103 Bellevue Way N.E.
Bellevue WA 98004
Excuse me? I was wondering if you had any Garlic?
By: Steve G
If I had to pick the three most prominent ingredients used at Mediterranean Kitchen they would be garlic, garlic and more garlic. As indicated by the garlic bulb, on their business card, Mediterranean Kitchen is not shy about treating their patrons to a barrage of the kind of pungent flavors that could drive away the most fearsome vampires. We visited the second location of Mediterranean Kitchen, whose chef is the son of the owner of the original location. While he puts his own imprint on his cooking, it also appears he (thankfully) stays true to his family recipes.
Mediterranean Kitchen is small and intimate, painted in deep red and maroon, and with several scenes from Europe and the Middle East on display. The dark colors and small space create an intimate atmosphere that would be great for small parties. The space is also pleasantly quiet, without loud music to overpower your conversation.
The Farmer's Dish consisted of charbroiled garlic chicken wings made with a sweet housemade marinade codenamed "Grandpa's recipe"-a spice mixture potent enough to make the Colonel blush, given its flavorful herbs and spices. Lying on top of a bed of yellow rice and a side of tzaziki sauce, the chicken smelled mouthwateringly good. However, the spices didn't quite deliver their anticipated punch. The tzaziki sauce had an accent of garlic but nothing too robust, and it left us wishing there had been a little more kick to the dish. Considering that this place is known for its garlic I was expecting to be knocked off of my seat rather than mildly surprised.
Looking like simply a huge mound of meat, the Shish Kabob combination comes served with lamb, chicken, and marinated ground beef with rice and tahini sauce on the side. We had imagined the dish only having some rice and a couple skewers of meat, not the mammoth plate of food placed before us. As it was brought to our table, everyone began wondering how Trish would go about finishing this meal. (She ended up with leftovers for a couple days.) All of the meat was cooked in a way that left it very tender and the tahini sauce complemented the flavors of the meat very well.
I ordered the Beef Noodle, and for some reason had a different vision of what the dish would be like. The menu description "Linguini pasta with marinated beef with tomato sauce" conjured up images of a pasta in a plain red sauce. What I ended up getting was a plate stacked with linguini pasta mixed with savory onions, garlic, and beef covered in a tomato basil sauce. The marinated beef had a robust tangy taste from the marinade, and the meal as a whole was zesty and offered much more than I expected. If you're looking for a meal that has a bit of a kick to it, the beef noodle is a good bet.
All of the meals came with Lentil Soup, and we reviewers agreed that it was very refreshing and not overloaded with too many ingredients. The lentil beans had a nice consistency to them. Meals also come with a side of pita bread served with an Italian dressing-like vinegar-oil dip.
The servers and staff were very inviting and greeted all the customers who entered. They were very personable and informative, explaining all the different types of dishes and answering our questions.
Lunch dishes usually cost in the neighborhood of $10.00-12.00 per plate, while the dinner menu items are about $15.00-20.00 per plate. While we thought the dinner items seemed a little steep, given the $5.00-8.00 price jump, but for lunch the value of the food was good, considering the large portions.