Mediterranean Food Chain Coming to Columbia

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is moving into a location off Dobbin Road.


Do you get cravings for handmade pitas and chicken shwarma? Then a new Columbia restaurant may be the place to try.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is scheduled to open one of their do-it-yourself style pita restaurants early February 2013 in Dobbin Center, just off Snowden River Parkway, according to Beth Hardy, marketing manager for Garbanzo.

Modeled after restaurants such as Chipotle, Garbanzo offers customers a choice of three entrees—pita, laffa, or plate—which can be combined with proteins such as chicken shwarma, steak shwarma, falafel or hummus. Vegetables and sauces can then be chosen to complete the meal. Kabobs are offered as well.

Garbanzo was founded in 2007 in Denver and is currently in the midst of an expansion that will bring new locations to Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Florida and California, according to the company's website.

Hardy said the Columbia location will be one of the first the company opens on the East Coast.

"We really feel that the Baltimore and Columbia area is a hotbed of diverse eateries," said Hardy on why the company chose Columbia to open a new location. "People are familiar with Mediterranean food in the area, so there's not a huge education level we'd have to account for."

Hardy said prices range from $5 for a basic wrap up to around $10 for kabobs.

Local food blog HowChow first reported a sign had been posted for the restaurant near MD175 after one of the blog's readers sent in a tip.

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howard rennet December 19, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Their "shwarma" is anything but authentic. Shwarma is supposed to be cooked on a vertical skewer like Gyro meat or even Al Pastor meat then shaved off, not grilled then cut into tiny chunks. Everything else is okay as long as you like Israeli food I guess, oh and especially if you like your "laffa" to be a tortilla because that is what they use. I was out in Colorado months ago and for all the great authentic Middle Eastern food I found, Garbanzo was the low point. When the writer compared them to Chipotle they couldn't have been more dead on, because Garbanzo has about as much to do with authentic Mediterranean food as Chipotle has to do with authentic Mexican. Count me out.
LayaSmith March 12, 2013 at 04:06 PM
I was apart of the party yesterday Monday 03/11/13 So much I give congrats to the whole team. Once I got to the bar a young woman Akaysha greeted me and her service was excellent for this to be a new store opening. She moved very fast even with that long line it was a 5 star performance, as well as the others at the end of the bar. The food was great, and I plan to be there today with some of my friends, and maybe opening day with a party of my own lol. Thanks again I think you hired the right people for the job, and I look forward to the Mediterranean style food


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