Find a Blend of Cultures at New Mazza Mediterranean Restaurant in Patchogue

By Miles Reese

A brand new flavor with an interesting twist has arrived in Patchogue in the name of Mazza Mediterranean Restaurant.

If you’ve never experienced the taste of Greek tzatziki or Afghan kabab, then you’re in luck because this restaurant offers both of these dishes along with an entire menu of Greek and Arab cuisine. 

Mazza Mediterranean owner Samir Omar said the goal was to give the people of Patchogue something they’ve never seen before.

“One main reason we did this was because this restaurant used to just be a Greek bistro and when it comes to Afghan cuisine alone there are so many twists and variations that we wanted to include,” he said.

The restaurant, located at 58d South Ocean Avenue, began as a dream that Omar’s father Wais had as a halal food cart vendor  after immigrating from Afghanistan to the United States.

“Since he came to this country, my father has always been in this food industry,” Omar said. “He was part of the first phase of individuals who ran halal carts that you’d see in the city and occasionally on Long Island.”

Mazza Mediterranean Restaurant

Omar, 24, grew up in Lake Ronkonkoma surrounded by the pungent aromas and flavors of various foods and spices. Not only was this interesting to him, but he also feels that it broadened his horizons at a very young age.

“It definitely gave me an open mindset because Afghan cuisine alone is very different from American cuisine … and growing up with a variety of foods really expanded my taste buds to new things,” he said. “That’s part of our mission when people come into my restaurant. I love to provide them with great food and take them on a journey of culinary differences, you know?”

Omar said that one of the best things about working at the restaurant is that he gets to work with his family. His mother and father work as chefs in the kitchen and his sister and cousin are waitresses. 

“It’s a team effort and we do it together as a family,” he said.

Mazza Mediterranean isn’t Samir Omar’s only entrepreneurial endeavor. Prior to the formation of Mazza Mediterranean, he and his family opened a pizzeria in Bay Shore for a short period of time.

“We owned the pizzeria for a bit but it didn’t really go how we wanted it to but the good thing that came out of it was that we started looking for other opportunities,” he said.

When it came to starting a new restaurant he mentioned that there is some pressure as an entrepreneur especially because Mazza Mediterranean has such an interesting cultural twist that many haven’t seen before.

“When it comes to fear and pressure, I think to myself, is it going to be good? Are people going to like the food and like the fact that we did a little twist?” he said.

Omar said that he eases his worries by simply staying true to his craft.

“There are obviously so many things that come to mind when you’re opening a location but the best thing to do in those situations is not think about it,” he said. “Life is going to play its course and it will all come together.”

Mazza Mediterranean Restaurant

Mazza Mediterranean is also part of the community Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s great to be part of the community and throw ideas out there with other local owners,” he said.

Omar said he is open to holding fundraisers for the community and Patchogue Medford school district as well.

“We’d definitely like to set up something with the local schools,” he said. “Maybe a discount throughout the week because I do see a lot of kids walking through the town so just something geared to students would be great.”

Giving back to the community is something that Omar is adamant about.

“Going from walking down Main street as a kid to now being part of Main Street is truly a blessing to say the least,” he said.

Miles Reese is a reporter with The SBU Media Group, part of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism’s Working Newsroom program for students and local media. 


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