By Cassandra Van Keuren Special to The Herald
Cedar’s Grill and Deli is just the type of place that I love.
The restaurant is a bit hidden in a strip mall, not that busy and has amazing Mediterranean food.
But I had never heard of the place until recently when I was looking for a great place to get falafel.
At Cedar’s you are going to find the usual stuff that you would expect at a Mediterranean joint: shawarma (marinated beef), gyros, hummus, stuffed grape leaves and spanakopita.
You will also find some not-so-well-known Mediterranean dishes. Kefta is a highly spiced ground beef formed into a kabob, then grilled. It’s served here in pita bread or as a platter.
Kibbey (sometimes spelled Kibbeh) is something I have never heard of before. Kibbey is a lebanese form of meat loaf. The meatloaf is mixed with ground beef, bulgur and lots of Mediterranean spices. Its baked then cut into little diamonds. This is on my list of must tries next time I visit. You can have this as a burger, in pita or as a platter.
On my first visit, I had my sights set on falafel. The options were to have it in a sandwich or on a platter ($9.99). I picked the platter, which comes with lentil soup, salad, pickles and a side of hummus and pita.
I ordered the homemade lemonade to go with it ($2).
The owner — who also was the cook for the day — brought out my lentil soup and lemonade first.
The lentil soup was made simply with gentle spices. I found it pleasant and much more flavorful than french lentil soup. There was a sprinkling of sumac, which added a nice lemony flavor, on top.
The lemonade was great but different from any lemonade I have had, with a slight floral taste.
I asked the owner about this and he said he thought his wife adds a few drops of orange flower water to the lemonade but he wasn’t sure. It was refreshing and a great pairing with my meal.
My appetizer hummus was large with six slices of pita. Sliced tomato, cucumber, olive oil and sumac dressed the hummus.
I ate only about a quarter of it because my falafel was served.
My entree was huge.
For those who are not familiar with falafel, its a patty made from ground chickpeas, garlic and other spices. Then the patty is deep fried and served alone or in a pita sandwich.
My serving had seven falafel. These falafel were excellent, better than any place I have had in Washington.
The fresh falafel were presented on a pile of lettuce. The salad was tossed with olive oil and lemon and served with a side of tahini dressing.
My whole plate was amazing and I would order it again if there wasn’t so many other wonderful-sounding items on the menu.
My baklava was good but I wished they hadn’t keep it in the refrigerator. I think it dulls the flavor a bit.
With so much food, I had to take about half home to my husband, who was happy to finish off my leftovers.
I was really impressed with the freshness of all the food they serve at Cedar’s. Their food is a healthy choice, heavy on vegetables and whole grains, something that is often hard to find when dining out.
Cedar’s Grill &Deli
520 128th St. SW, Suite A13, Everett; 425-353-4035.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Vegetarian options: Many, as well as vegan choices.