Cava Mezze Grill
After watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a few friends and I checked out the recently opened restaurant Cava Mezze Grill. This fast-casual joint spins of the success of Cava Mezze, a Greek tapas restaurant in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area which opened in 2006. Five years and an additional restaurant opening later, the three friends behind Cava Mezze decided to bring the taste of their upscale Greek cuisine to a more widely accessible platform.
The efficient, modern atmosphere of the Grill mirrors that of Chipotle. This is where you would grab lunch with virtually anyone, from the casual acquaintance to intimate friend. There’s a lot of brown inside—laminated wood chairs, wooden tables, unbleached napkins, and dark wall décor—just like Chipotle.
Most notably, you order food at the Grill like you would at Chipotle: you walk through an assembly line of ingredients, choosing a meat, dips, and various toppings; watch as your pita, or bowl, gets filled with delicious Greek ingredients; devour.
The Grill offers chicken, meatballs, lamb, or village sausage for choices of meat, but vegetarians can take comfort in the presence of falafel in the menu. The list of dips and spreads comprise of harissa, a feta mousse (Crazy Feta), hummus, tzatziki, and egg plant with red pepper. Toppings range from salad, cabbage, and tomatoes to feta, Kalamata olives, and basmati rice. For a bit more money, you can order some pita chips, seasonal soup, and Greek yogurt topped with an assortment of strawberries, blueberries, honey, granola, and walnuts.
I ordered a pita with Crazy Feta, chicken, tomato & onion salad, cabbage salad, lettuce, and Kalamata olives. The combination offered a range of textures, from the soothing, creamy Crazy Feta to the soft crunch of cabbage salad. I enjoyed the savory taste of chicken, which was marinated with a blend of Mediterranean ingredients, and the robust taste of Crazy Feta. My only complaint is that the Kalamata olives overpowers the taste of accompanying ingredients due to their saltiness.
Though the price of food at the Grill is only slightly cheaper than the price of food at Chipotle, portion sizes at the Grill are about 40% smaller. Still, for those keeping an eye on their waistlines, the smilers portion sizes are a blessing. For me, the pita packed a ton of taste but didn’t quite satisfy my hunger.