Denver >Food & Dining > Damascus Restaurant
2276 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO | Directions 8022239.675294 -104.940608
Neighborhoods: Southeast Denver, University Hills
Musty atmosphere, musty food – We used to really like this place---10+ years ago. Now, seems like it has not been cleaned since then. Musty smell in the air like the ceiling has leaked and mold is growing somewhere. Dirty tablecloths and carpet. Maybe it was just the physical space, but the food seemed about as fresh as the atmosphere. Sad, dried out chicken and seemingly reheated leftovers of meat on gunky rice. Check out Beirut Grill on Hampden & Broadway instead.
Ahhh... Salaam! – Just off the gutter lane of south Colorado Boulevard you'll step across the Mediterranean and into the aromatic and enchanting palette of Damascus Restaurant.
I have driven by it many a time always thinking "I have to remember to try that place." And this 'not so secret' Syrian joint may come as a surprise to you if you've never been here, just as it did to me.
When you walk in here, don't be fooled by the simple handpainted walls, dingy atmosphere, the travel agency posters of the Syrian capital, or the Salvadoran cook in the kitchen. This place serves some of the best Middle Eastern food Denver has to offer. And if you think it needs a facelift, you might check your mirror because you probably do too. You're not eating the walls anyway and if it were twice the price, then I'd complain about about it's atmosphere.
The menu is filled with all the usual middle east eats you'd expect, but you won't go wrong ordering just about anything. The food is made on site, it's fresh, delicious and served hot.
I picked out a few safe menu finds on my first visit and placed my order with the friendly Jordanian waitress. Then I almost peed my pants when she nonchalantly threw me this steaming basket of pita bread and placed an offering of the world's best hummus down beside it. Instantly, goosebumps arose and I had the feeling like it had just been made for me. And it had. It was like when Mom used to make fresh tortillas every morning and no sooner was it off the comal (griddle) and into my mouth. Fantastic! What is it with the world's flatbreads? I have yet to find one, when made fresh, that I don't enjoy. And this... this was perfect.
The "hummus" on my tongue was like heaven. It's texture divine. I mean, how could it have been made any better? I really don't know! The spices were balanced with care, not too garlicky or over cheesed-out like that "gourmet" junk you find in the stores - you know what I mean - that red pepper, black bean, overaerated-aerated spackle-textured.. blah! Oy! This is oceans away from that!
Anyway, to keep myself from fingering the entire bowl of hummus and eating it all in one fell swoop, I judiciously tore pita chunks and dipped them into the hummus as if it were communion. The whole time looking over my shoulder at other diners, wondering if I was eating it too fast.
Thankfully, Miss Jordan soon returned with my aroma-tickling main course - spicy and piquant chicken Kafta and Kebab served on a bed of fragrant Jasmine rice infused with tiny durum noodles. Accompanying it was a traditional and yet flavorful yogurt sauce and a fresh decor of tomato and lettuce. The Kebab outshone the Kafta by a smidgen in flavor, but both were alive with a charbroiled taste and fulfilling gustation. I could not eat all the rice, mostly because by now I had eyed dessert sitting coyly in a glass case at the back of the restaurant.
As I prepared to leave, not sure if I would have dessert, I approached the counter to pay. Then it glistened at me. Like a gem teasing me and luring me into it, I realized how fresh looking it was and could not resist. Am I glad I didn't. Perfectly portioned and incredibly decadent, the sweet rose water carefully danced on the flaky layers of the Baklava like dew on a leaf after a mountain rainfall. The flavors and texture harmoniously played together in this perfect little jewel. It was a magical carpet ride that ended a most satisfying encounter!
If you go to Damascus Restaurant for nothing else but the hummus or the baklava, I encourage the visit. Spread the word about Damascus, it's worth sharing and one experience you won't soon forget!
Same great food, now with great service too – I love Damascus and have been going for years. I have read a few reviews lately discussing poor service and I cant say that I disagree. They had the same waiter for ages and I can tell by the reviews, that is the guy they experienced. We found him *entertaining* and just accepted the poor service as part of the Damascus experience. Well he no longer works there, instead the head waiter now is a young-middle aged man who is very friendly and energetic and provides excellent service.
So if you arent going back because of a poor service experience, give it another try. Hopefully the young, tall cook will be working, he is the best. They have the BEST middle-eastern food in the area by far.
Go! Just go. – Do yourself a favor and order the lambchops at this, THE BEST Middle Eastern restaurant in all of Denver. Every time I go to this place the food is excellent, the atmosphere is cozy (if a little over the top) and the prices are beyond reasonable. Though the service is somtimes a bit less-than, the food more than makes up for it.
Just go. You won't regret it.
Good Food, Bad Service – Thurs night w/3 tables (incl a 10-top who already had their food). Sat down at a table the only server on pointed to. Server slowly con'td w/other things, never brought menus/H2O. After 5 mins, I got menus myself. After another 10 mins of no contact (in a dining room that was nowhere near full) my husband made eye contact (w/a look that says "hello?") as he passed; server wouldn't have stopped if hubby hadn't done so. We placed order, he didn't it write down. He went to the register, painfully tried to remember a coke, water, 2 apps & 1 entree. The hummus & baba ghanoush (apps) were some of the best I?ve had. BUT, we also got a 3rd/smaller plate w/portions of each. I was annoyed-if they come w/the meal for free, then why didn?t he warn us (or better yet, serve it earlier)? We would've tried other apps. We shared the King's combo. Meats flavorful, rice cooked perfectly, but I like the falafel at Jerusalem better. Server seemed confused (he looked like he?d just, ahem, ?smoked?). He couldn't accomplish tasks efficiently or simultaneously. We asked for a to-go box and drink; he got boxes next to drink machine, brought us boxes, but forgot the coke. He walked around for a few mins, looking as if he knew he was missing something, but remembered eventually. I think this was typical for all the diners-the table of 10 waited a long time to get boxes (they had to ask 2x) and bill paid. Each step of our dining experience was moved forward by us, not the server. Went to register to pay bill (we didn't bother to ask for it at the table); he could see we had not enjoyed the experience. He apologized for the poor service, saying "[he] got slammed." We used to be servers at busy restos, so we know what "slammed" means. Hearing that as an excuse when he never had more than 4 tables at a time almost made me laugh aloud. We?ll try other places in the area before returning. We'll only go back if the food at the other places is bad enough to be okay with Damascus? poor service.
Fast, Cheap, Tasty – I love this place! funky, dive-ie and semi-tacky atmosphere but the food makes it worth it. Their pita bread is excellent. The vegetarian sampler and baba ganouj are a must try. I haven't had the baklavah but I have heard its hands down the best in the realm of bakalavah. Definately one of the best mid-eastern cheap eats in Colorado!
Despite its strip-mall facade, this place serves up some of Denver's best Middle Eastern cuisine. – In Short
Tucked next to an old donut shop, this delicious restaurant is easy to miss. But once inside, the yards of cloth decorations and soothing music transport you to an exotic land of strange tastes and different cultures. Appetizers include stuffed grape leaves or baba ganouj, a sweet and delicious pureed eggplant dip served with hot rounds of pita. Lamb, chicken and beef shawarma plates and sandwiches boast exotic, addicting flavors.
Good menu, fast service – Good food, excellent service, will not recommend for children, seems to be aimed as coffee shop rather then resturant.
Great Syrian Food! – I love this place. My friend turned me on to it after a bad experience at a similar restaurant. Great, fresh food, good service, excellent prices. Parking is a little difficult but there is parking available around that is not a long walk. Be prepared to take a little longer, this isn't fast food.
My favorite – I like the food here. Big plate with lots of things in it, especially the combo dishes such as King combo. (Combos don't include drinks. It's not McDonald's!)
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