Mediterra Grill

The other day we ate the hell out of a bunch of food from Mediterra Grill (2608 Erwin Rd, Suite 136).  I mean seriously ate the hell out of it.  Admittedly we were starving, but it is safe to say that the food there is objectively very good. It is great to see better lunch options cropping up around Duke’s west campus.

Mediterra

In fact, we liked it so much that we had them do some emergency catering for a small group later that night.

Here are the highlights.  The chicken and beef kebobs (~$10) with rice are delicious.  Simple presentation, but wonderful deep flavors and very moist. The kabbi with yogurt dressing ($7.50) wasn’t dry (it has been at other places when I have tried it in the past), and tasted great.

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The gyro ($5) is probably the best in the Triangle that I have tried.  I am not normally a fan of chicken sandwiches, but the chicken kebob sandwich ($5) was actually really enjoyable — I would definitely go back for it if I wanted a lighter meal.

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You can also get a sample platter for $5.95 with dips, salads, and vegetables.  We tried the hummus (really good), grilled veggies (good flavor but they were cold by the time we ate), and greek salad (as expected).

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Definitely check this place out.  They have a bunch of other stuff on the menu that I am excited to try.

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Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 8:09 am  Comments (20)  

20 Comments

  1. This looks like some pretty good Eastern Mediterranean fare (falafel, pita, kebab). International Delights (I believe that’s the name) has a lot of the same type of dishes–it’s a mostly Lebanese restaurant–and is also a good place to eat. Hopefully they can coexist without being zero-sum.

  2. Is the hummus as good as Baba Ghannouj’s? Yum.

  3. I tried the chicken hashwi last night, which was excellent. (But with plenty of pine nuts, how can anything be bad?) My BF’s falafel also looked very good, but he wasn’t sharing. The hummus had good flavor, but was a bit runny. I wasn’t a fan of the greek salad, whose vinagrette was a little strange.

    I seem to be full of rumors this week, but the word in my department is that Mediterra is owned by the same folks who run Blue Express on Duke’s West Campus.

  4. Ooooo yummy! Baba Ghannouj is like the McDonald’s of Mediterranean. Don’t get me wrong they have some alright stuff. I’m surprised that a Greek Fiesta hasn’t popped up in Durham (not that they are great) or that Med Deli or NeoMonde hasn’t progressed out this way either. Also, I’m awaiting Gyro carts like they have in bigger cities to start creeping into the scene.

    Anyone ever had an authenticate Israeli Shawerma or Falafel?

  5. There’s a Greek Fiesta at Northgate Mall. I havent eaten anything there based solely on principle and Name wrong-ness…LOL

    • They’ve renamed it–Greek Cuisine if memory serves.

      • really? All i ever recall is the big sign in the center aisle when you’re approaching the Food Court. Hell the last time I ate at the mall was for a badass breakfast at Pan-Pan (Ruby Tuesday salad bar hardly counts) lol

    • actually in a burst of tired starvation while at northgate, we ate at greek fiesta (but only because a former boss who had lived his entire life in durham and had never been to elmos told me he ate it once and that they had a “very interesting” white sauce…yea he wasn’t very culinary-minded but to honor his adventurousness we had the mysteriously multiculturally-named greek fiesta). it was pretty much as expected. which could mostly be summed up with “a little sad.” but that was a while ago. maybe they’ve changed.

  6. I’ve been waiting for this place to open and was excited about trying it after your review. But my lunch there was very very disappointing. The falafel was too dense and dry and the hummus very plain in my opinion. Nothing I had was anything in comparison to what you get from the Baba Ghannouj in Erwin Square, which I think is great. I was so disappointed it made me not even want to ever go back to try other items from their menu.

    • Didn’t try the falafel. Good to know.

    • During a short visit to NC my friends took me to this restaurant for diner. They were amazed and talked about this place as the restaurant I shouldn’t miss to visit. The staff was very helful explaining to us all the details about the various dishes. The falafel was very excellent and the chicken hashwi lookes very good too.
      I will not write too much and just say that we got lunch there two days later, during which, I confirmed my first impression.

    • I also ate at Mediterra for lunch and ordered the Falafel Platter. I would honestly say that it was the worst Mediterranean food that I’ve ever had (and I eat Mediterranean food often). They sent out the wrong meal twice, and when I finally received my meal, it was cold, dry, and overly salty yet flavorless at the same time. I would definitely recommend Neomonde which, I believe, is the best Mediterranean restaurant in the Triangle. For Mediterranean food a little bit closer, International Delights or Greek Fiesta are often good takes.. Neomonde (in Raleigh) is definitely worth the trek which, in reality, is only about 25 minutes from most parts of Durham.

    • Here’s the deal with falafel: If it’s not fried 10 seconds before it goes into your pita/wrap, it’s not worth eating. Lots of these places will fry a batch up and then leave it in a warming tray all day. It’s like anything that’s not freshly fried, when cold it gets dry and dense. So if you see it in a tray, just avoid it. If they’re frying it up when you walk in, it’s probably going to be good. That said, I haven’t tried Mediterra’s falafel for this very reason.

  7. My partner and I were just at Mediterra Grill, partly on your recommendation, and I must agree the gyro was quite good. We also had a chicken kebob platter, and the kebob was quite good, although the tabouli and rice that accompanied it were just okay.

    We’re big fans of Mediterranean Deli in Chapel Hill (we particularly like the gyros platter), but it’s great to have a place like this in Durham too.

  8. I posted this on another thread, but the stuffed grape leaves are amazing.

  9. Med Deli in Chapel Hill is simply the best in the Triangle. When I was in there this past weekend, it appears that the expansion of their restaurant is almost complete. Very nice upgrade in the overall look and atmosphere of the place. Plus, the food is as good as ever. I (HEART) MED DELI!!!

  10. I have eaten there twice now, forst experience was bad the second was good. First time I had a chicken gyro. All it had was chicken and a ridiculous amount of garlic that mde my breath noxious. But I gave them one more try and ordered the ubequitous gyro. The meat is outstanding. It is in chunks and was very tender, as opposed to the strips at other placed that can be crusty and dry. It will be in my lunch rotation but Baba Ghannouj at the First Union Bldg. (what is that building called now?) was far better (too bad they closed, I better their slow service was the killer) and Med Deli is also better (no the two are not related, I asked).

  11. We tried Mediterra tonight for dinner, and overall, it was good. I we loved the shawarma – good with sour pickles! The chicken kabob was very good and moist. The stuffed grape leaves were delicious. Orzo salad was yummy and kid friendly. The only thing we didn’t like was the falafel, which was sad, because my daughter loves Int. Delight’s. This one was dry and had a very strong, unpleasant aftertaste. We each had a bite and tossed the rest. Sad! Also, we got our order to go and got home before we realized they hadn’t included our Greek salad. Overall, dinner was enjoyable, we’ll probably stick closer to home for middle eastern fare, though and go International Delights.

  12. Nine of us from Flywheel Design went there for lunch, and everyone’s food was tasty (even the falafel!), but they got the details wrong on several orders.

  13. tried mediterra first time this weekend. my falafel sandwich was terrible and the “potato side” that i got to put in my falafel was really pathetic..little home fries that had been sitting out all day. we were there a little past 500pm and all the deli items looked pretty rough..they had definitely been sitting out for quite some time. on the plus side, whatever meat thing my friend had was apparently good.

    unfortunately the quest for good falafel in durham continues. the only place in the area where i’ve had ok falafel was mediterranean deli in CH, and that only because they’ll put roasted eggplant in it. unfortunately i think i’m spoiled since i’m from chicago and my folks live about 5 minutes away from pita inn where the falafel is not only spectacular and cheap, but where they will also make it palestinian style (with fried potatoes and pickled things). oh pita inn how i miss thee.


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