Fans of CousCous Grill won’t have to drive to Murray or Sugarhouse any more to get their fix. CousCous Grill Express is open at Station Park in Farmington, next on the fountain plaza near the Cinemark Theaters.
It’s fast-casual service, a Mediterranean version of the way places like Rumbi Island Grill, Café Rio, and Blue Lemon are doing.
Most of the dishes are served with couscous, a coarsely ground pasta that is similar size-wise to rice or a grain. It’s big in North African cuisine and well-known around the Middle East and Mediterranean areas. Those looking for gluten-free options can ask for quinoa instead. You can also cut down on carbs by having the main dish served over zucchini “noodles,” spirals of zucchini that add color and texture too.
One signature item is the lamb shwarma, with the meat shaved from a rotating spit and served in pita bread. These sparked a memory for me of my years in Saudi Arabia, where the downtown streets of Al-Khobar were filled with the aroma of roasting shwarma meat.
Grilled Chicken & Artichoke Pesto ($11.99) is the most popular dish, according to Rick Menezes, a supervisor at the CousCous Grill Express. It can be served over cous cous, quinoa or the zucchini noodle spirals. Warm seafood wraps, a sautéed veggie cous cous bowl, Mushroom Chicken Alfredo are other dishes.
The Mediterranean Nachos ($9.99) feature a garbanzo chip, a choice of chicken, beef or lamb, refried garbanzo beans, mango salsa, green onion, sour cream and cheese.
Menezes said the first location was opened by Nick Shams, with the focus on fast, fresh, healthy food.
“He was able to overcome cancer, and he believes in a combination of spices and vegetables to ward off diseases,” Menezes said.
Menu prices range from about $8-14.
The restaurant opened about three weeks ago, and it’s been busy during lunch and dinner hours, Menezes said.
This is good news, because several small eateries have opened and closed in the small kiosk areas around the fountain plaza, such as Orange Leaf Yogurt, Chow, Bandidos and Sugar Daisy Bakery. I think the lack of signs is part of the problem. A couple of times, friends meeting me for lunch or dinner wandered around the plaza, unable to find the restaurants.
Currently, Brixton’s Baked Potato and Madbrook Donut Company share the dining area with CousCous Grill, so hopefully the area will become more of a dining destination for people wanting to sit outdoors and watch the fountain, let their kids play at the playground, or catch a quick bite before a movie.