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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Middle Eastern, Greek
Counter service

Daily 11:00am–10:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

Highland Mall
6619 Airport Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 419-0110
Arpeggio Grill
The Mediterranean mural’s not fooling anyone, but the halal meats are convincing

Arpeggio Grill turns out some of the city’s best lunch deals from a steam table where nothing sits around for very long. You may as well order it at the counter, to be freshly made, since it’s all unbelievably cheap. Take a seat under a fake palm tree and admire the breathtaking murals that transport you to the Lebanese coast (kidding). Along one side are rugs and pillows with low tables for traditional group seatings, which will be a delicious and affordable good time, if one without alcohol (this is a halal restaurant, so no bringing it, either).

Vegetable dishes are fine, if bereft of the mint that rounds out their flavor spectra. Still, a mezze is a great shareable starter that will allow you to sample tabbouleh (fine, if heavy on chewy curly-leaf parsley); baba ghanoush (not smoky, but with clean eggplant flavor and nice olive oil); hummus (with a nice citric lift); crisp, cuminy falafel (the best vegetarian achievement here); mealy, blandish dolma; and refreshing fattoush. Better are the meat dishes: juicy beef shawarma with a lovely char; exceptionally tender and mildly lamby gyro, overstuffed into a fluffy, thick pita with cool cucumbery tzatziki. There are also wildly popular Greek pizzas and grilled chicken wings—and free green tea. Hooray for free buzzes.

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