Two weeks ago a new fast-casual restaurant popped up on Exit 1, and as my hummus-loving luck would have it, it’s Mediterranean.
Where: MAZA Mediterranean Grill
Address: 274 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH 03063 (in the plaza near Toys R’ Us and Trader Joe’s)
Most people by now are aware of the health benefits of Mediterranean food, and this is a great spot to quickly get a variety of healthy protein/grains/veggies. If you order a plate (i.e. chicken kabob, falafel) you get the choice of three sides plus pita bread. I was PUMPED for the side selections. Hearty pieces of grilled vegetables, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, couscous, cucumber and tomato mint salad, chickpeas…. I was in heaven. Everything looked fresh, seasoned, and delicious.
And while my meal was great (and so filling!) I have to admit this one, heartbreaking truth: my pita bread tasted like straight up chlorine. I have never met a bread I didn’t like, but this pita bread is one for the record books. It not only had a funky taste, but it was too thin and dry. It didn’t have the warm, fragrant, puffy pita qualities that make wrapping up your food in it so inviting.
It was also the strangest thing I’ve ever seen a restaurant, but the employees seem to use the main dining hall as a break room. They were hanging up their coats on chairs, I saw one employee take a cell phone break, and another on his laptop (probably the manager). I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe their break room isn’t finished being built or something, but I felt as if I was intruding into someone’s home…. quietly eating while they went ahead with their daily lives.
There was also a spoon incident…. MAZA offers both silverware and plastic cutlery. I pulled out a spoon though, that was CAKED in what looked like dried hummus. It looked like it went through the dishwasher and just didn’t get clean. I think if they want to offer silverware they have to do what Panera does, and hand it to you on your plate when you get your order. That way employees can check for cleanliness. Otherwise, just offer plastic cutlery.
These are small kinks that I’m sure they’ll work out as they get up and running. Overall, MAZA is a bright, open space with booth, table and bar style seating. It offers a great selection of healthy, hearty and full-flavored food. And like other fast-casual restaurants, it delivers higher quality ingredients in a comfortable setting, making this a great spot to pop in for salad, wraps and plates of Mediterranean heaven.