James Dickinson photo
Billy Fallen first struck gold with the locally famous Billy Bread, and now he has Aziza's on Main — a casual brunch, lunch and takeout spot serving up homemade, on-the-healthy-side fare that shines as brightly as the comfy eatery's sparkling pressed-tin ceiling.
Last September, Fallen opened the place as a tribute to his grandmother, Aziza. She and her husband, Philip, used to dish out her Lebanese-based offerings at Henrico Inn. Not surprisingly, her culinary heritage is still on display at the establishment now bearing her name.
Vegetarian/vegan selections are numerous. Grape leaves are stuffed with rice and chickpeas, as well as an enticing blend of cinnamon, mint and lemon capable of aromatically seducing you before the first bite. As is often done here, this dish is accompanied by a salad featuring crisp, mixed baby greens and a tangy vinaigrette.
Grilled sandwiches are prepared on delicious Flour Garden bread, and versions vary from grilled cheese and chicken salad to roast beef. Recommended for its mound of thinly sliced meat, melted sharp cheddar, crisp lettuce and ripe tomato is the turkey sandwich.
Dessert also offers carrot cake and cheesecake, but those finales couldn't possibly trump the dynamite cream puffs (though that theory hasn't yet been tested). As big as a fist, coated with dark chocolate and stuffed full of rich diplomat cream, a better finale is hard to find.
Aziza's on Main is anything but everyday. A weekend brunch outing for frittatas, a filet and eggs, and more Lebanese specialties is definitely in order.