127 Calhoun St
I met up with fellow food-bloggers Liz (Get in Mah Belly) and Heather (Food Hussy)at Floyd’s in Clifton for a fun evening of food and laughter, both of which we had in abundance. I hadn’t been to Floyd’s in donkey’s yonks, but the food is still as good as it was all those years ago, and the prices still seem locked somewhere in the mid-1990s, making it a very affordable place to try lots and lots of dishes, which we did.
The restaurant is unassuming from the street and is fairly basic inside, with formica tables and sparse décor. They do not serve alcohol but are quite happy to let you bring your own, which the table near us had done. Their hours are somewhat weird: open Tues-Fri from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. but closed between 2:30-5 p.m. each day, and Saturday from 5-9:30 p.m. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Mediterranean fare is always very veggie-friendly, and Floyd’s takes good care of their vegetarian customers with a large number of non-meat dishes and sides. All ten of their side dishes are vegetarian, and they offer musakaa (baked eggplant with rice), spanaopita (spinach and feta pie), and stuffed green peppers as main entrées. You will also find vegetarian lentil soup and a falafel sandwich on the menu.
Everything is made fresh daily and when they run out, that’s it for the day. I really wanted to try their falafel sandwich, but the popular dish had already sold out. Boo! Instead, I opted for the stuffed peppers and a variety of sides, which included a Greek salad, pickled vegetables and lima beans, which I had been told were something of a specialty. My mother would be very surprised to learn that I had not only ordered lima beans, but had eaten every bite and contemplated ordering another lot. Prepared with garlic, lemon, olive oil and parsley, they were deliciously comforting and a far cry from the southern-style “butter beans” my mom tried to force on me as a kid. Floyd’s has made me reconsider the lima bean in a completely new, yummy light.
By far my favorite side dish of the evening was the pickled veggies. It is a restaurant specialty and the beets, garlic, carrots and cauliflower were crunchy with a pleasantly puckering tang. I’d order it again in a heartbeat.
We all sampled each other’s dishes (except of course I didn’t try their much-raved about half chicken – which needs to be ordered several hours in advance) and I have to say that the tabouli Liz ordered was some of the best I think I’ve ever tried – heavy on the parsley and onion, with bright hints of lemon. The homemade hummus and freshly baked pita bread were good too – the hummus creamy and simple, with a puddle of olive oil in the middle, and the bread fluffy yet firm. YUM.
Of course we did dessert – Liz and I both ordered the pistachio baklava, while Heather got the Lebanese pancakes. We felt the baklava was a bit too dry, but oh those pancakes! Stuffed with crème fraiche and pistachios and swimming in simple syrup, they were just sweet enough without being sickly so.
Floyd’s is obviously doing it right or they wouldn’t be such a Clifton mainstay, but I would like to offer them one little suggestion – offer a sampler platter! I calculated up what it would cost me to order each of their side dishes and that is the only thing that prevented me from splurging on one of everything. Seriously – I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to also try their baba ganouje, dolma vines and green beans, but I guess that’s what next times are for.