Friday, March 8, 2013

The Mediterranean Café

30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge

Mediterranean Cafe
1405 Research Blvd, Rockville, MD 20850
Nina Kranz introduced me to the Mediterranean Café last December. I had a Cobb Salad and was hooked. All the ingredients were fresh and it was made to order. We were greeted warmly by Mustapha and Nina assured me he'd remember me the next time I came in. She was right. The Mediterranean Café has become my go to place for a quick lunch. It's located at the corner of Research Boulevard and 28 in the back of the Aeras building. 

The Mediterranean Café is a family business owned by cousins Mustapha and Taib. Taib is the chef and Mustapha works the front of the house. They are originally from Morocco in North Africa and grew up enjoying home-made food from quality ingredients. They said they'd always dreamed of combining their culinary and customer service skills to open a small place serving some of the Mediterranean dishes which they enjoy. This dream came true in June 2011 where The Mediterranean Café opened its doors for the first time.

When I started imagining how our challenge would work, I talked with Mustapha about doing something special for ASHA staff. I knew a lot of their menu items were consistent with a Mediterranean diet. They were enthusiastic and Taib read the Sonoma Diet book I dropped off. They embraced what we're doing and developed this special Sonoma Diet menu for us. 

Cyndi Fales at LWS shared the following observations about the menu. "I think this looks amazing! I am actually really impressed that they put this together -- it looks like a good variety and there is a good mix of meat and vegetarian options." She suggested requesting a 2 egg omelet instead of the 3 egg omelet on their regular menu. She also recommends the salads over the wraps, paninis and bowls during Wave 1. She said they'd make great Wave 1 dinners though and everything will be appropriate during Waves 2 and 3.

They'll deliver for free to our office with a minimum order of $12. Better yet, get out for a walk -- it's only 1.88 miles round trip from the office. I've walked there, picked up a salad, and was back at my desk in 38 minutes.

Taib Chbarat, Chef and Owner -- Taib studied culinary arts and pastry at La Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD. Since completing his studies he has worked as an Executive Chef with many of the major Hotels in the region such as The Mayflower Hotel, The Wyndham Hotel, and The Westin Hotel and Country Club. Taib has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant business. He has received favorable reviews in the Washington Post Magazine, The Washingtonian, The City Paper, and the Washington Times and other publications. 

Mustapha Chbarat, Manager and Owner -- Mustapha initially pursued a career in information technology, while he was working in the hospitality industry. Mustapha has worked with several hotels in the DC area and was excelling in his job in hotel management. He also worked for restaurants where he gained hands-on experience running an establishment. Mustapha enjoys working with people and has more than 20 years of experience with customer service. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great menu - so excited for an easier option on days when I can't think of a lunch for the next day :) Thanks for organizing this with the cool folks at MedCafe, Janet! Kelly