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Mediterranean Kitchen

103 Bellevue Way N.E.
Bellevue, WA
(425) 462-9422

Mediterranean Kitchen has two locations, and the one in Bellevue is reputed to have the better food. The small dining area may get crowded at times, but I usually prefer that a restaurant concentrate on the food rather than putting their money into an upscale facility with a high rent payment.

When I first visit a restaurant I many times try to order a sampler plate to get a feel for the items that I might want to order on later visits. Mediterranean Kitchen has a meat sampler plate, which I was told was one of their most popular dishes.

A vegetarian sampler, called the Mezza Tray, was also available, and this seemed to offer the best choice of items. This was a sampler of the restaurant's appetizers, containing several items mentioned in the following paragraphs, as well as a delicious salad.

Hummous is always a good yardstick for measuring the quality of Middle Eastern restaurants. The one here was excellent, and was one of the few items I finished, due to the enormous size of the entire plate. Like all the items served, the Hummous was fresh, and the spicing was quite good on this dish.

Tabouley is another standard Middle Eastern dish, and the one here ranked near the top of the ones I have tried. It seemed to have the right amount of lime/citrus flavor, and the ingredients were fresh. I did not think, though, that it matched some of the ones I had sampled at some of the Lebanese steak houses in Oklahoma.

Zahra, a deep-fried cauliflower topped with Tahini sauce, was the surprise find at Mediteranean Kitchen, and I though was the best dish on the sampler plate. For me to enjoy any type of cauliflower is a major feat, but this one was cooked to the point that it did not have the disgusting texture usually associated with this vegetable, and the flavor was almost as good as the Falafil that I probably would have ordered had I not gotten the sampler plate.

The Lebanese Labnie made of yogurt with olive oil was not quite as delicious as advertised on the menu, but I love eating healthy dishes such as this one. The crushed mint on top gave a nice touch.

Baba Kanouj, consisting of mashed eggplant, is something that no restaurant can prepare to the point that I would like it, but the one here was good compared to others I have had.

The Pita Bread came from a factory in California, and tasted like it came from a factory, although a pretty good one.

Due to the mass quantity of food served on the Mezza Tray, I took quite a bit of it home. The leftovers permeated my refrigerator with a garlic odor. I supposed this is what makes this cuisine so flavorful, but I really suspected they might have gone overboard on the garlic.

Although the food was quite good, this was one of the few places I had visited as a result of reading reviews on chowhound.com that did not live up to the reviews I had read. I think part of the problem was that the Mezza Tray consisted only of appetizers, and did not contain some of the dishes I would normally have ordered such as Falafil or Stuffed Grape Leaves. Unfortunately, a sampler plate with these dishes is not served.



Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily except Sun. lunch
Additional Location: 11412 N.E. 124th St. (Kirkland)
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Wine

Most Recent Visit
Jun. 9, 2006

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Hummous, Tabouley, Zahra

Special Ratings
Baba Kanouj:

Restaurant Web Site
Mediterranean Kitchen

Health Dept. Report
King County