Last week I had dinner at Damascus, a restaurant I had never been to before. It's not a new restaurant - in fact it's been around for 12 years - but it is tucked away in Allentown on the corner of North Second & Liberty streets.

Damascus offers homemade American and Middle Eastern cuisine. My friend Anne and I got a laugh out of the back of our waitress' t-shirt, which read, "Food so good you'll think we stole your mother." Well, they couldn't have said it any better! The food, and boy did we have plenty of it, was divine.

We started with Babghannouj and pita bread and an order of vegetarian grape leaves. I chose a house salad that had a special dressing that was to die for.

For my entree, I chose the vegetable mix with rice. Sounds pretty boring, but before the plate was set on the table, my mouth was watering from the smell. Anne ordered the sleaque, which I had never heard of; it's a combination of steamed endive and bulgur wheat mixed with sauteed onions and black eye beans, fried with a splash of oil. The dish was served with a homemade yogurt to drizzle on top. It was very tasty. 

With all we had, the bill with tip came to just over $42, which didn't include drinks because Damascus is BYOB. Dinner entrees range from $8 to $20, while lunch is $4.50 to $6.50. You can't beat that for fresh, homemade food.

As for the atmosphere, it's nothing to write home about. Very simple and well-kept would describe it best.

I love trying new places and different cuisines. Our next stop is going to be right down the street from Damascus at a Turkish restaurant. Not sure of the name, but it is supposed to be fabulous.

Have you been to Damascus yet? How about the Turkish place? Are there any others I should try?