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Rockwall Bites – Ephesus Bistro & Grill

Last updated on May 16, 2024

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Ephesus Bistro & Grill 6702 Dalrock Rd Rowlett, Texas 75089

Short Version

This is a hidden gem that offers some fantastic Turkish food options. The service is top notch and the food is terrific. You will add this place to your regular rotation, and you look forward to the service and food every time. Don’t judge this book by its cover; the location does not indicate the food or service you will receive. Go, you will not regret it!

Long Version

On the outskirts of our City Limit, just inside the county line of Rockwall. We have a hidden little gem tucked into this innocuous area and hidden in the strip center of a Tom Thumb surrounded by fast food, banks, nail salons, and all your typical adornments to the strip centers anchored by grocery stores.  Don’t let this color your opinion or write them off just because of their location.

When you pull up, it is such a little unassuming restaurant. Across the front of the restaurant, outside, sit three high-top bar-style tables with stools and white tablecloths adorning their tops. I remember the first time my wife, daughter, and I entered; we were greeted with an enthusiastic hello and guided to our booth without a pause. High energy, big smiles, and a cheery disposition from start to finish. To this day, that remains the same. However, now I am greeted with a hug and welcome back, brother. 

On the tables, there sit your standard accouterments to your table. There is salt, pepper, and a little flower vase with some silk flowers. When seated at your table, they place your menus, silverware, appetizer plates, and water glasses. Again, we are in a strip center, and this service is top-notch, higher-end dining level top notch. It differs from the stuffy service type with posh people who overspend on mediocre food. If you know, you know. The servers here are still friendly, personable, and conversational when it calls for it. When I say fine dining level, I mean their impeccable attention to detail. My water is never empty; empty plates are ushered away once you set them aside, showing you’re done. You do not have to flag anyone down or work around dirty dishes. 

The menu is extensive and includes Turkish-style dishes. The owner is a man named Ozzy. He is a fantastic man and loves to share his food. He will go over the menu and give you some excellent recommendations. Every time we go, we get different stuff, but I definitely have my go-to dishes. Heck, my daughter doesn’t even order any more. If she is with us, they already know which appetizer, drink, and meal she will order. 

I will share with you what we ordered on this last visit. It’s a funny story from this last visit, too. I go often. To the point that I usually see some of the same people and have an eye for the regulars. Halfway through our Appetizers, a family comes in. They are set right next to us and I notice they have a party of 5 and we a party of 3. They could fit more comfortably where we are sitting so I offer to move for them before they even sit. I looked at Ozzy as he was seating them and asked if he wouldn’t mind wiping our table down for them real quick so we could move. Ozzy smiles and says of course. However, the guy I am speaking with stops and says, no, brother, this is fine. He looks at me and thanks me but doesn’t want to bother us. I look at Ozzy and say, it’s okay, I really do not mind at all. Then I share with the gentleman that we are here all the time, and I would rather he be comfortable and enjoy his meal. The food is fantastic, and I don’t want his experience lessened by being cramped. 

Now, I had yet to learn that this would start a competition between the two of us. This guy looks at his family and says something to them in a stern voice and a slightly severe face. I am unfamiliar with the language, but later, he shares that he is from Turkey. They do not hesitate, and each move to their seats without question and calmly sit and start talking amongst each other as they were when they were standing. He then looks me straight in the eyes and stares at me with a slightly upturned lip on one side.  He glances over my shoulder towards the open kitchen and then asks how often I have eaten here. I relaxed because I was unsure what was coming after we locked eyes like that. I thought I offended him in some way. So I casually replied with maybe 15 so far this year. I then went on about my favorite dishes and what my family likes, and I was ready to share how much I loved this food. Then, after about 5 or 6 seconds of me being into my little speech, he cuts me off and states, “30, that is about how many times we have been just this year. We come here so much because it is closest to my mother’s home cooking. Of course, nothing is as good as your mother’s cooking, but this is worth the drive for us. Today, we brought my wife’s mother, who’s visiting us from Turkey, and we wanted to share our favorite place to eat.”

So, naturally, the tension is gone, and I am smiling. I put out a hand to shake and said, well, we are both regulars, but clearly, we have missed each other. I asked where they drove from. When he said Addison,  I did my version of a half “I’m not worthy “hand bow partially like Bill&Ted  and said. You win. 

Okay, now, onto the food!  


 Ezme $7.95: Mixed vegetables chopped, blended with pepper paste, pomegranate sauce and olive oil 

This was fantastic and comes with homemade bread. It’s not pita or tortilla, but a hybrid, and it is GOOD! These loaves are thin bread shaped like a blimp! We ended up eating two “loafs” to finish off the Ezma. It has a very vibrant herby flavor that pairs so well with the bread. 

Lahmacun $10 – A traditional dish of very thin layers of dough topped with a blend of ground beef.

I would describe this as a “Turkish Pizza,” for lack of better words; it comes with 4 pieces, and my 15-year-old daughter loved it so much that she always takes up the 4th piece. It is her favorite appetizer here. It is a thin, crispy, flat bread covered with a herby blend of spices and ground beef. 

Ali Nazik $21.95 – Marinated pan-seared juicy tender lamb fillets over a garlic yogurt eggplant puree, topped with butter sauce, served with homemade pita bread.

This is a luxurious dish. The creamy yogurt pairs so well with the lamp that you think one was created for the other. The tomatoes are ripe and bursting with flavor. This is a comfort food dish that makes you warm inside. Something i could eat all the time!

Chicken Beyti $16.95 – Hand chopped chicken with spicy red peppers. Rolled in a tortilla and topped with garlic yogurt and tomato sauce.

This is the only thing my daughter orders now when we go. This is such an elevated dish. The chicken is tender and juicy with a nice sear to it. It is such a simple yet flavor-packed dish. My daughter swears she could eat it every day. 

Lamp Chops $32 – Four grilled chops marinated special sauce.

Precisely as the name states, you get four artfully grilled lamp chops. This dish is delicious. I have had it 20 times so far here, and it has only disappointed me once. One time, the lamp was a bit overcooked, but the flavors kept me ordering. 

Each main dish is typically served with the same sides added. You get the main course, and it’s paired with rice and a little salad made up of pickled and spiced veggies. Pro tip: Pour some of the yogurt sauce on the rice, and it’s a game changer. 

Let me take a moment to acknowledge the artistry on the plates—vibrant colors, carefully decorated and plated. The sauces are placed and not just slopped onto the plate. Everything that hits the table looks like an art piece. Attention to detail is always refreshing, as many places in this price range do not care or take the time to prioritize plating. The flavors were so complete, and nothing was lacking. The tender, juicy, flavorful, with a slight char on the proteins, are always amazing. 

After dinner, I usually have a Turkish Coffee, and it is still one of the best I’ve ever had. Now, I have only had it at maybe 10 different restaurants, so I can’t say I am an expert, but boy, is it good. 

If you are in the area and on the fence about trying this place, do not hesitate to stop in and give it a try. Make sure to say hi to Ozzy. I am sure you will become part of the family just like I did and so many others have. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you around town. Never hesitate to say hello! 

Nick Hughes

I’m a devoted father and husband. What you see is what you get. I love God, family, food & baseball!

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