And The Pita House where it came from closed down about a month later. Forever. Leaving us with ....nothing ethnic and unique in town save the awesome chain restaurant Noodles & Company which I wrote about here.
So imagine my delight when I got the first whisperings from Mary at my favorite Blackbird Cafe that the woman who took over their other bakery attempt was doing a Mediterranean restaurant called "Meditrina Market Cafe" I do not know about you, but it takes me awhile to get to things, even if I want to go or get or fix or see them. And this new restaurant was TINY. About as big as my fanny; big for a fanny, small for a restaurant! Plus they didnt' have highchairs...yet.
The clever thing they did was implant in my little foodie head that they did LOTS OF CARRYOUT. Aha! Great marketing for a tiny place that as I would come to find out puts crack in their succulent food so you have to go back. A lot. And since it is small and everybody else wants to eat there too (Because the cook and owner Sarah Geary is either really amazing as a chef and pours passionate good things into every morsel or else it is crack she is pouring in.) being able to carry out is brilliant.
Also a plus if you love the food so much you cannot wait to get it home and thus eat it on the curb in front of the restaurant. In Winter. I did not do this.
SO anyhoo, I have eaten there three times in the past couple of weeks. John and I walked by and SMELLED the deliciousness, so we sent an order with friends who were heading there to bring us back some sandwiches. I had the Chicken Shawerma sandwich and he had their Meditrina burger. We got the potato salad (not ordinary, loved loved loved it.) and rice as sides so we could try everything. We also ordered an appetizer of bacon wrapped dates. They were very (WOW)! Everything had a variety of flavors and taste levels.
Within that same week we spent a luscious date night there too. It was so quaint and intimate, the service was warm and friendly and prompt and the food.....OH! John asked me AFTER we had snarfled every single bite down if I took a picture of my meal. How was I supposed to do that when my mouth was full every time it emptied? The spices and flavors were so intricate and delicious we just ate. I think if I tried to hold John's hand we would have forked me to keep me from sneaking another bite of his entree.
John did laugh at one point while admiring the ambience and said the decor reminded him of many girls he had dated. Kind of the Natalie Merchant lover/Faux French style/Empty wine bottle decor/Feminine Happy Stuff. After he said that I looked up from my plate of food and looked around and LOVED the decor! I am that kinda girl, after all. Here I am with the empty wine bottles...I like 'em.
He got the special pizza which truly sounded like no big deal...chicken, tomatoes, provolone, aioli. But when Sarah put it together it transcended and it was fantastic. I ordered the Beef Shwarma dinner plate. Again the marinades or cooking process just added a surprising variety of taste and flavor that had us eating too fast and without speaking. I actually asked if I could snap some pictures of nay meal coming out of the kitchen next. Here is the hummus appetizer. I. did. not. sneak a taste.
Then there was the time when I was walking home from the library with my girls and SMELLED THAT SMELL. (The good kind, lest you mamas grow confused.) It was coming through an open door of Meditrina Market Cafe. I whirled around the corner immediately deciding we had to have whatever they could make fast for us to carry out and take home for lunch. They. Were. CLOSED. It was 10:45 AM and they open at 11:30AM. I was about to sit on the curb and shamelessly weep.
A guy opened the door and there was some laughter at my expense over my lusty desperation for their food. Sarah was there and a waitress too. They actually let me in. Sarah said she could make me a gyros to go easily
BUT if you go there when they are closed and drop my name, they may never serve me again. And if I do not get to eat the tastebud carnival of the Meditrina Market Cafe, life will be a sad sad thing. So please go, WHEN THEY ARE OPEN, and then drop my name. (Kind of as payback for them serving me under the table.) And mebbe bring me sumpin' from there? Even your leftovers?
They are open from 11:30AM-9:30PM Monday through Saturday. You can find this tiny treasure at 24 Washington street(at the corner of Jefferson & Washington) in downtown Valparaiso, Indiana. And even if you are out of town a bit, take the drive to check them out, have an after dinner coffee at Blackbird Cafe and stroll through the downtown shops. Good Times.
Hey, when you do go, would you pick me up an order of something? ANYTHING will be delicious and I will owe you BIGTIME.