Category Archives: Restaurants and Reviews

Coolgreens – A Truly Cool Place

6475 Avondale Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK 73115
405.841.2665
 2nd location:  N. May & Memorial Ave.
405.286.9204
Website:  mycoolgreens.com
Price Factor: $$
Taste Factor: ****
Open Monday -Sunday 11a.m. to 9 p.m.


Kayla is finally home from India, and my girls and I spent some time together going to lunch.

Driving up to Coolgreens, you know this is a happening place, because the two patios outside are packed at noon on a Monday.  You know it’s the place to be when you drive up and Barry Switzer is sitting in front of you on the patio.

Conversation between me and the girls…

Me: Look!  Barry Switzer is here!

Them: Where? Is that him? Are you sure?

Me: I lived in the 80’s. I saw the national championships. I know a legend when I see one.

Them: Are you sure that’s him?

Me: (Deep sigh)  Nevermind.  Let’s go in.

But I have proof.


So there!

There are two patio areas outside the restaurant.  One out by the parking lot, and another outside the main doors up another level off the parking lot.

Upon walking into the restaurant, there’s a lot to take in.  First off, there’s the line of people waiting for some of Coolgreens numerous choices of ingredients.

You’ll see an L-shaped counter that you step up to to build your salad, pizza or wrap.  If you’re not a seasoned Coolgreens customer, you’ll probably want to take a look at the menu to your left (on the wall) before you try to wade your way through things.  Or there is a little container of to-go menus hanging on the counter.  If you don’t look ahead of time,  all those people behind you might get a little miffed.

Here is the concept, You can either build your own salad, wrap or pizza from hundreds of fresh ingredients ( the possibilities number into the thousands!).  Or, you can get some help from the Signature Menu.

Being Coolgreen virgins, we opted for the Signature Menu to begin.  I couldn’t decide between the Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad or the Smoky Tomato Basil Soup, so I opted for the combo and ordered both.  I was relieved that Kayla ordered the Coolgreens Skinnyflatbread pizza, because I also had my eye on that.  Tori was feeling a bit under-the-weather and decided to play it safe with the Formagio flatbread pizza.

As you walk through the line, you are a bit overwhelmed (but in a good way) with all the fresh ingredients before you.  Everything is either organic, or locally bought and looks really fresh and tasty.

There is everything you can dream of to choose from.  Behind the bins on the counter stand a ready, polite and eager to help waitstaff and behind them a wall of homemade dressings to choose from that really wow’d me.

Dressings like Asian Ginger, Lime Jalepeno Vinaigrette, Red Wine Tarragon Vinaigrette, Smoky Chipotle Ranch, and Thai Curry Vinaigrette stand in pristine bottles and are labeled with their goodness.  All their dressings are made with extra virgin olive oil as well, an added health benefit.  There is no sugar in their dressings either, but if necessary, they are sweetened with organic honey.

Move on down the line and you’ll see some unique offerings in drinks.

But pay attention soda fans, because Coolgreens is not going to contribute to ill-health with soda and you won’t encounter any high-fructose corn syrup here.  They offer flavored waters, some carbonated, and a trio of teas along with their own bottled water or a giant stand of iced water with lemon and lime slices.  If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, go for one of their great smoothies from the staff at the other side of the L-shaped counter.

We took our number and took our seats in the bright and airy, well-populated dining area.  It’s horribly hot right now in Oklahoma City, and we didn’t relish the thought of the patio.

Speaking of the dining room, Allan McMurrain, one of the owners,   had told me that they truly live their “green” name. By using as many recycled products as possible, from the cork floor to the bio-degradable to-go containers, they live up to the name.  According to something pulled off of their website…

The use of reclaimed woods, environmentally friendly products, bio-degradable packaging and wind-energy add to the overall theme of healthy, sustainable living.

Each table has a pretty little vase with a fresh flower floating in it when you sit down, a nice touch to us girls.  Our food came out very quickly.  I was enthralled at the sight of my order.

My Ahi Tuna Nicoise salad had perfectly-done slices of tuna, plus little fingerling potatoes on a bed of mixed greens and arugula.  It was accented with some lovely pickled red onions, capers, grape tomatoes, crisp snap peas,  and a sprinkling of calamata olives.  For some reason, I didn’t get the hard-boiled eggs listed on the menu, but the salad was fantastic and I really liked the raspberry vinaigrette dressing it was drizzled with.

The huge bowl of Smoky Basil Tomato soup was great.  It tasted of fresh tomatoes, and it had a little bite of something spicy in it that I really enjoyed.  When I finished, I felt as if I had eaten really healthy, didn’t have a overfull feeling ,but I was very satisfied.

Then I took one bite of Kayla’s Coolgreens Skinny flatbread pizza.

And I decided I would go ahead and make myself a bit uncomfortable.

Whoever made this combination was genius.  First of all, Alan told me that the crusts are made of whole grain or rye and the crust was delicious. And the toppings?  There was  basil pesto, roasted grapes, sundried tomato, figs, walnuts, goats cheese, arugula.

Sound weird? It was perfect. The savory of the pesto, tomatoes and nuts with the little bit of tartness of the goat cheese was balanced out by the sweetness of the grapes and figs.  It was magnificent.  We both ooh’d and aah’d over it and I snuck another couple of bites when she was full.

She also ordered a combo and her salad was the Chicken Ceaser.

The dressing on this was super good and doesn’t contain raw eggs.

Tori also ordered a flatbread pizza – the Formagio which had four cheeses and was very yummy.

The crust is toasted perfectly and the cheese mixture was lovely.

We sat and watched people pour in for a good hour-and-a-half while we sat, ate and talked.  Many people had the sorbet with fresh fruit on it that Alan has told me about that contains no sugar or fat.

Feel like fresh-squeezed juice? They have that too.

If you care about the food you put into your body, and you love fresh ingredients, you’re going to love Coolgreens.  It’s priced to match those kind of ingredients, so be prepared to pay a minimum of $10 for lunch, although some of the pizzas are $7 or $8.  But, in my opinion?

It was well-worth the treat.

I’ve already informed Mr. Wonderful it’s going to be a date-night regular.

Did you know us bloggers love comments? Please leave me a comment below on your thoughts on Coolgreens!

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Tana Thai Bistro- Restaurant Review

Tana Thai Bistro
10700 N. May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73120
405.749.5590
Dollar Factor $$
Taste Factor $$$

website:  http://www.tanathai.com/

So today I was at a four-day training session for work up in the Northwest side of Oklahoma City and it made me dangerously close to one of my favorite Thai restaurants.

Tana Thai.

Mr. Wonderful and Jason took me here for the first time, and to me, besides Charm and Sweet Basil (the one in Norman, not Bethany) it is one of my favorite Thai places around the Metro area.

Tana Thai, although small, has a modern feel, a little Asian, a little hip, and it’s bright an airy with nice decor, and a cut-above-decor in tableware for an Asian restaurant.

As I said. the one dining room is small but bright.

The service will be quick, and your waitress probably won’t hang around too long to chat, but only if it’s very busy, which strangely enough, it always is. Today, the older waitress, (whose name goes unknown to me even today, even though she always asks me where Mr. Wonderful is when I dine alone) lets me know my steampunk necklace “though beautiful”, is tucked inside my t-shirt and that I should wear it outside.

I take no offense to her, because she is efficient in her duties, and it’s just what makes her herself. Much like a truck stop diner waitress, this modern Asian waitress, (who I suspect has some ownership in the restaurant), has never let me down in service.  Soon, she delivers my order, the Beef Panang Curry lunch, although being the change-up orderer that I am, I substitute chicken, and the grand total of my lunch order comes to $5.95 plus tax and tip.

Soon, my order is delivered on a retro-boxy plate artfully decorated with fresh, young, tender green beans, red peppers, shaved chicken breast slices and a curry sauce that leaves you wishing for more to soak into your jasmine rice globe sitting alongside of it.

Tana Thai isn’t one of those places where you’ll receive huge portions of food, but I rather like a health-conscious portion of a fresh, beautifully-plated meal over one that will put me to sleep at work after lunch.

Just for kicks today, I ordered a different dish, but my favorite dish at Tana Thai is the Thai Basil Chicken, hands down.  It’s the dish I tried to recreate here.  I’m very close, but still venture forth for satisfaction to satisfy my craving for this, my favorite of all Thai dishes.

Might I suggest Tana Thai’s Pad Thai or any of their curries as well? The soups will fill you up all by themselves while being delicious also.  Try the Tom Kha Gai,  with chicken broth, coconut milk, lemon, chicken, mushrooms and assorted Thai vegetables.  You will be sighing in satisfaction.

You can see pictures and the menu at their website here.

As usual, at most Thai places, there is an offer of heat in any of the dishes.  Tana Thai’s offering is from 1-3, with three being hot enough to cause perspiration to develop under your eyes, so keep that in mind while ordering any of their delicious entrees.

I have yet to find something at fault at this place.

You can find Lunch specials for $5.95 or $6.95 on up.  The service is good, the place is quaint and clean, and the food, is pretty close to unbeatable for a Thai place.

Try Tana Thai soon.  If you’re a Thai food fan, you’ll enjoy it.

Tana Thai Bistro on Urbanspoon

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Chica’s Mexican Cafe



Chica’s Mexican Cafe
6482 Avondale Dr.
Nichols Hills, OK 73116
405.607.8193
Taste Factor **1/2
Dollar Factor $$-$$$
(no menu or website available)
Hours of Operation:  Mon-Sat 11-9
Sunday -CLOSED

We happened to try Chica’s recently. It was just the three of us, Mr. Wonderful, Tori and I.

Located in the Nichols Hills Plaza, you can access this little place by Western or 63rd.  We had to really look for it.  You walk through a tiny outdoor patio, which is an option for alfresco dining on a nice night.  It’s really just a couple of tables and chairs on the sidewalk.

The inside of the restaurant was much smaller than I’d imagined.  There were 3  or 4 tall tables for four and maybe 6-8 others.

There is also a bar at the back of the restaurant you can sit at.

When we arrived, the place seemed trashed.  Every table was dirty and we weren’t sure where to sit.  A waitress arrived pretty quickly, however and cleaned off one of the tall tables against the windows. I soon figured out why the place was a mess.  There was a steady stream of young, trendy folks streaming through the door the entire time we ate.  This is a highly popular place.  The tables quickly filled up again and the place was packed in no time.

The decor is urban diner, bright and crowded, and our service was excellent.  We were quickly brought chips, cheese and salsa.

The salsa is the  thin, mostly tomato salsa that is typical at Mexican restaurants and it’s okay.  The cheese sauce was good.  I forgot to ask for additional sauces like I normally do and I’ve heard they have quite a few.  I’ll try that next time.

I always ask the wait staff what is good and they recommended the Ocean Tacos as one of their most popular offerings. I’m a huge fish and shrimp taco fan, so I played along.

These were good.  I asked for cilantro and added some pico de gallo for a little spice, but the guacamole cream sauce was great, the tilapia moist, and the slaw on top had a nice crunch.  I prefer corn tortillas for my tacos these days, and was pleased that they came out warm and fresh, and not greasy, like in some other places I’ve been.  I could pick from several kinds of beans, Mexican potatoes, cole slaw or fresh fruit.  I opted for the black beans and fresh fruit, both of which were great, and a nice change from typical Mexican rice and refried beans.

Tori ordered the Fried Tacos.

Oh to be young and have a metabolism again.

She enjoyed these as far as I could tell.  They were filled with beef and cheese and came with a side of guacamole and pico de gallo.

Mr. Wonderful ordered the Combo Fajitas and really liked them.

Chica’s had many more things I’d like to try .  We enjoyed our visit here.  Please note that if you’re looking for authentic Mexican fare, this would not be the place for you.  This is more of an Americanized, trendy and hip type of Mexican featuring seafood (I am trying the shrimp and pablano enchiladas next time!).

Chica’s is also a little pricier than some other Mexican restaurants I’ve been to, but in the Nichol’s Hills area, you should expect that anyway.  I wouldn’t say the food is stand-out great, but I also wouldn’t say it’s bad at all.  We enjoyed our visit and probably will go back again.

From what we saw, many people agree with me.  The tables filled up with no problem!

**Update – Visit two was very enjoyable.  We asked for extra salsa, and received a salsa verde and a super spicy habenero salsa.  We had a different waitress from last time who brought us their complimentary spicy guacamole. It was killer good!  Don’t miss this!

I also tried the Shrimp & Pablano Enchiladas which were great.

We also ordered the Chorizo appetizer that had sauteed onions, pablanos, tomatoes, chorizo sausage and cheese.  This was very good as well.

Mr. Wonderful ordered the beef and chicken enchiladas and they had plenty of meat in both and he couldn’t finish them.

I’m glad we tried a second visit.  We were very pleased last night!

Have you eaten here? Let me know what YOUR experience was!

Chica's Mexican Cafe on Urbanspoon

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1492 – Restaurant Review

1207 N. Walker
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
405.236.1492
http://www.1492okc.com (website is currently under construction)
(I found what seems to be the site also at this link)click on New Menu here – menu link
Dollar Factor
Lunch $$-$$$
Dinner $$$-$$$$
Taste Factor ***

My folks are in town this week and last night we tried a new place – 1492.

1492 is a Latin themed restaurant that serves a fusion of Latin cuisine but also has a Tex-Mex pleasing offering for those who don’t want fancy-schmancy or might not want the exoticness of a Latin cuisine.

The entire front and side of the restaurant is glassed windows, which gives a light and airy feeling the to the respective dining rooms.

The tables are set with cloths, cloth napkins and the ambiance is elegant and semi-casual. 

The bathrooms have an added elegant touch of freshly-rolled, individual cloth towels that made us feel special.

 Our waiter immediately came out for drink orders and brought us a load of chips and salsa.

Mr. Wonderful enjoyed these and will kill me for posting this picture of him enjoying them.

Sweetie, I know you love being married to a food blogger doncha?

Maybe he won’t read this.

The chips are extra large and thick, and we thought the salsa was pretty good, although not anything to write home about.  I’ve had the same type of salsa at many places, but still, it wasn’t bad.  We enjoyed it.

 I opted for the Taquitos De Cameron ($17) which were large shrimp that had been chopped and grilled together with mushrooms, bacon and green onions in some kind of spicy sauce and served up in warm corn tortillas.  They came with a side of coconut rice topped with sliced avocados and fried plaintains.  They also came with a bowl of black beans.

I loved everything about this except the coconut rice.  For some reason it seemed way to sweet. It was strongly flavored with coconut (I assume coconut milk) but it tasted like it had a bunch of sugar added.  While I loved the flavor of the coconut, I would have preferred it to be balanced out with lime, cilantro or jalepeno or something to cut through the sweetness.

The tacos were wonderful, the plaintains a little treat, and the beans were outstanding and tasted like a good bean soup with ham base and some kick to them.

My Dad got something off the special menu $15) – while I can’t remember the name, it was chipotle mashed potatoes, topped with a grilled fresh slice of pineapple, grilled pork tenderloin, and then capped off with some fresh pico de gallo.

He enjoyed this with the exception of the potatoes being too spicy for him.  If you are faint of heart in the heat department, be cautioned on this.

Mom ordered the traditional 1492 Chicken Fajitas ($12.50).

 

They came out with beans, rice, and guacamole.

They looked to be typical fajitas and she enjoyed them, although, this is a large order for one and she took half of it home.

Mr. Wonderful ordered a  beef chimichanga ($15) off the Specials menu stuffed with Venezuelan shredded brisket, plantains and rice and it was fabulous.  It came with an  amazing warm sour cream/chipotle sauce and some grilled veggies that were to die for.  Just as soon as we locate the picture he took of it, I’ll get it up here.

 We saw an Apple Chimichanga with caramel sauce and fresh strawberries go by that turned our heads, but we were just too full to order one.  It looked fabulous and could easily be shared by four people.

We really enjoyed 1492 and will most certainly be visiting this place again.  I am anxious to try some more of their cuisine.  It was delicious.

 

1492: New World Latin Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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T, an Urban Tea House

7518 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
418-4333
Dollar Factor: Varies
Taste Factor:  ****
http://www.urban-teahouse.com

Last night Mr. Wonderful and I ate dinner at home and then ventured out to T, an Urban Teahouse.  My intrigue with T asked the question, “how did I NOT know about this place?”!!

My sis-in-law Cheryl had been in a class with the owner and she just told me about it this week, so I had to check it out.

The inside of T is very pristine, without a lot of clutter.

The decor is simple, and artwork on the walls features local artists and is changed every 6 weeks.  When they do, they offer tea cocktails and celebrate.  If you give them your e-mail address, they will let you know when that’s happening.

There are a few tables and chairs and some lounge chairs in a corner, and there is a tea bar where you can sit and chat with your tea monger of the night.

Hello Mr. Wonderful!

We sat at the bar, and talked to Justine, who was amazingly knowledgeable about all the teas behind the bar that you could select.

We looked over the extensive tea menu.  Please be aware that the prices per tea are labeled by expense.  Reserved teas will be pricey!

Teas are labeled Specialty, Premium, Exceptional and Reserved and marked with the appropriate letter

We both decided on a Rooibus – I ordered the Vanilla Caramel and Mr. Wonderful went for the Rooibus Chai.  It was evening and we didn’t want to be up all night!

We also ordered a dessert out of their dessert case.

T has chocolates and other baked goods brought in from a  local chocolateire and baker – Fat Daddy’s Sweets, and Prairie Thunder Baking.

Truffles from Fat Daddy's Sweets

We ordered a dessert each and settled in with our tea that Justine served us in individual pots.

Would you look at that counter? It’s very cool.  Justine told us that it was made by local firefighters out of glass from La Baquette.  I loved it.  I can’t remember what that cookie thing I ordered was called, but it was like a cookie made out of English toffee…very yummy.  The brownie slice that Mr. Wonderful ordered, was rich and dark and we couldn’t finish it.

I also loved the tea timer brought with each pot of tea – it has different hourglass colors for the respective tea brew times.

The tea was fantastic and while we sat and ate and drank our tea, we chatted with Justine about the various offerings of tea at T.  She was super helpful and described each one and let us smell the aroma of the leaves.

And I’m sure I freaked her out taking a million pictures.

And whoever orders that Lapsung Souchong she is letting Mr. Wonderful smell, is a unique individual.  Wow, that stuff smelled potent.

You can, of course take home some tea of your own.  I ended  up purchasing a black breakfast tea called China Breakfast, which came highly recommended by Justine.

It came in a cute little bag with instructions to the T (no pun intended) on how to fix it, including measurement, steeping time and temperature.  Very cool for virgin tea drinkers who are just starting out.  I am sitting here this morning sipping this tea while posting this blog entry and enjoying the smoothness and strength of this tea.  It’s wonderful for a morning pick-me-up.

Before you leave T, make sure and browse through the shelf of tea-ware on one wall.

You can purchase gift baskets, books, tea-candles and a variety of tea pots and cups for your own drinking enjoyment at home.

Justine informed us that private parties are available for “tea tastings” and to contact T for setting those up.

Kristy Jennings has done a great job opening this place.  It was a very hip thing to do in Oklahoma City, when sometimes you just don’t want to go to another movie or restaurant.  Sometimes you just want to sit, sip tea, and enjoy the relaxation surrounding this lovely ritual and talk with local friends and eat sweets.

You should try T soon.  It’s a great experience. And hey, maybe I’ll see you there!


T, an Urban Tea House on Urbanspoon

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Pho Ever Restaurant Review

PhoEver
6929 NW Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK 73132-3533
(405) 470-1888

Dollar Factor $
Taste Factor $$$
Menu Link

Oh yeah!

There’s a Pho place near my dwelling! This makes Mr. Wonderful and I soooo happy! A mere minutes away, we can now go and enjoy pho soup during this cold spell without straying too far.  And if Pho is not your thing?  There are plenty of other choices here as well.  Read on…

PhoEver is located in the strip mall right next to Tuesday Morning Mall.  When you walk in, the decor is simple and bright.  It has been very clean both times we’ve been.  The wait staff has been prompt and courteous and our overall experience has been pleasant.

Let’s start with the star of the show, after all, what do you go to a Pho place for ..what else? Pho.  I ordered the P1 or Pho Tai (All pho is $5.95 for small, $6.95 for large) with thin slices of rare beef that cook gently upon dropping into the hot soup. 

The pho at PhoEver is very good.  I am so partial to Pho Lien Hoa’s broth, that the broth didn’t measure up, but I would say it’s still a good choice.  It didn’t have the exotic broth depth of Pho Hoa, it tasted more beef -brothish and the star anise flavor wasn’t as strong as I like it, but overall, with this place being close to my home, I would definately make a stop here often to get a still-worthy bowl of this soup.

The garnish tray was a little smaller than normal.  But it worked.

And really, so much of this probably goes to waste from those who don’t like to add a lot to their soup.  You can ask for more, and they’ll bring it free of charge.  No worries there.

I started out with tea, as I’m a tea freak. I was pleasantly surprised that they had Oolong tea and shock of all shocks -looseleaf! 

The only disappointment is, I’m a texture person and I hate floaties in my drinks.  Like, I’m talking serious gag factor. 

I know – I have issues.

There was no means of straining the tea as the leaves came in my cup.  When I asked the waitress if there was a strainer available, she said, “Just let it set for a while and the leaves will go to the bottom”.  Needless to say, I still had tea leaves stuck between my teeth and that didn’t work.

The fresh spring rolls ($3.00) were large and good.  The hoisin peanut dipping Sauce was yummy.

A nice feature about their fresh spring rolls? You have a choice of shrimp, pork, beef, chicken or vegetable and it’s nice to have a choice as opposed to the traditional shrimp rolls offered elsewhere.

The Crispy Vietnamese Spring Rolls ($3.50) were outstanding. 

Not too greasy, and filled with chicken, carrots, bean thread noodles and onions.  Again, the sauce, a flavorful, but light nuoc mam was excellent.

Lindsay, our daughter-in-law ordered one of the Vermicelli Bowls with Grilled Chicken ($6.95).

She really enjoyed this.  It came with a small bowl of the nuoc mam sauce that you can pour over or use as a dipping sauce as well.

Jason ordered the egg drop soup ($1.50 small, $2.50 large) and he said it was excellent. 

The waitress brought him a side of fried wonton crisps and some chopped green onions for garnish. 

I mentioned early on, this is not exclusively a Pho restaurant.   They have everything from curry to Mussels with Ginger and Scallions.  With it being so close to our house, I have a lot of items to try…and soon.

They have a great lunch special that Mr. Wonderful ordered.  He got Kung Pao chicken.  I believe the lunch special was around $6.95

It came with his choice of rice, a crispy spring roll and a bowl of egg drop soup.

Besides the Vermicelli Bowl choices, the next thing I want to try are one of their Clay Pot Specials ($7.95-$8.95).  Filled, with Pork, Fish, Seafood or Tofu, there is a choice for even the vegetarian.   These come cooked in their “special sauce”. 

That intrigues me for some reason.  I must have one!

They also serve many other choices like fried rice dishes, and Cantonese noodle soup.  There is also an entire page of Chinese dishes offered and a Vegetarian section of the menu as well.

The drink menu offers the popular Bubble Tea ($2.95), but be warned – tapioca is ordered separately at .30/scoop.  Vietnamese Coffee and two kinds of looseleaf tea are offered as a treat as well, which makes a tea lover like myself happy.   

Our experience has been positive at this place.  Try out PhoEver sometime soon. If you live in NW Oklahoma City, you’ll be going often.  It’s even worth a drive if you don’t!


Pho Ever on Urbanspoon

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Olive Branch Cafe

Olive Branch Cafe
 N Hudson Avenue, Suite 110
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-5022
866.383.7525
Website:   http://www.olivebranchcafe.net/index.html
Dollar Factor $ – $$
Taste Factor ***
 
 

Before the January Snow-Fest of Oklahoma began, Mr. Wonderful and I tried a new place in downtown Oklahoma City.  Right across Hudson from the new Devon building sight, is a small cafe known as The Olive Branch Cafe.  In fact, workers in orange vests kept walking through from the site the whole time we were there, and a few stopped and ate.

I was a little off upon entering because I’d read so many good things about it, and visited their website,  and I guess I was expecting a different atmosphere. 

“Cafe” should have tipped me off.  If you do visit their website, the pictures are not an accurate portrayal of what you see at the Cafe, including the decor and the dishes.  There also are no prices listed on the menu online either.

Most of two of the walls are glass leading to the streets.  There is a trellis covered with silk vines that scared me when I walked in, but after that, it really just felt like a diner.

There are typical diner restaurant chairs and tables.  Down at the far end of the following picture is a mirror, so don’t be misled by the size of this room.  It’s pretty small.

Everything looked clean and nice.

There was only one other person dining when we there.  Our waitress was the only staff we saw in the restaurant and was sitting at a table nearby studying or reading. 

We started things off with an order of hummus.

This hummus ($4.99) was very good, and had the addition of some dollops of chili sauce on it that Mr. Wonderful loved, but was too spicy for me. 

But, let me tell you, I loved their flatbread.  It was soft and fresh and yummy.

I ordered the appetizer plate ($6.99)  as my meal, as I often do at Mediterranean places.  I just appreciate them so much more than lamb or gyro meat and I feel unfulfilled if I don’t get some of each.  I was a little miffed that they were “out of tabouli” but they offered me the option of another item, so I chose some fresh chunky feta to add to my plate. 

And besides I can always snatch some of Mr. Wonderful’s gyro meat off his plate, so I was covered.

I really liked the cucumber salad with the herbed yogurt dressing.  The falfalel was absolutely scrumptious and bursting with the flavor of ground chickpeas, parsley, spices and onions.  It was wonderfully crisp and hot.  I also really liked the baba ghanoush.  If you haven’t had baba ghanoush, it is similar in texture and look to hummus, only it’s made of charred eggplant, onions and tomatoes pureed together with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and spices and has a wonderful smoky flavor. 

Again, the differences that make a marriage beautiful – I adored it and Mr. Wonderful made his icky face after tasting it.

The grape leaves?  I guess if you have a taste for them they’d be good. Stuffed with rice and marinated in something pretty bitter, I could handle them, but they weren’t my thing.  Mr. Wonderful wouldn’t even try them.  Anyone know what they’re marinated in? Please share on the comments section below…

Mr. Wonderful ordered the Gyro Platter ($7.99).

This was pleasantly a surprise and came with roasted vegetables and a rice dish with peas.  The gyro (lamb) meat was really, really tender and flavorful. 

I know cuz I snatched some…remember?

We wanted to try a dessert, but at this point, we were so full, we just couldn’t

If you’re looking for a casual Mediterannean eatery downtown, this would be a great stop for lunch or dinner.  The food was good, the service was ok (if you count calling your waitress away from her reading at a table nearby ok), and the prices were reasonable.

Olive Branch Cafe on Urbanspoon

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