Jacqueline Kobti, whom everyone calls Jackie, said that some recipes from her restaurant come from her grandma, but that’s not the reason she and her husband picked Granny’s Family Restaurant for the name of their eatery.
“Everybody likes grandma’s food,” she said.
The name seems to be working, as Jackie and her husband, Fadel, have been operating a successful restaurant serving Greek and Mediterranean, with some American, food for 14 years. Formerly on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda, they moved in November to a plaza at 2865 Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda.
“All of my customers followed us,” Jackie said. “We’re like family.”
We recently checked out Granny’s new digs. The space is large and clean, with ample parking out front. Booths line one side of the restaurant, and tables fill the rest of the space. There’s a lunch counter with a few stools, television for entertainment and drink case for grab-and-go.
Jackie greeted us, smiling, and situated us in a booth. Given the frigid temperatures, we wasted no time in ordering homemade soups: a cup of beef barley and chicken noodle (each $3.25). The soups were exactly what we craved, salted to perfection. It’s a small, but important matter to note that the accompanying crackers were crispy. If they’re stale, as they sometimes are, it calls into question the integrity of, well, everything.
We moved onto our entrees, an open beef souvlaki ($10.99), chicken souvlaki wrap ($9.99) and falafel sandwich ($8.99). The beef souvlaki was exceptional, the beef tender and tangy from the marinade of Greek spices.
The chicken wrap was delicious as well, with the chicken pieces being just as tender as the beef, and the falafel was exactly as it should be: crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. I was disappointed, however, that neither wrap nor sandwich came with the option of fries. They arrived with a pickle and small side of kettle chips.
Mediterranean offerings include grape leaves ($7.99), spanakopita ($6.99) and babaganoush ($6.99). The American food includes the usual suspects: hot dog ($2.65), cheeseburger ($2.99) and chicken fingers with fries ($11.99).
The specials on the day we visited highlighted a rolled pancake, described to us as kind of “like a crepe with icing” ($6.99), cinnamon French toast ($5.99) and potato pancakes ($7.99). The menu also includes all-day breakfast and a traditional Friday fish fry.
Granny’s is family run, with Jackie handling the front of the house and Fadel managing cooking in the back. When they came to the states from Lebanon, they learned cooking, and the restaurant business, working at Fadel’s brother’s restaurant, formerly located at Bailey and Eggert. Their two children, both in college, help out when they can.
They’re looking to get their liquor license in the future, she added. One downside is that it was fairly cold in the restaurant; in Buffalo, business owners need to be cognizant of cranking the heat to keep their customers comfortable.
Despite the frigid temperatures, customers had come out to enjoy a plate of food at Granny’s. As we looked around, we saw people happily digging into their food; we even overheard one man near us say, “This place is a real diner’s diner.”
For a place like Granny’s, there’s no higher compliment.
2865 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda (783-7094)
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday
Gluten-free options: none currently