Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Raad's Mediterranean Grill, 962 Cherry St SE ~ 8/11/15

We've been hearing about this place and finally made it there today for lunch. It's been in business for two years and when we walked in today, it was empty. That can't be good.
There are about nine tables set in a pleasant atmosphere and six chairs lined up against a street-facing window.
We walked in and were greeted with "to go or here?" Not the most welcoming greeting by our server. We seated ourselves and perused the 6-page menu. Appetizers & salads, two pages of entrees, beverages-smoothies-desserts, an ala carte and kids page, and a lunch menu. We had to start with a few appetizers ~ Samosas and Falafel. Our server, "is that all?"
The samosas were served with delicious tzatziki sauce and the falafel arrived draped in tahini and parsley. This was all made to order and we waited for it, but it was worth the wait. We next ordered from the entree menu, Gyro and Kafta. Each entree comes promised with salad, rice, hummus, fresh pita bread, and optionally served as a wrap or plated. We took plated. And we need to talk about the salad first.
We'd like to eat this everyday, seriously. There's a lemony dressing (house recipe) that tops off radishes, parsley, tomatoes, onions, lentils, pita chips made on the premises, and pomegranate seeds. The salad is alive with flavor and texture and is altogether amazing. The Gyro then arrived.
Hummus, rice and gyro were beautifully presented. As we are waiting for the Kafta, the owner and/or chef stepped out to ask whether I'd like tzatziki or garlic sauce (he whispers 'garlic'). How could we not take the garlic :-). He then notices our notes and camera. "Are you food critics?" Well, we do have a blog. "Why didn't you tell me? I would have taken good care of you." No. That's not how we like to review restaurants. And when the Kafta finally came out he accompanied it, chatting up the food, and due to his hovering we neglected to get a food photo, until the leftovers arrived at home :-)
There are 16 spices in the rice, according to our chef, and the garlic sauce and the rest of the food was well prepared and fresh. The garlic sauce was a great recommendation so don't miss it. We asked about the lack of customers and our guy said it's always like this because no one knows about them, which is sad because the food is wonderful. It's made as it is ordered, table for table. Pita bread is brought in from Detroit and was promised with the Kafta entree but never arrived so we can't comment on that other than we didn't get it.

Ideas for improvement? Train your servers to be more welcoming and customer savvy. Add building signage and update the tacky sandwich board sign. Clean the one bathroom customers use. Avoid loud conversations between the server and chef while customers are waiting for food, and don't make customers listen to your phones ring as well as to your subsequent conversations. And maybe change the soundtrack to a consistent mideastern vibe rather than a random jazz/pop thing.

Online reviews complain about the prices but there is a lunch menu available with reduced costs. We hope he stays in business and maybe he does well enough with take-outs and catering to stay alive.
The smoothies were recommended to us by the chef as being all natural with no added sugars, etc., so we took two to go. Delicious! Check out this place, at least for the falafel, hummus, garlic sauce, and the salad! They have local delivery service and you can find them on facebook and at
Sad Update 2/18/16 ~ we drove by earlier this week and the restaurant is closed and the building vacant.

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  1. Before moving to Cherry St, they were located on 28th St in the same strip as Cascade Sports Grill and were known as "Mediterranean Grills". The menu and unique service have stayed the same from one location to another. I agree that their food is fantastic! Try the chicken shwarma if you go back, and ask for it spicy.

    Glad to see you guys posting again!