Where Locals Go

Cafe Medi

Keller

Review by Frank Geslani | Photos by Lorraine Haan-Stewart

We have always been fans of Cafe Medi in Hurst, but we adore its second location in Keller. This Mediterranean taverna occupies a cottage on Olive Street in Old Town that has seen many restaurant concepts come and go, some gone so quickly, the paint has barely dried. Now, the sidingテ「冱 gotten a fresh coat of white with azure blue accents, reminiscent of the Greek flag. I have a feeling this time itテ「冱 going to stick.

A big part of the Cafe Medi brand is inclusiveness. Itテ「冱 relaxed enough for casual diners (like families with young children), but itテ「冱 also special enough for smartly dressed couples on a date night or girlfriends on a BYOB ladiesテ「 night out. In contrast to the bustling, gregarious atmosphere in Hurst, Kellerテ「冱 cottage setting is cozy and intimate, but is no less inviting.

For the most part, the servers are friendly and efficient, but at the risk of sounding too much like a Yelp review, Iテ「冦 calling out one in particular. Andrew ticks every box on the テ「徃ood waiter checklistテ「敕「派e remembers regulars, he anticipates needs, heテ「冱 well-versed in the menu, heテ「冱 attentive without being obtrusive. He could do very well for himself in fine dining, but I hope he stays put.

The food is special, too. The kitchen really understands what makes Mediterranean cuisine relatable to so many palates without pandering to them. The Mediterranean and Middle Eastern pantheon of flavors are always at the foreテ「芭outh-puckering lemon and sumac, herbaceous punches of oregano and parsley, the heady funk of crumbled feta and the flaming saganaki.

A plant-based, Mediterranean diet may help you live longer, and what a long, happy life it would be to enjoy Cafe Mediテ「冱 vegetarian plate, a delightful panoply of creamy hummus, bright tzatziki, perfectly crisp falafel, bold and garlicky babaghanoosh, dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), and a substantial spanakopita. Inevitably, we order the fool, a simple fava bean stew. Simplicity is a hard thing to pull off consistently, and you know the kitchen is firing on all cylinders when the fool is good.

Their fragrant skewered meats always sound like a good ideaテ「婆efta kababs made with ground beef, or a souvlaki of marinated chicken, lamb or beef tenderloin.

Occasionally, we hunger for the comfort of a good layered dish, and Cafe Medi has twoテ「廃astitsio, a Greek-style lasagna, and mousaka, with layers of eggplant. Both feature a rich, soul-warming bechamel.

When weテ「决e not too full for dessert, we favor the galaktoboureko, itテ「冱 a citrus-scented semolina custard encased in phyllo, perfect for bread pudding aficionados. Along with a pot of minty tea, thereテ「冱 no better way to wind down a meal.

The Keller menu is virtually identical to the Hurst menu, including hookah service. I donテ「冲 partake, but Cafe Mediテ「冱 backyard is an ideal setting for hookah-ing, Iテ「囘 imagine. This expansive oasis has its Hurst sister beat, hands down, as an outdoor dining option.

Iテ「冦 always glad to throw some love on local businesses, but I donテ「冲 like to play favorites. Cafe Medi in Keller is different. It is far and away my favorite Mediterranean restaurant in northeast Tarrant County.

Cafe Mediテつ |テつ 129 East Olive Streetテつ |テつ Keller 76248テつ |テつ (817) 337-3204テつ |テつ www.cafemedi.com