Thursday, November 6, 2014

Medaterra Food Review

Lamb Gyro (with French Fries)

Woodley Park facilitates two of the largest hotels in the DMV; so it comes as no surprise, that there are many restaurants to choose from nearby. One such option is Medaterra, an Egyptian-American hybrid with outdoor seating and a super-friendly staff. With usual favorites Chipotle and Noodles & Company packed with visiting students, my aunt and I stopped in for lunch.

To our surprise, we were the only customers inside Medaterra's spacious but old-fashioned dining room (evidently kids don't like to order and tip.) Keep in mind, it was 12:30 and almost every other restaurant on the block was full to or over capacity. No worries, as the hostess led us to a table in the middle of the room; and the bartender came around to take drink orders, and pass out menus. Her smile was infectious and she was quick to recommend a pair of lamb specials, in addition to offering her two cents on the overall menu. She also brought two glasses of water, and was super-nice/professional.

My aunt ordered a Steak & Cheese sandwich (with fries) for $9.95. I went for the Lamb Gyro (also with fries) for just $9.50. Just water for me, and a tall Diet Coke ($2.75) for Auntie. The restaurant is comfortable and clean, but as mentioned earlier... a bit outdated (different-colored walls, vintage travel posters and a fake plant in the back.) Food arrived quickly (about five minutes) and portions were quite generous.

My gyro was wrapped in foil, surrounded by crispy, flavorful french fries (crinkle cut.) The gyro looked impressive; but truth be told, needed more meat. It's assembly pushed all the meat to the front, which meant one out of every three bites often included only lettuce and yogurt sauce (and no lamb.) The meat itself was thinly sliced and tender, but with little to no flavor (and zero zest.) It held together well, and tasted OK.

Excellent service made up for a so-so gyro; and the fries were really quite nice. I'd probably go back for dinner; but I'd stick to their mediterranean fare, and leave the specials for the tourist crowd. Their new website looks pretty bad; but it did turn me on to Bottomless Hummus from 4-6:00 PM ($5.50.) Assuming it's good (fingers crossed, I'm amazed how many places muck up hummus) this could be an amazing deal for an early tapas dinner. I'll be sure to report back later.