Poor Arpeggio. The location has been a revolving location for restaurants that has ranged from Stix’s Bistro to Terra Burger to the now present Arpeggio Grill. It has been hard to keep up with rent on the Drag as the economy drags, but students keep pouring in. Rent has always been killer on the Drag and is even more present this year with the prominent closings of quite a few businesses like the clothing store Wish and the bookstore Intellectual Property in 2009. The Daily Texan actually focused in on it in early August. However, the owner of Arpeggio Grill seems to be taking lessons from his predecessors and I feel like the owner is ready for the Drag. Arpeggio Grill knows we students want good food at a location near us and a place that doesn’t have to look like a dump to give us a good deal. That’s why so many other restaurants on the Drag have been staying around and I think this restaurant could do the same.
Approaching Arpeggio Grill, the restaurant face has huge windows that lets in light to what could be a cramped space. Murals of Arabian Nights decorate the walls and bring a kitschy, but nice atmosphere to the place. Arpeggio is noticeably a little better for small groups as the smaller tables are pushed to the wall and can be uncomfortable for parties larger than two. Our large group of ten had to split between two tables in order not to block the passageways between tables. The lighting is warm and inviting and everything is kept rather clean. It’s a place you can go and have good food that doesn’t look like a hole in the wall.
There are many, many choices available to try at Arpeggio. First, there is the Mediterranean side that has all sorts of foods like falafels, kabobs, and baba ghanouj. On the other side is another sort of mini-restaurant in the place called Tomato Shack that serves Italian food. Basic pastas are available as well as a good variety of pizzas. No one tried the Italian food, but it looked like it might be a fair deal if one was dying for some Italian. Personally, for myself, I wanted to try as much as possible so I got the Arpeggio Mesa Platter. The platter contains a little bit of everything Mediterranean and is apparently a popular choice. It was this huge Styrofoam plate full of different kinds of food. There was the beef and chicken shawerma, both nicely seasoned. Then there was the rice, which was also well made and not too spicy. The hummus was good. It was really quite smooth and had a distinctively sour taste. The tabouleh was a little spicy and tasty. Very fresh. The dolma was yummy, but a tiny bit on the soggy side. The baba ghanouj (the brown meatball-looking objects in the first picture) was also quite yummy, but very spicy. I think the platter was a great choice for trying a little of everything and everything was well seasoned and tasted right.
In general, everyone found the food pretty yummy. You get a really good deal with the decent prices for tons of food so definitely recommended! Between our large group, we had the chicken, falafels, shawermas, grilled fish, steak, and special platters and no complaints about dinner choice. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it’s a place we would like to go back to. The people were definitely very nice and the place seemed quite clean. There’s a white board with special deals and a menu in the back with pictures if you have no idea what you want.The guy calls out the number at the bottom of the receipt and brings the food to you. You might want to save yourself trouble and order to-go since you can still eat it there.
Afterwards, it looks like I barely touched the plate, but I came away with a very full stomach and enough leftovers for two meals. I think Arpeggio Grill is accomplishing its goals of providing tasty food for good prices to college students on a budget. Arpeggio Grill is right on the Drag, close to campus, so it is a convenient place to stop by and fulfill your Mediterranean craving. Grab a pita and some hummus or a falafel to go, Arpeggio Grill is a great place to grab a meal with leftovers to boot.
Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 1/2 for tasty food at decent prices, tons of food that will surely provide leftovers and makes the price even better for your Bevo Bucks!