Baladina broadens tastebuds with Mediterranean fare

    187 views

    For Tamer El Fanagily and Mohmed Boughanmi, Baladina Mediterranian Restaurant & Cafe was a dream that arose 10 years ago. But for the town of Toms River, Baladina has now become a reality and offers restaurant-goers a beautiful dining experience with Mediterranean fare, an inviting atmosphere and lively entertainment. 

    BALADINA FROM THE BEGINNING 

    El Fanagily and Boughanmi worked together in a Mediterranean restaurant for ten years.

    “And all this time we’ve been wanting to open our business like this is our dream from ten years ago,” El Fanagily said. “I had my own business before in Egypt, a restaurant, too.” 

    “I’ve had that experience from 20 years ago now, but that kind of food, not a lot of people know it around here,” he added. “That’s why we decided to just go for it.”

    Baladina Mediterranean Restaurant & Cafe, Bellcrest Plaza, 931 Fischer Blvd., Toms River, opened in 2018. According to El Fanagily, since the opening of the restaurant filled with decorations from Egypt, everything has been going really well.

    He went on to explain that he is the manager and his partner is the chef of Baladina. El Fanagily adds that he is also doing some cooking by making the pita breads and pizzas. 

    The Middle Eastern Culture and Egyptian flare are not just represented in the food and atmosphere. On Friday and Saturday nights guests can enjoy belly dancing with a Mediterranean drummer. 

    “The live shows are so much fun,” he exclaimed. 

    MENU MUST HAVES AND MORE

    The menu boasts a wide variety of items to choose from offering selections of appetizers, sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, salads and soups, as well as, entrees. 

    “Everything’s made in house, from A to Z,” shared El Fanagily. 

    “The most popular platter now is called Ouzi, it’s phyllo-dough, it comes with seafood, lamb, any kind of meat, veggie,” shared El Fanagily. The Ouzi entree is a special pie that is made up of rice, peas, carrots, raisins and flavored with almonds. The dish is served with Tahini or garlic sauce in addition to your choice of protein. 

    “Everyone sees it as a piece of art,” he added. While the appetizer section offers many dishes to choose from, El Fanagily credits the Baladina Mix Grill as the most popular appetizer right now. 

    The beauty of the Baladina mix is that restaurant goers are able to make their own Mediterranean dish by choosing four of the listed appetizers. Appetizer selections include Zaater Pita Bread, Tabouleh, Hummus, Falafel, Baba Ganoush, Stuffed Grape Leaves and many more. 

    A wide array of beverage selections as well including homemade lemonade with mint, Turkish coffee, mango, guava and apricot juices, Tammr Handi and more. 

    Baladina Restaurant & Mediterranean Cafe is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit Baladina for lunch or dinner to enjoy a delicious Mediterranean meal, inviting atmosphere and friendly staff. The restaurant also offers catering and delivery. 

    “… When you dream for something and you did it, you feel satisfied,” said El Fanagily with a laugh. “Yeah and this is our dream from a long, long time.” 

    Check out El Fanagily’s dream turned reality at Baladina and enjoy a dining experience like no other.