Overall rating: 4/5
I was wandering around after the fabulous California Avenue Farmers Market on a sunny October afternoon, when my tummy started rumbling. Realizing that about six hours had passed since I’d last eaten, I looked up and this was the first restaurant I saw. As a fan of Mediterranean (and let’s face it, pretty much any ethnic) food, I figured, why not?
Food – 3/5
The first thing I like to order at a new Mediterranean place is the falafel wrap. It’s a quintessential dish that should, if it does its job, represent the rest of the menu. The falafel itself was pretty good – moist, crunchy, kind of nutty – and the veggies were fresh and plentiful, but the wrap was a little burned and super messy. At a few points the tahini was dripping out of control, and I ended up having to pick up some of it with my napkin before I could safely finish eating. (To be fair, a Mediterranean deli recently opened about a block away from my house, back in my hometown, that has the best falafel wraps ever, so I went into this situation a little biased against possible competitors.)
Service – 5/5
These guys are great! I was helped almost the minute I went into the store, and they got to making the wrap right away. The nice man behind the counter flirted just enough to be sweet without being creepy, and they have free ice water in a nice pitcher and cups – very courteous and attentive, speedy service.
Price – 4/5
My fairly large wrap (not inedibly enormous, but enough to make up for a missed meal; it could safely be split with a friend) cost a little over $6. They have side options in the $3-4 dollar range, as well as larger specialty wraps and plates between $8-10 – a nice weekend option if you have a bit of cash to spare.
Location and Setting – 5/5
Full marks for having two locations in Palo Alto: one on swanky University Avenue (15 minute walk from campus, 10 minute bike ride) and one on lower-key but still middle class hippie-yuppie-hybrid California Avenue (20-25 minute walk from campus, 15 minute bike ride). I’ve never been to the one on University, but on California they have a nice outdoor patio set up with chairs (beware when wearing shorts or miniskirts – these are the wiry, Tresidder-esque chairs that leave awkward marks on the back of your legs), umbrellas, and a nice view of this quirky street. There are people-watching opportunities galore, especially on Farmers Market day.
Good for… Weekend Wind-Down
It was a great place to regroup and enjoy some simple but exotically tasty fare after a hectic weekend of row parties and the oddly frenetic energy of the Farmers Market. It seems to appeal to a lot of different types with different purposes — me, with my mountain of archaeology reading, three middle-aged men in the midst of what looked like a business meeting, a family of four and a few young couples.
Remember, I’m always open to any thoughts or suggestions! See you next week!
Overall rating: 4/5