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Published: Thursday, 11/3/2005

Ansaras take over Adam s Place

The Ansara family, part of the Toledo restaurant scene for many years, is still plying its trade, this time at the former Adam s Place on Laskey Road. Its new name is Ansara s Steakhouse.

Like me, you may have eaten at one or more of the various Ansara-related enterprises over the decades without necessarily realizing it. Michel, the father, was the executive chef of The Bungalow on Airport Highway. Two uncles were longtime owners of the old Joey s Supper Club on North Detroit Avenue, and Kameel Ansara, who worked at both places, opened The Board Room in downtown Toledo in 1993.

Kameel sold The Board Room a couple of years ago but decided to dive back into the fray by opening Ansara s, located just off Wernert s Corners.

Wisely, he and his family bought the recipe and rights to Adam s well-known ribs and chicken. In a town that seems obsessed with barbecue, both more than hold their own. Even wiser, the Middle Eastern dishes scattered throughout the menu are as good as I remember them to be at The Board Room.

Though the sign out front clearly says steakhouse, the interior calls to mind a teahouse, with a simple d cor and the kind of dining tranquility reminiscent of a well-bred Japanese restaurant. The lighting is delicate, and the glass block windows resemble Oriental paned screens.

But there s no sushi or chilled sake to be found on the menu. Instead, the Ansaras lead diners in other well-traveled directions, with food delivered by friendly, competent servers with a longtime association with the family.

About the ribs ($16.95 for a full slab, $12.95 for a half), they re mildly sweet and fall easily off the bone. The steaks ($13.95-$19.95) are equally tender, thinner than those found in some of the city s better-known steakhouses but still juicy.

Among the Middle East selections are fatoosh salad ($6.95); chicken and beef shish kabob ($12.95 and $14.95 respectively); kafta ($12.95) served over rice, and a maza plate appetizer ($5.95) loaded with vegetables, feta, olives, and homemade hummus with pita bread. I also recommend the $6.50 appetizer of grape leaves, glistening with lemon juice and good as ever.

Entrees come with a choice of two sides, including vegetables, saut ed spinach, a big Greek salad, soup, and excellent hash browns.

Hungry customers may also want to try one of four combos ($15.95-$18.95), which wed two variations of ribs, sirloin steak, shrimp, perch, and chicken served on large oval plates, followed by cheesecake, chocolate torte, or the $7.95 bread pudding, a Bungalow favorite, covered with warm whiskey sauce.

Contact Bill of Fare at fare@theblade.com



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