Taziki’s Mediterranean Café
Yesterday for lunch I decided to try Taziki’s, the (relatively) new mediterranean restaurant that opened up on King Street where Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream and Sandwich Cafe used to be. I was craving hummus and falafel, and now that Patat Spot is closed, I had to try someplace new. I’d heard relatively good things about Taziki’s, and it had pretty good reviews on Urbanspoon, so I had high hopes going in. The space is unassuming, not a whole lot going on in terms of decor. The layout of the restaurant is a bit cramped. While waiting in line to place my order at the counter, I was sandwiched in between two tables of people having lunch. It was uncomfortable and I was so close to them, I might as well have just grabbed a chair and sat down to join in on their conversations.
After about 8 minutes of waiting in line, I finally made it to the counter. I ordered a Mezedes Platter (Hummus and Taziki dips served with Dolmades and pita) and a grilled lamb gyro (Taziki sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, and grilled onions) with tomato cucumber salad on the side. Not a hugely comprehensive order, but somehow it still took them 25 minutes before my to-go order was ready. Granted, they were pretty steadily busy, but I was there after the lunch crowd, and only maybe 5 people placed orders after me. The lady who handed me my food was very apologetic for the wait, which was nice.
When I finally got back to work to eat, I was ravenous and slightly annoyed, but still excited for lunch. I love mediterranean food. However, I was very disappointed. The hummus was almost watery and a little too citrus-y, the taziki dip was a really weird consistency, the dolmades, although quite large, were dried out and quite tasteless. And, to top off my disappointment, they served it all with pita chips and not the warm, soft slices of pita bread I was hoping for.
The lamb gyro was also subpar. It was good, but by no means would I say that it was better than any other restaurant’s lamb gyro. Maybe I’m just spoiled by all the really outstanding mediterranean food I’ve had, but the lamb itself was nothing special. It tasted processed, and it was very dried out. The pita bread that it was wrapped in was yummy, which made me sad that I got shafted with the pita chips in the appetizer platter. The tomato-cucumber salad was good, though, so at least the meal wasn’t a total loss.
All in all, I was pretty disappointed with the whole experience. I’ll never go back. If you’re in the mood for really good mediterranean food, I suggest you try Ali Baba Mediterranean Cafe in Mt. Pleasant, because it is outstanding. Some of the best shawarma and falafel I’ve ever had.