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February 13, 2003

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Mediterranean Cafe


Mediterranean Cafe

Market Hours -
Monday thru Friday 9am to 8pm
Saturday 10am-5pm

Restaurant Hours -
Sunday 11am to 5pm
Monday thru Thursday 10am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday 10am to 10pm

Phone Number-(702) 731-6030
Fax Number-(702) 731-2220
E-Mail -

Way back in 1997, I called the Mediterranean Cafe one of the worst excuses for a Greek Restaurant I'd ever seen. You know, something subtle like that. To this day I remember the food: wallpaper-paste hummus, briquette-like kabobs that were sent back, then replaced with practically raw ones, wilted lettuce, stale bread, and tasteless cheese. Even after five years you don't forget a meal that bad. The owner, a certain Mr. Paymon, hit the rauof on calls, letters, complaints threats of litigation, the whole spanokopita. It was -simply put-a full Andre.

A full Andre hissy fit of pique and petulance are often named for the fabulously temperament displayed whenever a restaurant receives even the slightest negative comment or review. Unique to Southern Nevada, this reaction is fueled by years of raves and major awards by our patty-cake press that cowers at the thought of upsetting the advertising applecart.

I've seen so many Andre's over the years that I now judge them as you would a free-skating lutz or triple-axel. And by any standards, Paymon Raouf's was a perfect ten.

Which is pretty much the score I'd give my last two meals at the Mediterranean Cafe. Yes, you heard me right. This place seems to have improved remarkably and I like to think I had something to do with it...the hummus was rich, smooth and delightful, the kabobs well-marinated and cooked, and the Arabic bread, fresh and puffy soft (just the way I like it), even thought my yia yia and pop pu would've scoffed. Everything I've tried recently has had that flavor brightness and tang that distinguishes good middle-eastern cooking...and the service, which I always considered indifferent, has been as fresh and snappy as the food.

Be forewarned however, that the copious use of garlic will have people asking what you just had for lunch, twenty-four hours after your last bit of a tsaziki-laced gyro. The only cure I've found for this curse of the stinking rose, is to eat copious amounts of parsley or tabouli...just as the only cure for an outdated review is for a critic to eat his words.

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