Today I was out and about running errands and I was in the North West part of the city with my stomach growling so I decided to stop by Mediterranean Imports & Deli for a quick lunch. I decided on their vegetarian platter and took the numbered wooden block and sat down at a table.
Mediterranean Imports & Deli is a little Mediterranean / Middle Eastern grocery store that sits on May just North of Northwest Expressway. In the front they have a little deli with seating and they have 30 or so different items on their menu from sandwiches to gyros to hummus and desserts like baklava. It was recommended to me when I moved into OKC the first time in 1997 by my Persian kitchen manager. I have been coming ever since for the hummus and to pick up large cheap bags of basmati rice.
Not long after I sat down my platter arrived. It had tabouli, hummus, falafel, pita, cabbage roll, mujuadra (lentil pilaf), and tzatziki sauce. I started off by dipping some of the pita bread in the hummus. I really like their hummus, it is nice and garlicky and creamy. They garnish it with a drizzle of olive oil and paprika, the olive oil quickly wicks up the pita bread when you dip it in there. I should have traded the tzatziki sauce for more hummus since the tzatziki is dairy based, it got wasted by me. The biggest disappointment is that the pita didn’t taste like it had been heated at all and also is not made in house, it is the kind you would find at a grocery store. It tasted dry and not fresh made. The falafel I tried next. They are nice and crispy on the outside with a soft inside. They have a nice traditional flavor to them, and they aren’t spicy at all. The tabouli is a nice salad of parsley and couscous
Edit: Kelly brought it to my attention that it is made with bulghur wheat not couscous. Sorry for the misinformation. with small diced onions and tomatoes mixed in. It is something nice to cleanse the palate in between the other dishes. The cabbage roll has the same filling that you would find in the stuffed olive or grape leaves but it is rolled in a cabbage. This made for a milder less bitter offering. The filling was soft and mild with hints of extra virgin olive oil. The mujuadra is a hot mixture of lentils and rice cooked with a very mild blend of spices. The lentils were nicely cooked. They had a bite to them without being starchy. I think that the lentils could have used a bit more spice, but that is just me liking to taste the cumin, coriander, and other fragrant spices of the middle east. They were good, not bland or salty, it is just a preference. Also I know that the kalamata olive is just garnish, however I do like a good olive and there was only one garnishing my plate. It would have been nice to be able to bite into several of those briny salty cured olives instead of just one.
As I was finishing my platter the place started to get noisy. There was a group of young people gathering for a meeting of some kind and it sounded like they were going to get a bunch of olives and cheeses to eat. I think I came there at just the right time because it was getting loud and there were a lot of people in that little eating space up and moving about. It is a popular eating place in the area for lunch. There is a sit down be waited on type of Middle Eastern place up the street, but I prefer this place better. It is smaller and friendlier, and you can pick up a bag of rice, lentils, some spices, olives, olive oil, and whatever else you need to make yourself some good Mediterranean food at home as well.
I got some hummus togo as well. It will be a nice snack tomorrow on my day off. The hummus is so good here I can eat it again the next day. I need to say that I wish that the hummus was put in it’s own 4 ounce squat or a container that has a sealable lid because some of it is coming out of the clamshell container and getting all over my other refrigerated food in my insulated bag. I am going to have a mess to clean up when I get home. I wish the cooks or owner thinks things through a bit more when it comes to togo orders. And I did have a mess to clean up. It got all over my insulated bag and I lost half of the hummus. Another thing that I forgot is that they put pickles in as a garnish for their hummus and I completely forgot to ask them to leave it out, so my hummus tasted like gross pickles. I have to remember next time I stop in.
This place is highly recommended for good middle eastern food, especially if you are in a hurry. The staff has always been nice to me and they are only open until 6 pm so it will have to be for lunch or an early dinner.
Their hours are:
Kitchen: Monday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm
Grocery: Monday-Saturday 9:30am-6:30pm
Mediterranean Imports & Deli can be found at:
5620 N. May Ave. (Just North of Northwest Expressway)
Oklahoma City, OK 73112