Jerusalem Mediterranean Restaurant – Myrtle Beach, SC

When you think of vacation/beach cuisine, most people dream of crab legs, endless piles of shrimp, fresh fish and the like.  We’ve enjoyed a lot of that in Myrtle Beach, but found a new favorite “beach dinner” spot at Jerusalem Mediterranean Restaurant last night!  If you love Middle Eastern food you’ll find some of the best I’ve had at this beautiful family-owned place.  With a new building, beautiful and spacious interior and occasional live entertainment (think traditional and modern belly dancing) you’ll find it a perfect spot for a date-night or a large party of family and friends.  I love the colors, feel and shadow boxes full of pottery.  You’ll immediately be whisked away from coastal Carolina and off to the Middle East!

There is an ample selection of cocktails, beer and wine at the bar.  While we didn’t have drinks tonight, there were some interesting choices.  The menu is a good size with a fine mixture of starters/small plates, traditional fare and wonderful-smelling tagines.  Abandoning any sense of healthy, it’s vacation after all, we settled on the Jerusalem Combo Platter.  The lightly fried treats from falafel to kibbeh to potato wontons were perfectly cooked, well-spiced and delicious.  It’s hard to beat any of these crispy treats dipped fresh tahini!

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For dinner we split the kabob – a traditional mixture of spiced ground beef and lamb grilled and served on saffron rice.  This was absolutely the best we’ve ever had!  The crisp grilled outside sealed in a perfectly pink juicy inside.  It’s a large portion and almost too much for a single person to eat – good thing we split it!  Dinners are also served with warm naan bread cooked in their tandoori oven and a selection of chef’s salads of the day.  Let me tell you, these aren’t a side-thought, they are like bright little firecrackers of flavor to brighten the main attraction.  Spicy garbanzo beans, Israeli salad, soft warm curried carrots and creamy cool dill sweet corn were tasty and amazing compliments to the kabob.

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Honestly, I can’t think of a single improvement I would make at Jerusalem.  Take a right where most people go left and you’ll end up with one of the best meals you’ll eat at Myrtle Beach.  When you see the family and friends of the owners interact with each other you’ll know for sure there’s love in this food!  Check out their website at myrtlebeachkosher.com.  Brush up on your belly dancing skills and dig in!!

Mediterranean Couscous

Couscous is a great option for a side dish or main dish because it takes on flavor really well.  Surprised that an Italian loves small pasta balls??  Seriously though, this Mediterranean version is a great side dish or main dish with the addition of a protein like chicken or fish.  It’s easy to make, versatile and delicious!

MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Couscous
  • 1 1/4 Cup Water
  • 4 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided in half
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 2 Small Tomatoes, Seeded and Diced
  • 1/2 Cucumber, Seeded and Diced
  • 1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Directions

  • Place water and 2 Tbs olive oil in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in couscous, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a bowl.  Allow to cool.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Refrigerate and serve.

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Grilled Greek Lamb Chops with Tzatziki

I love finding grilled lamb chops as an appetizer at parties.  You don’t have to be at a party though, they also make an easy dinner!  Some people are intimidated by lamb or aren’t sure how to season and cook it properly.  Using classic Greek flavors is an easy and fool-proof way to make perfect lamb chops every time!  I always pair them with my easy tzatziki recipe – you can use it with the lamb, pitas and veggies to dip in.

GRILLED GREEK LAMB CHOPS

Ingredients

  • 8 Lamb Chops
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Directions

  • Place lamb chops in a 9×9 dish or ziplock bag.
  • Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over lamb chops.
  • Cover or seal to marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
  • Remove lamb chops from refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
  • Grill lamb chops over medium heat 3-4 minutes per side for medium doneness.
  • Remove from grill, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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EASY TZATZIKI

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Greek Yogurt (don’t go fat-free here, use 2% or full-fat for best results)
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 Tsp Chopped Dill (dried works well here too)
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Don’t over-mix as you want to keep the thick texture of the Greek yogurt.
  • You can eat it immediately, but I love to let it set in the refrigerator to meld the flavors.
  • Use as a dipping sauce for the lamb chops, pitas and vegetables.

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