Mediterranean restaurant offers new meal options

Photo by Coty Giannelli.

Photo by Coty Giannelli.

Laura Lofgren

It’s hard to find good, wholesome food around Kent if you’re not familiar with the area. This is especially true for college students with meal plans who only eat on campus, wary to venture downtown for anything other than a beer or mixed drink.

Zach Glover wants to change that. That’s why the 20-year-old opened Laroush with his friend and self-proclaimed brother, Mario Salah.

According to Glover, Laroush, which means health and good life, is located on the corner of Summit Street and Franklin Avenue, sharing building space with a pet spa. Don’t let that deter you one bit. This place has amazing, pet hair-free, Mediterranean food.

View Laroush location in a larger map

The small shop, which used to be a tattoo parlor, was completely revamped by Salah and opened about two months ago.

“He redid the plumbing, the electricity, everything,” Glover said.

Salah, who has roots in Greek heritage, decided to take his health seriously after he had a heart attack a few years back. He studied hotel management in Yugoslavia and learned about healthy food options.

“Making (food) from scratch is very hard,” Salah said. “But we’re trying to make healthy food for everyone.”

The soft lime green colors of Laroush warmly welcome anyone seeking a warm Falafel wrap or lentil soup. Vines and paintings of Greek flora deck the walls and embrace the Mediterranean feel Glover and Salah were going for. It’s simple, clean and smells downright wonderful.

Texas-born Glover, who grew up in Richfield, Ohio, wanted to start a restaurant that provided Kent with natural, authentic food.

“The inspiration to make this food, as my brother would say, is to make a healthy fast food option,” Glover said. “A lot of the time when you say ‘fast food’ and ‘healthy food’ in the same sentence, it’s an oxymoron.”

But, Glover said, it is possible to bring the two together. More and more people want healthier food options, and Laroush is out to be part of the healthy fast food minority. That’s why he and Salah chose Kent.

“The people of Kent are very educated, and they really know what they’re eating,” Glover said. “They choose what they want to eat. They’re a health-conscious group.”

Zahra Scullion, sophomore international relations major, said she’s only been to Laroush a few times, but she likes what they have to offer.

“I’ve only had their lentil soup, and I love it,” Scullion said.

Laroush makes most of the food by hand in the restaurant, but its chicken and beef products come from an Arabic market in Cleveland.

“All the meat is Halal. People of Islamic faith can only eat this type of meat,” Glover said.

When an animal’s life is taken, Muslims face toward Mecca to give thanks to Allah for the animal that will give their bodies sustenance.

Glover, a former vegan and current vegetarian, said we all have a responsibility on this Earth to be conscious of other people and creatures.

“When you have a food establishment, you have a responsibility to provide healthy and quality food. That’s what we’re really focused on,” Glover said.

Unconcerned with competition or profits, Glover said he wants other local businesses to do well, and he thinks Laroush is doing pretty well for itself.

“We have the ability to have really good food, but it’s just that a lot of people are concerned too much with profits, and they’re not really concerned with the quality. Here, we really go that extra mile and provide quality for our customers.”

Hoping to start a delivery service soon, Glover said Laroush is building a team of drivers who will deliver during their normal hours of operation.

In the spring, Laroush will be getting all organic produce from a local farmer. Glover said he will deliver lettuce and vegetables that have been cut that day to Laroush so they’re at the peak of freshness when served to customers.

Any customer can order online, too, at

Laroush is open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-CLOSED.

Besides beef and chicken shawarma wraps, fatoush and greek salads, Laroush offers smoothies. But these smoothies, in this reporter’s stomach’s opinion, are amazingly delectable. They’re made from all natural fruits and fruit juices. On a personal note, I recommend the Ultimate Fruity Mix, which is filled with healthy bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mango and guava nectar and orange juice. Just, please, go experience it. You won’t be mad about it. And when you do stop in, ask Zach to play his “Laroush sing” on his acoustic guitar. It’ll reassure your decision to eat at Laroush.

Contact Laura Lofgren at [email protected].