Posted by: KStrate | January 27, 2009

The Sultan is a must.

I am constantly amazed by the wide variety of restaurants that exist within Athens.

Since I heard about The Sultan last semester, I have been dying to try it. The Sultan is a local Lebanese restaurant that is located out on Atlanta Highway, right beside Best Buy. It’s almost to Bogart on your right.img_0748

My first experience with Lebanese/Middle Eastern food was when I studied abroad in Paris two summers ago. If these next few sentences come off seeming stupid, please forgive me.

In case you didn’t know, Lebanon is located on basically the other side of the world in a climate that is extremely different than ours. In fact, most of the crops they grow in the Middle East cannot be grown in America and vice-versa. What I found most fascinating about the Lebanese restaurant was what their food was made of- the crops in their backyard.

Does this make sense to you? It was sooo different than anything I had ever had, but, when you think about it, the eggplant, lamb, beef, chickpeas, nuts, rice, and vegetables are just what grow. It’s a simple concept, but it made me so excited to try everything.

I hadn’t had Lebanese food since Paris, and last Tuesday I got to have it again. Fist pump!!

I went to The Sultan on a whim, and decided I’d go in for a to-go plate. I was by myself, so I was a little apprehensive about going into a new restaurant alone. However, I walked in the door, and I was greeted by the owner and a nice family who looked like regulars. They were just hanging out and cutting up. I knew right then it was going to be a good experience.img_0747

After looking at the menu, I decided to go with the ground beef skewers with a side of hummus. The ground beef was mixed with onions and spices, and they came with a vegetable skewer. They were on top of some yummy basmati rice and came with a side salad.

I paid my $12 and went to the car. Oh my gosh…my car smelled so good. I was so excited about my Lebanese meal that I seriously had to stop myself from running in my house.

Once I got settled and ready, I decided the plate was too big to eat in one sitting. So, I took one beef skewer, the vegetable skewer, half the rice, the salad, and the hummus on a plate. The inaguration balls were on, so I plopped in front of the TV to watch all the festivities.

The ground beef skewer was fabulous. It wasn’t tough, but you could definitely taste the Middle Eastern spices and onions mixed in. It wasn’t a super strong flavor, and it was very tasty. The vegetables tasted grilled, and they definitely were a nice complement to the beef.

I loved the rice. I don’t know what they boil it in, but it tasted like there was a little chicken broth or something. I could be totally wrong, but I’m just trying to describe it to you.

The hummus was AMAZING. There’s nothing like good, authentic hummus, and it was so beautifully displayed even if it was in a styrofoam dessert tray. He topped it with paprika and olive oil. I made that stuff last for three more days. The pita he sent with it was awesome, too. It had been toasted a little and was hot.

All I have to say is TRY IT. If you’ve never had the traditional dishes like falafel, tabouli, or baba ghanoush, that’s where you need to start. I’m sure the people at The Sultan will explain everything to you. For all you picky eaters, it’s not WEIRD. It’s just different. Step out of the box, and go to The Sultan!



  1. …the eggplant, lamb, beef, chickpeas, nuts, rice, and vegetables are just what grow…

    All of these do grow, and are easily available, in the United States.

    • Well, that’s why I prefaced that part with “this may sound stupid.” I know that all of those things can be grown and raised in the US, but a lot of them aren’t native to America. It would be like someone from Lebanon coming over here and having cornbread, butter beans, collards, and meatloaf. I guess I was trying to make a point. 🙂

  2. Oh, also, meant to say: glad you like The Sultan! I usually can’t muster the energy to drive out by the mall, but that food’s really great. I wish there were good Middle Eastern food closer to town (The Grit’s attempts just don’t cut it). Used to be a place called Marrakesh Express where Clocked is now…

  3. Just when I thought I had heard of all the restaurants in Athens… this looks great though, I’ll have to check it out next time I’m out that way!

  4. I’ve only been to The Sultan once, but I loved it! You just can’t beat authentic food.

  5. hmm never would have thought to try lebanese food, but i do really want to give this place a try…plus, good fresh amazing hummus is hard to come by and this one looks fantastic!

  6. I first starting eating Lebanese food during my Navy duty in Bahrain. A local used to take me there it was YUMMO! Of course, eating one of the many many Lebanese appetizers (both cold and hot) while getting a real cultural lesson of the Middle East was great.

    That was when I first tried hummus. After that, I had it everytime. Love me some hummus.

    I didn’t realize there was a Lebanese place in Athens so I’m SO GLAD that you wrote about it! I can’t wait to go & think about my friends back in Bahrain!

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