Monday, April 20, 2015

Mediterranean Exploration Company

333 NW 13th Avenue
Happy Hour: 4 - 5:30, daily

Five days before giving birth to my baby girl, I enjoyed happy hour with friends at Mediterranean Exploration Company. It wasn't supposed to me my last hurrah. I was sure--as research had indicated--that she would be late, like most other first borns. Nope. There was no waiting around during my first days of leave. I didn't get my toes done. Never got that massage I wanted. There wasn't a chance to relax before our lives completely changed. I even went to work the day that she was born. That little girl will be eleven weeks old this Thursday. She doesn't sleep through the night...but either does the dog. She does, however, take naps. And if I've eaten and I've showered and there are clean clothes for tomorrow, I still have time to blog. I am, however, almost out of material. I guess that means I will have to head out for happy hour soon enough. And when I go, I'll be bringing her with me.

I would love to head right back to Mediterranean Exploration Company for another bite of their falafel sandwich. Perhaps my senses were heightened due to the hormones, but I'm pretty sure that I would LOVE that sandwich if I were to have another go at it now that things are somewhat back to normal. It's hard to tell by the picture (as things were so perfectly wrapped) but that sandwich was stuffed with good flavors and amazing textures. And the ratio of falafel to hummus was spot on. Included in the mix was a handful of arugula, a little tahini, and just enough s'hug. (I spend a lot of time googling ingredients--to avoid embarrassment--but this time I decided just to ask. It's a condiment, can be super spicy, and is apparently as common to Yemenites as ketchup is to Americans.) All that, and the most delicious pita. It wrapped up perfectly, didn't fall apart like so many do, and helped to balance the other flavors involved as opposed to being a bit too overpowering.

An easy dish to share with friends--and something that can stave off a little hanger, if the potential exists--is a bowl of olives. At the Mediterranean Exploration Company, they serve my favorites: the castelvetrano. Warmed and served with a little olive oil and a bay leaf, this bright green snack is something that I can't say no to. (And I don't mean just once or twice. I can't say no until the bowl is empty. It can be a problem.)

Also pictured are the Keftedes--Greek Meatballs--made with lamb, pistachio, parsley, mint, and tomato. The presentation was commendable--I know the pickled red onions were fantastic because they came on my plate too--and every meat eater at the table seemed to really enjoy the dish.

My husband enjoyed one of their seven dollar cocktails (a decent price at dinner, but a little high compared to some happy hour establishments) while I sipped on the house-made ginger ale. They also offer three dollar draft beer and seven dollar pours of wine (with one sparkling, one white, and one red made available during happy hour).

Happy Hour is limited to the bar (at the bar itself or one of the many high top tables) and things fill up rather quickly. If you are going with a crowd, plan to get there early or expect to spend most of the night standing.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Nearly Meets (it's pricey)


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