Friday, May 16, 2008

richmond eats - 2M Mediterranean Market

The northside of Richmond has never been an area I knew particularly well, but since beginning the new gig, I've been investigating the eating options up here. Fortunately there are a few that step beyond the usual chain fare. One in particular that popped up on my radar is 2M Mediterranean Market & Deli. It's a dive-y little place in a dive-y little strip mall. Richmonders will know it as the one on Staples Mill with the old Ukrops—in this town, the local Ukrops grocery store chain offers constant landmarks.

All dive-y character aside, the food that the Bosnian owner turns out is excellent. The kefta and lamb shawarma are excellent, served on long flatbread with excellent tahini, pickles and the usual lettuce and tomato. His gyro is a little smaller, though still a good portion. So far, only the falafel has been less than exceptional. I'm a fan of freshly made and fried falafel, like the crispy nuggets I used to gorge on in New York. Anyway, his falafel are made in the morning and reheated as needed. As a result, they're dried out a bit and don't quite sparkle with garlic and parsley the way they should His hummus and tabouleh, however, are stellar. the taboulleh is full of fresh parsley and lemon, and the hummus was so good Banana scarfed it down when I brought some home. Good stuff.

On the wall above the register are the usual series of glowing local reviews. One of which mentioned that the owner was planning to open a "real" restaurant soon. I asked him about it, and his answer was "not so soon. Too expensive, you know." Indeed. Thankfully, his current business is still doing well, and considering the amount of food for the money, it's definitely not too expensive.