Merguez Restaurant- Orlando Wilderness Creek- 2 Stars.
The young leading the young, is like the blind leading the blind; "they will both fall into the ditch."- Stanhope
15 years ago, a younger and slightly thinner Big Boy was driving around the Las Vegas desert when a hankering for good Arabic food hit. I am Syrian on my father's side and grew up eating quality Arabic food. I found a local 4 star rated restaurant and headed out to it. As I Opened the door I was almost blown back by the cacophony of sound emanating from the speakers. I felt like I had just stepped into a rock concert and was standing in front of a stack of Marshall amps. I screamed over the music to ask the owner if he could turn it down, he replied with a. "No. Homeland Security has the place wired." My first thought was, "Yikes." My second thought was, "How much do I really want Arabic food today?" What does this have to do with Merguez in Orlando, you ask? Great question! Sans the blaring music, the place was packed to the hilt with yelling, screaming, demonstrative gesturing Arabs (it's what my people do). My mind wandered and I imagined I was at a meeting of Islamic extremists and wondered if this restaurant was also bugged. I am not certain what the hoopla was about, but I can assure you, they were not factoring polynomials! Now, onto the food. I ordered the mixed grill with chicken, lamb and kefta along with a Greek salad and steamed rice. The chicken had to have been under a heat lamp for at least a few hours based on the rubbery consistency it presented to my palate, the lamb was dry and tasteless (served with a side of ketchup no less!), and the kefta was not unlike trying to eat a sponge ball. The only reason this salad could be called Greek was because it had a few crumbles of Feta Cheese thrown on top, otherwise it was pedestrian and nothing to write home about. The steamed rice was fine, I mean, how hard is it to screw up steamed rice? If you are a regular reader of my reviews you will know that Skewers (Melbourne) and Al Houda (Palm Bay) are 50 times better. Big Boy says, "Do yourself a favor and if you are driving by Merguez while in Orlando...keep driving."