"It's vegetarian but not a lot of vegetables," Doug pointed out. We were at La Mediterranee, an old standby in the Elmwood District of Berkeley. This place is been here for 30 years, but this is the first time I've ever been.
Even though the place had a hippie vibe, or to be more specific, a post-hippie vibe, there weren't very many vegetarian options. I can't put my finger on exactly why it felt post-hippie. Doug thought it might be the mosaic tile tables. Maybe it's the combination of wood paneling and art that looks like it's been scooped up from the earth and smeared on plywood. It's kind of cozy.
At any rate, we both got the small vegetarian Mediterranean combo platter, as that was the only vegetarian option that we were interested in.
As you know, we are weekday vegetarians. And the other veg option is vegetable shish kebabs, which consisted of zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Blech. Boring. Plus I don't like zucchini.
However, an astute observer might notice that we actually both also got the lemon chicken soup. I can't help it, I love this soup! I really do try not to cheat during the weekdays, but it's so rare that I see this on a menu and I couldn't resist.
In truth, it wasn't the best avgolemono I've ever had. Not really worth the transgression. Or maybe that's my guilt talking.
The rest of the plate consisted of spinach pastry, cheese pastry, cream cheese flatbread sandwich (like an aram sandwich), hummus, and a slice of cheese with fruit.
It all tasted fine… Nothing special, definitely not a destination restaurant. Phyllo pastries are by their nature gonna be rich. with all the butter and oil in the layers. The spinach pie lacked the tart kick that I've often enjoyed in other versions, it was a little flat. The cheese pastry was tasty but in a way that made you stop eating rather than craving more, because it was so heavy. I really couldn't finish it. it was a lot of food for $8.95.
The problem is now. Actually, it started about 10 minutes after we finished eating. My stomach started rumbling a little. Then it started gurgling. Then, at one point it sounded like seriously a thunderstorm was brewing. I won't go into the details after that.
It's been a long time since I've eaten that much cheese… And I think it will be a while until I eat much again. Doug says he's fine. Meanwhile, I have to decide if I'm ready to go take a ballet class with storms raging inside of me.
Oh, as for kids, at least during the day it seems like a perfectly great place to bring kids. It's casual, there's lots of cheese for them, and also meat on sticks with children seem to enjoy.