Yama's Mediterranean Grill

Even though I was still dreaming about that Godzirra roll Teddy and I devoured the night before, Saturday was a new opportunity to embark on our next eating adventure. This time, we decided to try an authentic, hole-in-the-wall Greek restaurant in Bethesda called Yama’s Mediterranean Grill.

Growing up, our mom used to make the best spanakopita. I remember watching Sondra wait until she left the kitchen to pull the baking sheet out of the oven and cut off a warm square of spinach and feta cheese. With one hand full of flaky, crumbling phyllo dough, she’d quickly push the pastry back into the oven hoping that Mom wouldn’t notice when she got back. But she always did.

The décor at Yama’s was nothing to write home about, but the food more than made up for a lack of fancy decorations. Cooks stand behind an open counter, shaving shawarma and plucking rotisserie chickens out of the fire. The whole place has a simple, understated charm, a kind of feeling you would get if you visited your old Greek grandmother and she sat you down for a feast of epic proportions.

Teddy and I couldn’t decide what we wanted to try first, so we went with the Aphrodite’s Garden Mezze, a sampler platter that had little portions of spanakopita, falafel, hummus, and roasted Greek potatoes.

The spanakopita rivaled Mom’s recipe with its flaky phyllo dough and sharp feta cheese. The falafel had the perfect amount of cumin and coriander and was fried to a crisp.

I was actually so impressed with the falafel that I ordered a pita filled with falafel, topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and hummus, as my entrée. I was a bit surprised by the number of falafel balls they managed to cram into the pita bread. At other restaurants, I’ve ordered falafel only to be disappointed by the falafel to bread ratio. But Yama’s got it just right. When I come back, I’ll get the tzatziki sauce instead of the onions, which were too sweet for my taste buds. Don’t worry though; I stole plenty of that creamy cucumber-yogurt dip off of Teddy’s plate.

Teddy ordered the pork souvlaki. The shredded pork was served over a bed of orzo rice and included tzatziki, feta, and a shepherd salad.  I obviously didn’t try any of Teddy’s pork, and even if I could have, I’m not entirely convinced he would have let me. 

When I asked him how it was, he just lifted his head from his plate and looked at me. Apparently too good for words. 

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