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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Winston-Salem Eats: Mooney's Mediterranean Cafe

A random road trip brought me to the city of Winston-Salem this past week, presenting a fairly large host of options to choose from in the downtown area. While there were some great choices in town I would have surely loved to take on, being the falafel lover I am Mooney's Mediterranean Cafe was the easy choice for my travel companion and I after some urbanspoon debating the night before.

Getting straight to the food, we ordered Mooney's falafel sandwich with a side of steak fries and a shawarma with a side of fettoush, Mooney's house salad. The falafel sandwich takes a bit of a spin from the traditional version you're likely to see, opting for a heavy herb accent from the parsley and cilantro. The texture was crispy and slightly crumbly, a little different the norm as far as falafels go. While it doesn't pack the punch of some falafel's I've had, the herb-y falafel still managed to satisfy. The pita was just the way I like it, a little warm, soft, and slightly chewy - a great companion for any sandwich avail. The hummus was lighter then some I've had - which I like - and tangy, a good fit in the falafel sandwich, giving the dish brightness with the hint of lemon and providing a nice base for the falafels. A cilantro/parsley sauce also gave the dish a extra pop that I rather enjoyed. The fries were fantastic with the falafel, likely twice-fried and lightly seasoned to perfection. There are few things more comforting then a well-cooked fry. Alongside the falafel sandwich the steak fries made for a lovely and filling pairing for well under $10.

The shawarma came in a bright, lemony sauce which complemented well with the nicely marinated shawrma (beef). Again, the pita shines, providing a nice vessel for the star of the sandwich. The only complaint one may have is that it gets a little messy with all the juices in this pita. Definitely devour this efficiently before your sandwich falls apart. The fettoush was a bit of a disappointment. It is another dish hit with a lemony, herb dressing, but for the most part it reads as a pretty average side as far as it goes. I would just call it a house salad if anything. If that is all you're looking for though, then you'll likely enjoy it with their zingy dressing. The fries, however, are definitely the way to go with any pita sandwich here in my opinion if you don't mind the calories.

No Reservations, the word on Mooney's
Atmosphere: Casual cafe, very friendly
and helpful service.
Costs: Great lunch options from as low as $5 to $10.
Recommendation: Anything in their pita looks satisfying. Stir away
from the giant cookies on the side though. Unpleasant.

Easily findable off the freeway and filled with plenty of parking in the vicinity, Mooney's is definitely an attractive option for anyone passing by town for lunch. Locals were flooding into the restaurant well after the usual lunch hour, which is always a good sign for any dining establishment. Those a bit hesitant about trying something new will even find some interesting burger choices, so there's really no excuse not to give the place a look if you are in the area. If that's not enough to convince you, the baklava ice cream might do the trick. ;)

Mooney's Mediterranean Cafe on Urbanspoon


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