Where Locals Go

Cafe Medi

Hurst

Review by Frank Geslani | Photos by Lorraine Haan-Stewart

Popular restaurants are often measured for success by the number of locations in their chain. I like to measure them by their consistency. Four years in, Cafe Medi is still just one location strong and getting better with age.

Iテ「冦 hooked on their falafel. Itテ「冱 easy to forget how revelatory these simple, savory chickpea fritters can be.When done right, they can sate any fried food craving without the greasy guilt. Cafe Mediテ「冱 is a crisp, light, utterly satisfying flavor grenadeテ「蚤nd itテ「冱 meatless. Yes, vegetarians (and I know quite a few of you pepper the fringes of Greater Cowtown) can blimp out harmoniously with your meat-loving brethren. Vegetarian dishes hold their own, even upstage, some of the fleshier options. Thereテ「冱 the toasted-bread salad fattoush, the tangy Greek salad or the Egyptian fava bean dish called fool that youテ「囘 be, well, foolish to pass up. Grazers can pass around the vegetarian plate heaped with bright, fresh versions of hummus (chick pea dip), babaghanoush (eggplant dip), tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber dip), falafel, dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach pie) and some snappy pickled turnips.

Okay, Iテ「冤l throw some love to my fellow carnivores. Try the lamb shanks. Theyテ「决e marinated with sweet spices, slow-roasted until the meat just barely clings to the bone and plated with veggies and lemon-scented rice. Reliably grilled kefta kabobs swoon with beefy juices and the right amount of char. Souvlaki chicken is a gentle dish thatテ「冱 jolted awake by a tumbler of garlic sauce.

They call it a テ「徃arlic mayo.テ「 Itテ「冱 really a classic, but rather mysterious, Mediterranean condiment with intense garlic flavor and probably a little sunshine thrown in. Whatever it is, Iテ「冤l eat it with anything. Iテ「冦 a big fan of their fragrant Mediterranean desserts like the soothing galaktoboureko, warm Greek custard perfumed with cinnamon and citrus. Or the sweet, but not cloying baklava. If you donテ「冲 want to eat dessert, you can smoke it. The restaurant offers flavored hookahs (the stemmed water pipe) in several fruity varieties for enjoyment on the covered patio. Both are fine ways to complete the arc of a Mediterranean meal.

Give Cafe Medi credit for staying power. Theyテ「况e so far broken the luckless streak that doomed their predecessors (a coffee house and a burrito joint both went belly up in the same Grapevine Highway location in Hurstテ「廃resumably squeezed out of the market by nearby Starbucks and Chipotle, respectively). But, no one does what Cafe Medi doesテ「蚤t least not in these parts.

More テ「廴editerraneanテ「 eateries in the area could take a tip from chef and co-owner Manos Moursi and his teamテ「芭ostly friends and familyテ「背ho punctuate their dishesテ「 authentic, homecooked appeal with homegrown herbs and charmed memories of cooking with grandmother.

If all continues on its current trajectory, Cafe Medi is here to stay.

Cafe Mediテつ |テつ 420 Grapevine Highwayテつ |テつ Hurst 76054テつ |テつ (817) 788-5110テつ |テつ www.cafemedi.com