Food for thought: Purple Onion offers Mediterranean classics

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2007


PELHAM – “If you cannot rate our service and food quality as excellent, please contact Assaf.”

That is the message posted on every entrance to the Purple Onion Deli and Grill in Pelham. Assuring the quality of his restaurant isn’t something Manager Assaf Nakhle takes lightly.

“We try to make sure the food quality is 100 percent, prepared and cooked the same way every day,” Nakhle said. “That is the main reason I have my cell number on the door.”

Quality food, affordable prices and service are what the Purple Onion prides itself on and also what has kept the well-established restaurant open since 1991.


Although the building resembles your run-of-the-mill fast food restaurant and is even equipped with a drive-thru, the restaurant is far from it. And it has something the many other local restaurants don’t: a beautification award from the city that it received in March.

It also boasts an outside patio area, which is the highlight of this restaurant. It offers additional seating around an antique tiered outdoor fountain, which takes you away from the fast paced environment inside.


This Mediterranean restaurant offers unique food including gyro wraps of beef and lamb, chicken and shrimp kabobs and fish plates, including tilapia, grouper and salmon.

For those picky eaters who aren’t much interested in “ethnic” food, the Purple Onion also offers a wide variety of alternatives from chicken fingers to hamburgers.

“Where else can you get a beef kabob, fish plate, salad, rice, fruit, hummus and pita bread for less than $11?” Nakhle said.

Since the restaurant is considered a family-friendly environment, the Purple Onion also offers a kids menu of hamburgers, chicken fingers and fries with the added bonus of a free drink for the youngsters.


When Nakhle took over management of the Pelham Purple Onion almost two years ago, he knew it would be important to create a good work environment for his employees. For his employees to offer the customers an enjoyable dining experience, they first need to be happy themselves.

“They need to feel like they’re part of the family,” Nakhle said. “It’s like a table with four chairs. If one is missing, then it won’t work.”

With this dedication to service from his employees and from Nakhle himself, by being available 24 hours a day to his customers comments or concerns, the Purple Onion has put service front and center to keep their customers happy and their stomachs full.


2296 Pelham Parkway

Pelham, Ala. 35124


Hours: Sun.-Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.