We called it Mediterranean meatloaf because it was not the sort of dry loaf of ground beef that's a staple in so many American kitchens. It was rich and flavorful, though we couldn't get any details about its ingredients. And we enjoyed the tabuli, which was fresh and minty. They also offer an interesting couscous dish with grilled chicken, onions, carrots, pepper, herbs and olive oil that's a bit like a revved-up tabuli.

The baked pita came fresh out of the stone oven, but the wheat and the white versions were too thin and crisp. Other missteps included the mussels in the paella, which didn't open, and the cauliflower, which was crunchy but would have been better had it not been served at room temperature. We tried a lot of dishes, joined by my daughter and a friend on another visit.

The dessert counter was filled with dense, flaky baklava, dates filled with nuts and hard cookies filled with pistachios. We ordered one of each. The dates were terribly cloying, and the cookies were too hard. We also ordered the specialty of the house, the baklava ice cream dish that we were told feeds two, but easily feeds four. The dessert consists of two giant pieces of baklava, chocolate ice cream, strawberries, bananas, nuts and Hershey's syrup.

The dessert counter was filled with buttery, flaky
baklava, which when paired with Hershey’s syrup in Cedars
Mediterranean Mezza’s specialty, seemed too Americanized.
Sara Kerens
The dessert counter was filled with buttery, flaky baklava, which when paired with Hershey’s syrup in Cedars Mediterranean Mezza’s specialty, seemed too Americanized.

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Cedars Mediterranean Mezza

8141 Walnut Ln.
Dallas, TX 75231

Category: Restaurant > Mediterranean

Region: Northeast Dallas

Details

Cedars Mediterranean Mezza Build Your Own Platter: Three sides and one meat $11.99 Falafel (four pieces) $2.99 Chicken kebab with rice $5.99 Gyro $5.99 Coriander potatoes $5.99 Large order Spanish paella $9.99

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The baklava—served warm—paired well with the ice cream and the fresh fruit. The nuts added an enjoyable crunch but the Hershey's syrup seemed kind of sad. Messing with baklava like that seemed like a mistaken attempt at Americanizing a perfectly good dessert.

The offerings were changed up a bit when we returned for a second visit, this time on a Saturday afternoon. Four men sat watching hockey on the plasma TV hanging on the wall. I wanted them to be Greek mafia, watching soccer, arguing loudly. So much for my Mediterranean travel fantasy—turns out they were Hispanic.

Truth is, there are expectations for a place that bills itself as a Mediterranean eatery: You hope for an experience, not a cafeteria-line. The name, the owner, the whole idea of the place had me expecting something more authentic. But the reality of Cedars was nothing like I had in mind. Ethnic food stripped of its ethnicity doesn't leave much to the imagination.

Cedars Mediterranean Mezza 6125 Berkshire Lane, 214-363-1717 Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. $-$$
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