Last fall, B and I set out to go on some little adventures and we did go to wonderful places like Little Washington, NC, Floyd, VA, and fancy camping in Weaverville (town was great; camping, well, that wasn’t so fancy! LOL). We also went ziplining, which B had never done, we tried new foods and restaurants, it was a great season. Then the holidays set in, we got engaged, planned a wedding, and renovated our house for three+ months. Whew! All good stuff but a LOT of good stuff, so much so that adventures were put on hold, but this is to tell you here we go again! Yay!
Sometimes, we don’t have time to take a whole day or an overnight trip but just trying new restaurants and foods are an adventure to us, especially me, the picky weird eater, and I can’t wait to share what we find with you!
This week, we took off to Chapel Hill, NC to try a restaurant we read about in Our State magazine (I wait by the mailbox for this every month!). The Mediterranean Deli & Bakery came with rave reviews and is only a 1/2 hour from our home. We found the restaurant nestled right in the heart of the famous Franklin Street and learned it has been a staple of the town since 1991. That says a lot in itself! You can read about the owner and their history here.
Mediterranean has a wonderful atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating and they are known for their authentic dishes from the Middle East and the Mediterranean. They specialize also in vegetarian, gluten free, organic, and vegan dishes. Side note, they are also rated as one of the best catering services in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.
At this point, I’d like to refer you back to the words “picky weird eater” above referring to myself – when I hear deli, I think turkey, cheese, ham, maybe a little salami, lol – I mean, keep in mind, I’m a butter and bacon and brown sugar kind of girl. But you guys, this place is not that kind of deli! This is real stuff and you have to try it to love it!
As you head up to the counter at the Mediterranean, you’ll find displays of food that look amazing labeled with the name and what they contain, from entrees to all of their colorful fresh side dishes. Then you will see their bakery of fresh desserts (OMG!) and the bakery. Off to the side of the restaurant is their market where you can shop for all kinds of cultural foods and fresh meats and breads.
Here’s the thing – we ordered safe, I’m just being real. We ordered something we had had before and didn’t venture out. Yes, my Chicken Souvlaki sandwich and B’s Lamb & Beef Gyro were good, but after we ate, we sat and studied the menu, actually taking the time to read ingredients in each of their dishes. We knew then we were not going to be able to give them our fair review if we didn’t try something truly out of our norm. B then had the idea we’d order an entree and sides that we’d never had, two desserts, and take them home for dinner so we did.
We brought home the Moroccan Beef Tagine and LOVED it! It included apricot (one of my favorite flavors!), honey, balsamic vinegar, cilantro and fresh ginger. YUMMMMY! The two sides we got were spinach and cabbage salad and Lebanese potato salad. Both were delicious and while I’m weird about green stuff (just sayin’), I loved the crunchiness of the cabbage and the potato salad reminded me of B’s except they added a few extra seasonings and peppers. Delicious!
For dessert, we had baklava with dates (not new to us but so good!) and Nammora, a Semolina dough with a touch of coconut and honey and pistachios. I liked it a lot but the baklava was my favorite!
It was just so much fun to escape for a while! Chapel Hill is always fun to visit and the Mediterranean Deli is a place that we’ll return to I am sure. There are several other dishes on their menu we want to try now that I’m stepping out of my comfort zone – this should be interesting!
I hope you’ll give the Mediterranean a try soon and venture out, it’ll be worth it!