But alas, when we tried the door at the Big Creek Café, it was locked tight. Damn those God fearing Greeks. Just kidding, I’m sure those guys work hard enough. They need the place shut down one day a week just for recovery -- whether it’s physical or spiritual. But instead of heading north on
In actuality we were planning to get a couple calzones at Vicino (they are quite good), but then we walked past Taste of Jerusalem (
But we figured it was the afternoon this time, we planned to eat al fresco anyway, and we could see from the menu that the mezza prices were reasonable. We tried four different dishes. Two were really good, and two were just so-so. I’ll start with the latter.
The two so-so dishes were spinach fatayer and the lebneh. We’ve had spinach pies a lot of times before and these just didn’t rate with the others. First I don’t think there was enough spinach filling, and second, the dough was a little too soggy on the inside. I would have liked it to have been more flaky. The other dish, lebneh (home-made cheese topped with olive oil), was a decent starter, but it didn’t pack a whole lot of taste. It might have been a bit too mild for my taste. But either way, it would have been much improved had the pitas we were served to scoop up the cheese had been of better quality.
OK, but I did say we really liked two dishes – those were the hummus and the falafel. We scarfed down both of those pretty quick – even with the lackluster pitas. The hummus was very tasty, not too much tahini, with a nice puddle of olive oil in the middle. While we really liked the hummus, the falafel was fabulous. These were 5 little heavenly balls of fried of chick peas. In my opinion, these rate better than the ones served at both our Georgia Ave Greek places and at Lebanese Taverna. And I’m glad I got them on their own and not in a falafel sandwich, because I think the pitas would most definitely have taken away from those fine little chick pea balls. On top of all that, these two dishes were the cheapest of the four - $4.95 and $5.50 respectively. I will also say the service was friendly and prompt.
I am not quite ready to say I’ll be back there soon. But I certainly will be tempted to go back for lunch at some point and order more hummus and falafel. They have a lot of other good veggie options to try as well – Baba Ghannouge, Tabboule, M’Saka, and lentil soup to name a few.
I’m a bit surprised to see that ToJ has lasted as long as it has. It never appears terribly busy. With three other restaurants in the hood serving similar fare – typically at lower prices – I’ll be keeping my eye on them to see if they can keep their doors open. I hope they can and I’ll try to throw more of my business their way.