Monday, June 4, 2012

Cafe Medina

I found Cafe Medina though a Deal Saver deal (one of those Groupon or Livingsocial type deal sites). I find a lot of my new places through these types of sites, they are really quite useful. Cafe Medina is not in plain sight, its located at roughly 135th and State Line Road, in a strip mall nestled between a Church's Chicken and a physical therapy office and behind a Taco Bell (as their website will inform you). Check out the view from the front window.

Cafe Medina appeared to be relatively new and was not packed at all on the inside. It is the type of place that you go up to the register to order, and then they bring the food out to you, kind of like a fancy deli atmosphere. The fare is Mediterranean, with what I believe to be a Saudi influence (which could be completely wrong) based on the decor and the name. I have been on quite the Mediterranean lately, but I attribute that to my new found search for New York Falafel, which is similar to my Mexican street taco search.

We had no idea what we wanted, aside from the falafel, so we asked the young lady taking orders what her she would recommend. She told us to give the shawarma a try. We made both the falafel and shawarma sandwiches into combos, getting hummus with a tabouli salad with one and baba ghanoush with a tabouli salad with the other. The falafel was very good, but still not the same as the food cart in NYC. The shawarma however was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had in my life! The seasoning on the chicken meat was incredible, it had a perfect mixture of what I believe to be cardamom with hints of all-spice, it was almost like a holiday flavor. This was the first time I had had shawarma and it was awesome! The hummus was good, it came with roasted red peppers in the middle that added quite the kick. The pita was great! The pita is made in house (just like everything else on the menu), and you can tell when you taste it. This was also my first time to try baba ghanoush. It took me a couple bites to get used to the different taste, but once I did, it was quite good. It is an eggplant dish with a smokey flavor and also came with roasted red peppers, I will definitely order this again. As for the tabouli salad, it is chopped parsley dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. It is a very fresh tasting salad and cleanses the palate well between strong flavors. All in all Cafe Medina had a strong offering and I will definitely be going back again!

One other good thing about Cafe Medina: they have Diet Pepsi and Diet Mountain Dew. This is not a selling point that will make or break a restaurant for us, but my wife and I both only drink diet soda and its nice to have an option besides Diet Coke, so we make sure to make note of that.

Cafe Medina on Urbanspoon

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