Being that "Middle Eastern" food is my most favorite cuisine, it would be hard to characterize it anymore than trying to characterize "American" cuisine. Just think how American food differs from East to MidWestern to West, from North to South, from Southeast to Southwest. Pop or Soda? Stuff like that. Sometimes the same thing with different names. Sometimes the same name, but really different in composition and taste.
From my experiences, Lebanese food is the most tasty. I've not been overseas, but in the Twin Cities, a lot of ME restaurants open up. I've been to Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish, Kurdish, and some I can't remember the names of the region they were from.
Many of them start off authentic and very representative, and as a former food critic, I got to know a lot of ME chefs/owners. TO a one, they all started out with great expectations, and then quickly found that, in their own words, Americans can't tell the difference. SO they stop trying to impress, and just sell. 3-day old Tabouli, it sells. I won't eat it, but then Majdi, co-owner of Holyland Deli and Grocery, told me once "There's only a handful of people in the world that understand this cuisine like my brother Wadi, and yet, much to my amazement, you, an American, are one of those people!!"
Needless to say, I was totally honored to be classified in that rarefied handful of people.
Anyway, one time I was in a vegetarian ME restaurant, and the waitress comes out wide-eyed, and says, "Your meal will be ready in a little bit. He's in THERE making up everything fresh just for you!!". She said he's never done that before.