C and I don’t live that close to each other. It’s not like we are going all Long Distance Relationship here, but it’s enough of a distance that we don’t get to see each other during the week much. When there isn’t too much going on, we try to meet halfway for dinner occasionally (mostly because I have a hard time lasting 5 days without seeing him. I know, I know, but I can’t help it).
A couple of weeks ago we stopped at a place called Cafe Medi in Hurst. I don’t know if we just like to pretend we are food snobs or if we actually have a point about this, but we tend to try to avoid chain restaurants (with a few exceptions) as much as possible, and when we find a gem like this we feel totally justified in our food snobbery.
First of all: personal service. Standing near the front door waiting to be seating, I might have nuzzled C a little (just a little, I’m only human) and the gentleman who came up to seat us promptly called out, “Get a room!”. C and I laughed a little, we were seated, and found out that the gentleman in question would be our waiter. Ilil (pronounced Ee-lil) would prove to be quite the entertainer throughout dinner. We learned all about his family (his in-laws owned the restaurant), his personal opinions on the other diners (Mr. Bladder, who was on his 7th iced tea of the night provoked quite the commentary), as well as several colorful jokes that don’t bear repeating on a family-friendly website.
Now, some of you may wonder if this level of personal service is actually a good thing. I’ll admit, I have some doubts myself. I mean, after the 3rd F-bomb I was thinking maybe Ilil needed a break or something, maybe the stress was getting to him. But looking past the colorful language, he had a sort of endearing personality, muttering quips as he passed our table. Not too often to be annoying, luckily, and it actually did make us feel like we were getting some personal attention. And, frankly, the guy was pretty funny. (priiiiiity prity prity good)
Second point: food quality. This was some good eats people. C had I started with hummus and pita wedges and you know I love me some good hummus. Ilil did not disappoint here – creamy, garlicy, with extra tahini for that sesame flavor of love. I’ll just come out and say it. I’m fairly certain hummus is served in heaven. We then asked Ilil to recommend some dishes for us and after a several minute cross-examination on our food preferences, we came up with the following: C would have the Lamb Shanks and I would have the special of the evening (Snapper with a lemon butter seafood sauce and topped with crab meat). We both had rice, green beans, and avgolemono soup. *sigh* I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Really, the food was amazingly good. We both started with the soup. If you’ve never had avgolemono soup, you need to try it! It seems like most mediterranean restaurants don’t serve it, so when Ilil said it was their soup of the day I nearly peed my pants. Avgolemono soup is a creamy, thick, lemon soup with basmati rice and dill. If you like lemony stuff, this soup is going to be your new bff.
By the time we had hummus and soup, I was starting to get full and worried about eating my meal. And then it came out. C’s lamb was so tender it was falling to pieces. It was flavorful, and the sauce on it was the perfect complement to the meat flavor – not too overwhelming. My snapper was also really good, but not cooked quite to perfection (slightly over done) like C’s dish. But the sauce on top, oh my. Creamy, chock full of crab meat, and soooooo rich. I probably took 6 months off my life with that sauce. I’m fairly certain it was worth it. Even the green beans, which likely were of the Del Monte canned variety, had been cooked with tomatoes, onions, and spices and were delish.
C and I took home enough leftovers of hummus, meat, and rice for another entire meal. Which is a good thing because you definitely are paying for the food here. It was an expensive meal (about $65 after tip) so we unfortunately won’t be able to make it a habit, but I think it’s going to be my go-to joint for special occasions from now on!
C’s rating of Cafe Medi: 9/10 (C would have only given the restaurant 8, but Ilil was worth a whole ‘nother mango.)
K’s rating of Cafe Medi: 9/10