Dining Out Paleo: Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet

Welcome to my Thursday series: Dining Out Paleo 
Every Thursday I post a recent dining out experience and how I chose the best possible options to stay true to my Paleo lifestyle, opting for the freshest and most nutrient dense foods while avoiding grains, sugars, dairy, and soy to the best of my ability.  Unless informed otherwise, I always assume that the restaurant uses vegetable/canola oils for cooking.

During my most recent trip to Dallas, there was very little time for home cooking and too much time for quick meals on-the-run.  Mom was doing very well this trip, but my grandma was not.  With emotions and stress levels at full tilt, Mom and I were go-go-go from sunup until way past sundown trying to maximize our time with my Bobo while keeping her comfort level high and her anxiety level low.  For the small handful of readers who know Bobo, you know the latter two are extremely daunting tasks.

In between the hurried errands, the holding of hands, the sharing of stories, and the nightly walks with Bobo... Mom and I would squeeze in a meal, preferably healthy and re-energizing and not toxic and inflammatory.  Lucky for us, Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet in Richardson, Texas was a short drive and had ample offerings of vegetable and meat dishes from which to choose. 

I started with a nice slathering of anti-bacterial gel on my hands and then grabbed a plate...

I went straight to the Fatoush - cucumber, tomato, radish, olive oil, dry mint, and lemon juice.  Talk about refreshing and zesty!

I moved right on to the cabbage salad.  I love cabbage.  Crunchy texture, light taste, and it kicks unhealthy conditions in the butt!  I piled a nice big helping of the cabbage salad onto my plate and continued to make my way down the line.

Fresh fruit salad?  Available for those looking for something a little sweet with their meal...

Cauliflower (shown at the top of the picture) was full of flavor.  I initially thought this offering was roasted, but later discovered on the Dimassi's menu page that the cauliflower is fried.

Other vegetable offerings that made their way into my kabob hole:  

baba ghanouge - roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and spices
spinach, feta, garlic, cilantro, and salt
Greek salad - lettuce, tomato, carrot, feta, and olives
Dimassi's eggplant - eggplant baked with pomegranate molasses, diced pepper, and olive oil (note: this item contains sugar)

Need a little help making a selection?  Where appropriate, foods were labeled with ingredients and marked "vegan" and/or "gluten-free."

After adding a little heap of garlic dip to my plate (garlic, olive oil, lemon juice), it was time to peruse the offerings of meat.  It was a tough call when spicy kafta meat balls, seasoned shredded beef brisket, baked tilapia, and gyro meat were all enticingly displayed...


There was marinated chicken breast with a blend of mild spice, mustard, oil, and garlic...

 Kafta kabobs: ground beef, parsley, onions, and spices...

And lamb shanks were available by special request on weekends.  Mom went for the lamb shank, I sat and watched.  I gladly stuck to my kafta kabobs and shredded beef, including a hearty bit of garlic dip with each bite.  I figured it was safe since my cuddly kissable hubby was 1,402 miles away, but eventually convinced myself he could probably still smell my breath from the comfort of our living room back in California.

Mom and I both opted for water to drink.  We entertained ourselves by watching the crowd file by and each person load their plates with personal favorites.  Even during the oddest hours of the afternoon, the restaurant was packed with a very diverse group of diners.

It was nice to walk out of a buffet experience feeling comfortably full and not having gummy-bear-soft-serve-sundae residue around the corners of my mouth and a safety pin holding my pants together.  The price was great for this California girl who is used to inflated prices and purely ornamental food - $10 for lunch and $12 for dinner/weekends all-you-can-eat.  As I am certain there will be another visit to Dallas in the very near future, Dimassi's will be Mom's and my "go-to" for a quick and healthy meal in between all the rest of the chaos that will fill the days.

And for the record... as incredibly delicious and creepy as it sounds, I've never eaten a gummy-bear-soft-serve sundae.  Or used a safety pin on my jeans.  That's what sweat pants are for!

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