Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mediterranean Memphis: Petra Cafe

I have been all about the international cuisine lately. Moroccan and Mexican at Epcot, Indian with my girlfriends on movie day, Thai with my blog partner when he passed through town, and Columbian take-out from a little place my husband found. It's been a gastric whirlwind.

 Um...let me rephrase that...

A couple of weeks ago my friends and I decided to do something that is everyone's favorite for lunch: Mediterranean. I just never get tired of this kind of food.

The Petra Cafe, with several locations around the Memphis area, was just the ticket. This location at 1649 N. Germantown Parkway is small enough to be intimate and quiet enough for conversation. It's bright, clean, and conveniently located.

I had cheated a bit and studied the menu online, which meant nothing naturally, as I still wasn't quite sure what I wanted to order when our friendly server arrived. I frantically scanned the menu...

Having arrived first, our friend who is the mother of 6 month old twins ordered up some hummus, pita, and olives for us to snack on while we made our final choices and caught up on everyone's recent travels.

             Their hummus is incredible and fresh, the pita is warm and delicious.

Everything here is presented beautifully. This is the Greek salad with chicken.

Unable to make up my mind (I know you aren't surprised by that) I hastily opted for the chicken gyro. Only after it arrived did I realize how many carbs that was going to end up being after all the pita bread I'd eaten with hummus. I took a few bites then opened it up and finished it with my fork. The tzatziki sauce, which I had first tasted in Greece last year served as a dip, was the perfect cool compliment to the warm chicken. Onions and garden ripe tomatoes rounded out the flavor.

Another friend ordered the Greek gyros salad. There was a bit of discussion about what the "gyro meat" was made from. Our server informed us that it was a combination of lamb and beef. I had a slice and it was extremely delicious. We aren't red meat eaters at our house, so that was quite a culinary feat for me. I knew you'd be impressed. The lamb and beef are thinly sliced and layered on a spit, then seasoned, and slowly roasted to achieve both a unique flavor and texture. Delicious.

So if you are passing through Memphis and are confused by the myriad of barbecue choices, you can always opt for something else entirely. If you really want to confuse your friends with your Southern travel experience come in the spring to Greekfest. It is held at the largest Greek Orhodox church in the city where I took Greek a couple of years ago from the much revered Father Nicholas Vieron. We're keepin' it multicultural y'all! The new South is just full of surprises!

Petra Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Love Petra Cafe AND the Greekfest...OPA!

  2. Hi Michele,

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