Make it Mediterranean

Despite mundane decor, Taste of Mediterranean offers fast, casual solution to Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine cravings

Located at 244 Kennedy St, Taste of Mediterranean offers a bold contrast in flavour compared to other neighborhood options. You can get a platter-full of food and a tummy full of happy for a decent price and on the fly.

Taste of Mediterranean offers Middle Eastern options like shawarma, and although it might not be the best in the city, it does the job for providing some variety for lunch crowds.

The restaurant’s location is very convenient for University of Winnipeg students, office workers, downtown residents and the like. A bus stop is located directly in front of the door (southbound Kennedy St. at Graham Ave.) and another stop is within walking distance (Vaughn St. at Graham Ave.). In theory, you could grab a pita and hummus ($5.99) and have a snack on the bench while waiting for your bus.

Taste of Mediterranean is a Canadian franchise restaurant that started in Toronto in 2004 with three locations, and has since expanded across Canada and the United States.

The menu is displayed above the walk-up order counter on LED screens. I ordered the day’s special, Spanokopita (spinach pie) with rice, potatoes and Greek salad ($8.99). My lunch date ordered the Lebanese Platter, composed of chicken shawarma, hummus, taboulah, Greek salad, rice and pita ($9.99). Other platter options included Mediterranean, souvlaki and Greek.

Besides the platters and specials, Taste of Mediterranean also has four different types of sandwiches, all for $5.99. Salads ranged from $5.99 to $8.99, with a decide-your-side combo option for $7.99.

The prices were a little bit heftier than the usual fast food meal, but so were the portion sizes. I was somewhat gracious our food was served in compartmental styrofoam to-go containers as there were many parts to the meal and a lot of food I could take away for later.

Overall the food was enjoyable. A highlight was the garlic sauce, generously zigzagged across the entire dish. Another plus was the shawarma, as it was tender and flavourful especially when paired with a bit of the taboulah (herbs, diced tomatoes and onions). Unfortunately though, the potatoes were slightly dry and the rice was forgettable.

I wouldn’t recommend dining in if you are looking for an experience, unless you consider being surrounded by barren white walls and fake plants a riot. Small framed tourist posters of the Mediterranean were a more optimistic touch, but almost made the décor feel more depressing.

Still, with Greek and Middle Eastern plates galore, you’ll definitely leave with some sort of taste of the Mediterranean.

Published in Volume 68, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 5, 2014)

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