Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Reviewin' shit, vol. 1: Cafe Natasha's Tuesday night hummus bar
Cost: $8 (Lisa says it's $8 -- I thought it was $10)
Where: Cafe Natasha's at 3200 S. Grand Blvd in south city.
Review: This is one of the better regular vegan friendly eating extravaganzas in the city. (Okay, I was having trouble coming up with that right noun, and extravaganza might be a little, well, extravagant, but I'm too lazy to use a thesaurus right now. So deal.)
There is a bit of irony here though. The hummus on this hummus bar kind of sucks. It's bland; nothing but empty calories. But everything else on this buffet does not suck. Not only that, but each time I have gone there everything on it was vegan!
Natasha's has the best falafel in the city. Al-Tarboush on the Delmar Loop is good, but Natasha's is slightly better (not to mention a much cleaner establishment; not even the cute Lebanese chicks in Al-Tarboush make up for the roaches you share your table with). The falafel here is seriously amazing. It's a little spicy though -- I like that but some of you don't. It's not super spicy but it is noticeable. Fair warning.
There are also some awesome sides. They have a sauted mushroom side that is really impressive. It's hard to describe what it tastes like -- sort of like a curry I guess -- but it's really good. They also have seared garlic chucks (I've never seen garlic cooked like this before, but it works), sauted peppers, and as many thin pita pieces as you want.
I've had this three times, and my impressive is overall quite favorable. The service is a little slow at times, but really friendly and overall not bad. The atmosphere is busy, but not rushed -- pretty much quintessential South Grand.
My suggestion for improvement (this is where I come off as the complaining asshole who is compensating for his small penis) would be (if anyone actually read this blog) to either change the name to a falafel bar or make the hummus good. They seriously need a new hummus recipe. And the music they occasionally have in there is not entertaining or contributing to the ambiance; it's annoying and makes it where you can't even talk to the person next to you.
All in all though, I don't have much in the way of complaints. I like this place, the staff and the owner (named, oddly enough, Natasha) are great, the atmosphere is awesome, and the food is, on the whole, quite good.
Overall grade: B+
TLDR version: it's pretty good and you should probably try it. The falafel is awesome, as are some of the other sides; the hummus, not so much.