Best Middle Eastern Restaurant (2003)
Café Izmir has all the staples: briskly fresh tabbouleh, velvety-smooth and nutty hummus (among the best you'll find anywhere), warm, thick pita bread and deliciously juicy lamb, beef and chicken. But the best part of Café Izmir is the tapas offerings, little plates of mixed olives, dolmas, grilled asparagus and beef and chicken kabobs, among other nibbles. On Tuesdays the tapas plates are just two bucks, along with $14 bottles of wine from an eclectic list that includes offerings from Greece, Lebanon, Spain and France. This is a noteworthy weekly event, especially in light of the news over the summer that the feds are thinking of bringing back the $2 bill after a seven-year hiatus. According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, as of February 28, 1999, there was some $1.2 billion in $2 bills pumping through the economy. Hell, let's launch a campaign. Collect $2 bills and energize the currency every tapas Tuesday. Encourage other restaurants to have $2 bill specials. Without a strong $2 bill, the terrorists win.