There is the smell of something sultry in the air. Earth tones and purples and small splashes of crisp, colorful cloth adorn the walls of Sultan's, a new Lebanese and Turkish restaurant in Sandy Springs opened roughly a month ago by the proprietor of Cedar's in Buckhead. The senses are full at once. So too will be the stomach. Especially if you arrive early to the weekday lunch buffet. At $8.95 for all you can eat, diners can quickly pile their plates and have an escape at the same time.
Bountiful buffet: Unlike other lunch buffets that can leave one lethargic, this mixture of Mediterranean noshy bits is fresh, light and healthy. There are delicate dips and salads, as well as more substantial lamb and chicken stews, kidney beans with caramelized onions and tomatoes, grilled vegetables and more.
Pita pleasure: Start with the mix of gigantic green and briny black olives, pickled turnips and peppers, lemony hummus, and a baba ghanouj with perfectly pureed smoked eggplant and generous bursts of garlic. There are Lebanese and Greek salads such as tabbouleh, fattoush and more. The server will bring out fresh, fluffy pita to dip into the various piles of pleasure.
Like the bread, other staples shine. There is no skimping as the chef adds roasted pine nuts and fresh herbs to the various rices in the pilaf. Don't leave without ordering the fried kibbey ($4.75). Though it's not included in the buffet, it's a must-try treasure of ground beef, nuts and herbs rolled into bulgur wheat ovals and fried. Dipped in a yogurt-and-mint sauce, the kibbey is a perfect compilation of complimenting and contrasting textures and flavors.
Shawarma karma: End with a thick shot of viscous, wake-the-dead Turkish coffee laced with heady cardamom. Grab a shawarma or fried veggie pita wrap before reluctantly returning to work.
Fear not. You can always return for dinner. Instead of the buffet there's a menu of combination platters featuring whole fish, kebabs and racks of lamb. You can smoke the hooka, a pipe filled with flavored tobacco mixes. And on weekends there are belly dancers.