Garbanzo brings new healthy flavor to Boutte 

While Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh is a popular restaurant elsewhere, there is just one open in Louisiana – and it’s right here in St. Charles Parish. 

At the end of January Garbanzo’s opened up in Boutte, first with a soft opening and then an official grand opening Wednesday. The restaurant will be open for now from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day but owner Tony Alhusseini said those hours could be adjusted based on demand.

“So far, so good,” said Alhusseini, a Boutte resident of 15 years. “People here aren’t quite used to this type of food, but the people we’ve had have really liked it.”

Alhusseini said he was inspired to open a Garbanzo locally because he feels there’s a need for options to eat healthy in the community – and especially to do so affordably. 

“I’ve lived here for 15 years and whenever I want to eat something healthy, I’ve had to go to New Orleans, go out the area, and then even there you’re not finding the best Mediterranean food, that healthy, organic, fresh food … we need something different,” Alhusseini said. “For my kids, my friends, food you can eat several times a day and not get tired of that food.

“I’ve felt we’ve needed that even since I was in high school … something healthy and easy and cheap.”

Alhusseini noted that Mediterranean meals are traditional dishes that haven’t changed standards for thousands of years. The ingredients are sourced straight from nature and the idea behind each dish is to be simple, clean and good for the diner. 

The menu includes the restaurant’s signature stuffed pita, laffa (wraps), traditional gyro, rice and salad bowls and more. When each patron walks in, they are able to customize their orders by choosing an entree and a protein – a laffa and chicken or steak, for example – up to five items and three sauces to fill the entree with. Side dishes include falafel, fries, seasoned rice, chips, hummus, roasted eggplant and more. 

The stuffed pita, Alhusseini said, has been among the most popular items thus far. 

Alhusseini added that this is food one can eat without feeling sluggish or bogged down after. 

“We use seasoning that’s good for your body and good for your digestive system,” Alhusseini said. “This is food that when you eat it, you aren’t feeling heavy, aren’t feeling tired. You could eat two meals and not feel anything. This food is healthy and good for the community.”

Price can often be a deterrent for those trying to eat healthy, particularly when dining out, but Alhusseini notes this as a plus for Garbanzo as well. 

“The most expensive thing on our menu is $12.99, and what we’re offering for $12, you find at the Mediterranean restaurants in Metairie or Kenner for $24,” Alhusseini said. “For the quality of food you’re getting, it’s hard to beat what we have.”

Founded in 2008, Garbanzo’s is a franchised chain of Mediterranean restaurants with its headquarters based out of Denver, Colorado, operating around 40 stores throughout the country.

The new restaurant is located at 13371 US Hwy. 90 in Boutte. 


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