She ate/ He ate

The go-to spot for Mediterranean in Meridian


Bread Bites Mediterranean
5100 Marsh Road, Okemos
11:30-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
noon-7 p.m. Sunday
(517) 708-7112

She Ate

She Ate


Have you ever wondered what dish or cuisine is synonymous with our geographical area? I know people love olive burgers and Quality Dairy donuts, but one thing that screams Greater Lansing to me is that everyone has their favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. I’ve tried virtually all of them and have my own short list of favorites, ranked by their proximity to my office and the level of garlic in their garlic sauce. (Spoiler: I like a lot of garlic.)

I live in Groesbeck, so Bread Bites Mediterranean, deep in the heart of Meridian Township, isn’t in my normal radius. However, since we decided to focus on it this month, I’ve been scheming up ways to work a couple of swings through Haslett into my routine. As we all undoubtedly know, you don’t swing through Haslett. You’re there because you live there, or you’re annoyed because it takes so long to get there.

The first thing you need to know is that the people working at Bread Bites are incredibly friendly. Never before have I encountered someone who’s looked at me and said, “You’re fancy in so many ways,” and to be honest, I didn’t know what I’d been missing. On one visit, the same man gave my 6-year-old a bite-sized dessert while we waited for our order, and while the child was intimidated by the flaky layers of phyllo, luckily, his mother was not.

The chicken shawarma pie ($9.99) is a Bread Bites special and something I was eager to try. Think of a personal pan pizza. The dough, which I assume is the same dough used for the restaurant’s delicious pita, was piled with a layer of shawarma and melted cheese and topped with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and pickled turnips. It was conveniently sliced like a pizza, making it easy to eat. I’d never had anything like it before, and it lasted me through several meals with a salad on the side. I’d rate it 10 out of 10 and would definitely order it again.

On another visit, I tried the fried cauliflower ($13.99), served atop rice with two sides. I chose fries and fattoush salad for my sides and loved that the crispy toppings on the fattoush weren’t big pieces of pita chips, which always painfully poke the corners of my mouth when I cram them in there. They were much closer to pita breadcrumbs. They still gave me that crunch that I love, but much more manageably. The fries, which were hot, salty and lightly spiced with paprika, were also better than average.

Mr. She Ate loved his beef shawarma ($14.75), but unfortunately, he left it unguarded when he took our daughter upstairs to get her pajamas on. The dog loved it, too. I offered to share my fried cauliflower with him and was secretly thrilled that he declined because it was a perfect lunch the next day — hearty and filling but not heavy.

I picked up a slice of baklava cheesecake ($7.99) for us to share, then shoved it to the back of the fridge so Mr. She Ate would forget it was there. Bread Bites has an entire case of different desserts, all of which look like little jewels and are probably delicious, but the cheesecake has got to be the best one. It was thick, lusciously smooth and topped with the traditional pistachio-packed baklava filling, with pistachios also incorporated into the crust. It was divine.

Mr. She Ate tried the gyro ($9.99) and liked the spices on the meat. He surprised us both by enjoying the half order of baleela ($7.25) I picked up for us to share. This was a new dish to me: a cold salad with chickpeas, romaine, cucumbers and onions. I stuffed it into the fluffy pita, drizzled it with vinaigrette and garlic sauce and found it to be both nourishing and delicious.

The Lansing area is rich in delicious Mediterranean cuisine. No matter where I am, I know where I can get a satisfying mushroom-and-halloumi wrap, kafta sandwich or scoop of mujadara. I’m thrilled that I now have a reliable favorite place to dine the next time I find myself in our northeast quadrant.


He Ate

He Ate


Being native to Lansing’s west side, venturing out to the Meridian Mall as a kid was both rare and a treat. Just down Marsh Road from the mall is Central Park Place, a collection of fairly upscale storefronts. I recall several fond memories of visiting Seasons in the shopping plaza to explore its late-1980s-era furniture, trendy novelties and my favorite: the wall of jellybeans. I have less fond memories of waiting for my mom as she shopped at Chico’s for what seemed like days at a time, but we would hit up Cappuccino Cafe for a pumpkin bar or brownie as a reward for my patience.

Chico’s remains at the plaza, but many other businesses have been replaced over the years. One of the more popular tenants today is Bread Bites Mediterranean, which prides itself on its dough, bread and pies. This family-owned restaurant offers typical Mediterranean fare but also highlights several authentic dishes from the owners’ native Palestine and Lebanon.

During both of my visits, I saw lots of takeout and delivery orders, yet plenty of diners also filled tables for lunch. No matter how you plan to enjoy your meal, you will be greeted by Nadar, a maestro of kindness and belonging. Honestly, he should spend time training other restaurants’ waitstaff in customer service or giving pep talks to reception desk staff at many businesses around town.

What’s good

Bread Bites’ hummus ($6.25) is pungent. It caught my better half and me off guard with its burst of citrus. It’s creamy and smooth but just thick enough that you can tell it’s authentic and fresh. Our palates are probably too used to Westernized versions of hummus.

The Meat over Hashwe plate ($15.50) is up and down. The hashwe — rice seasoned with ground beef, cinnamon, and other spices — shines with its warm earthiness, helping to overshadow the sumac-and-onion-marinated chicken musakhan, which is flavorful but overcooked in far too many pieces.

What’s great

There are so many other great dishes at Bread Bites that it’s hard to put them into categories this month. The french fries ($3), with their house-made Lebanese seasoned salt, are probably better than any other fries you’ve had in 2024. Similarly, the lemon chicken soup ($6.50) is packed with carrots, celery, rice and chicken, with a most vibrant broth. Herbaceous and hearty, this soup would be perfect for a rainy April afternoon.

I’ve had kibbie — ground beef combined with bulgur wheat, pine nuts and spices — on multiple special occasions where friends have made it fresh. Whether raw or baked, I’m a fan. Bread Bites’ deep-fried Kibbie Bites ($3 each) compete with any I’ve ever had. Crispy with notes of cinnamon and allspice, this kibbie is bound to be on my tray whenever I return.

The dessert options are plentiful and appealing, with baklava cheesecake ($7.99) and lady fingers ($2.25 each) among the choices. We sampled the rice pudding ($4.25), which is creamy and light in texture, with firm rice that’s neither crunchy nor soggy. Sometimes with rice pudding, the cinnamon is an afterthought that’s just sprinkled on top, but in Bread Bites’ version, the aromatic yumminess is embedded throughout. Add in a hint of rose water, and the flavor is through the roof. The traditional baklava ($2.50), with its paper-thin layers of phyllo and generous toppings of pistachios and honey, is a wholesome, sweet treat that provides a lovely accompaniment to the rice pudding.

Best bite

As amazing as all the flavors described above are, the best bite this month goes to the restaurant’s various breads. In every form, the doughy delectable is the star of the show. From the warm and fluffy pita ($5.25 per bag) to the zesty and savory Thyme Bites ($2 each), this isn’t the place to count calories, but goodness gracious, are they tasty! My waistline is glad I still live far enough away on the west side.


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