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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kurdi's in downtown Tampa

Between a fast-paced frolic through Whole Foods and finally sitting down to watch the vegan episode of Cupcake Wars, three friends were trying to decide where to go for dinner one night. The three friends deduced that falafel would be the best option, as all three friends have different likes and dislikes, but all loved falafel. But where to go? The three friends needed a convenient location and an affordable vegetarian menu. Some Googling led them to the website for Kurdi's Fresh Mediterranean Grill. One glance at their veggie-friendly menu and it was decided: Let's go!

Upon arrival at Kurdi's, my dining companions and I were not expecting such a casual, take-out-ish place. It's not assembly line-style ordering (like Moe's or Chipotle), but you do order at the counter. We sat outside since it was a nice night (and the music inside the restaurant was a little on the obnoxious side).

Lisa and Amber both ordered the falafel wrap with tahini (we learned that their "tahini sauce" is tahini + yogurt, but they were able to put plain tahini on their wraps to make it dairy-free), which also came with baked steak fries. The menu said the fries were made with garlic and rosemary, but it was actually dill.

I ordered each of the three "vegetarian sides" - the baked steak fries, grilled veggies, and Mediterranean green beans.

Lisa liked the falafel wrap, but Amber said the mint in the mix was too overpowering. I tasted the falafel and could barely detect any mint, but all three of us agreed that the falafel's texture was unpleasant. To me, it felt like chewing sand.

The three of us also agreed that the fries were crazy-oily.

The Mediterranean green beans weren't quite what I was expecting. I've had Amber's Greek-style green beans a couple of times and they're stewed and fabulous. I was expecting something similar, but Kurdi's green beans were very crisp and well, you can see the garlic!
I love crisp veggies and garlic is always good, so this was all fine with me. Again, though, the oil was heavy with these, as well.

The grilled veggies were my favorite of the three. They weren't oily (hooray!), but they were a little more charred than I would have liked.

The portion sizes were pretty generous, especially since each of these things were on the menu as "sides." I took leftovers home!

Closing thoughts: The falafel was overall disappointing, not because of its flavor, but its awful, coarse-sand-like texture. It was quite off-putting. The veggies were decent, but mostly over-oiled, which nearly canceled out the flavors of the herbs. While it's nice to have another veg-friendly option in downtown, I was not impressed with the options at Kurdi's. Kurdi's is on the same block as Pizza Fusion, and I feel like between the two, if price is no issue, Pizza Fusion would be the better option. Unless you just really like eating oil and sand.

1 comment:

  1. Was it olive oil? Because I've convinced myself to believe that more is good when it comes to EVOO..