Oasis Mediterranean Grill
8697 Fields-Ertel Road
Cincinnati, OH 45249
Mon – Sat: 9:00 a.m – 11:00 p.m.
Sun: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Salads & Cold Appetizers: $4 – $10
Soup & Salad: $5 – $6
Entree: $7 – $15
Kebabs: $14 – $20
Drinks & Dessert: $2 – $4
*The online version of their menu is different from the menu offered at the restaurant.
Sometimes great things lay hidden right in front of us. For years on our way to Downtown Cincinnati for school and later work, we’ve passed Oasis Mediterranean Grill but were completely unaware of its existence. It wasn’t until a desire for something new, and a random search led us to them. “Oh, Mediterranean! Right near us?! What?!!” Our interest piqued and stomachs empty, we set out in search of Oasis eager for Mediterranean.
We were surprised to find that, not only is Oasis delicious, but it’s also not really Mediterranean. Technically, in some ways, yes, it’s Mediterranean. However, by standard definition, it’s not. It’s Russian/Eastern European with a few grilled Mediterranean dishes.
Oasis is situated in an older shopping center along Fields Ertle Road next to the on-ramp to I-71 South. From the exterior it is unassuming and looks like it might be a bit small inside. Once inside we found that it was neither unassuming nor small. Not only was the interior much, much larger than we expected, but the decorations were unique. The tables and chairs were an interesting contrast since they were surprisingly rather plain.
It was difficult to order food as we were mesmerized by the TVs playing Russian music videos. Although we did eventually get down to business and ordered, the TVs once again commanded our attention afterward. They helped pass the time as it took a while for our food to come out – which I assume was because we went in during the slow time after normal lunch hours but before dinner.
Eventually though, our food did arrive. Alex ordered the homemade bread, along with the Lagman Kavurma – homemade noodles with lamb, beef and vegetables – while Tim’s meal was a plate of simple but delicious minced meat dumplings with a very buttery crust. The noodles, meat and vegetables were cooked perfectly and the sauce that covered them was thick and flavorful – but not overpowering.
Adam and I ordered the Ukrainian Borscht, which arrived just shortly before Tim and Alex’s dishes. The warm beet soup was luscious alone, but was especially rich and tasty once we added the homemade sour cream that came with it. Unexpectedly, it also included pieces of beef. I wasn’t expecting it to go well with the broth and vegetables, but it was actually alright. The beef soaked up the flavor of the broth and then stealthily hid in the soup.
The Beef Stroganoff Adam ordered honestly didn’t look very appealing, however the beef, mushroom and sour cream combination was fantastic to say the least. It was incredibly flavorful without being overwhelming – a perfect comfort food for a cold day. It came with a side of potatoes and vegetables. The vegetables were cold and alright, and reminded me of a very mild sauerkraut. The mashed potatoes on the other hand, were actually kind of bland and seemed like they were an afterthought.
Since the name of the restaurant includes the word “grill” I had to try out something grilled, so after a scan of the kebab options I chose the Lula Kebab. The plate included two kebabs of spiced mixed ground lamb and beef, along with the same potatoes and vegetables on the side as the Stroganoff. The kebabs were nothing short of amazing. The aromatic blend of meat and spices were mouth-watering and very filling.
We closed with Turkish coffees, which were delightfully sip-able and had hints of chicory which balanced with the bitterness and sweetness. We would have ordered desserts, but the meal had stuffed us, and was much, much more food than we had expected.
Oasis Mediterranean Grill, despite the interesting decor, is a great place to have an affordable, comforting meal. Our entrees were delicious and extremely filling – we barely finished. Our server was polite and kind, and quick to help us with anything we asked about. Oasis has definitely earned a spot on our list of favorites, especially for warm, filling comfort food on a cold winter day.
Verdict: Must Try Eastern European Comfort Food
Oasis offers home-style Ukrainian/Eastern European/Mediterranean comfort foods that are mostly reasonably priced (some being cheap, others a bit pricey) and are guaranteed to fill. Several items, like the bread and sour cream, were made from scratch which added a very personal and tasty touch to the meal. We highly suggest trying the bread, minced meat dumplings, Ukrainian Borscht, Beef Stroganoff, and the kebabs.
Despite their outdated website and uniquely decorated interior, Oasis is definitely a restaurant worth trying.