appetizers and sandwiches are very reasonable. No matter the selection, however, the portions are very generous.
The lentils were the star of the show in the Lentils, Spinach and Goat Cheese Mezza or "starter." They were sautéed in olive oil and garlic and served slightly crunchy. Covered in layers of sautéed spinach and Goat Cheese crumbles, the resulting bite was very flavorful and actually overshadowed our salad and sandwich for lunch.
The Shish Tawook pita is essentially a skewer of chicken (apparently taken directly off a kebob) and hummus. The most noteworthy thing about the sandwich was the amount of chicken given the $4.95 price tag. The other main ingredient was homemade hommus, which easily surpassed the mass-produced hummus now widely available at grocery stores. While the sandwich was very good, there was little in the way of other ingredients.
The Lemon Tart for dessert combined the sour lemon filling with a sweet drizzle of frosting. The crust of the tart was buttery and had a satisfying crunch that cut through the sourness of the tart filling. In other words, bites with lots of crust made for the best bite. The dessert was easily large enough for two.
The waitress was friendly and brought water with our wine without having to be asked. When one of our wine selections didn’t meet the mark, the management replaced it easily.