Cuisine Critique: Mediterranean

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This week we ventured to a Mediterranean buffet-style restaurant in the bustling activity of 7th Street. I was recovering from a stomach bug (a big thank you to my niece for that), but was still able to enjoy the awesome spread of food at Terra Mediterranean. It was recommended to us by the staff of the nutrition department, and they were dead on.

Before we even got to the food, I admired the way the restaurant was run. The cashier was right at the door, everyone paid the same amount, and then we were seated. We had a server, but his job was to refill drinks and take away empty plates since it was a buffet. Our first trip to the buffet line was a little overwhelming because there were SO many options- and most of them were fruits and veggies! That’s the kind of thing a nutrition student likes to see. We were able to load our plates with different salads, zucchini, cauliflower, hummus, and fresh fruits. Of course, one plate is never enough at a buffet (we have to get the most for our money, right?) so between all nine of us we ended up trying just about everything. I didn’t hear a single poor remark about any of the food- which is rare among a large group with such diverse preferences!

Some of my favorite things were the tomato soup and hummus with their signature pita. The tomato soup was the best I’ve ever had, although my only recent comparison is the cafeteria at Montevallo. Their hummus was made with Greek yogurt, which I’d never had but LOVED.

As for heart health, this restaurant is incredibly easy to analyze! On a heart healthy diet, fill most of the plate with green vegetables like the Greek salad and zucchini. Choose a lean protein option like chicken (don’t worry about lack of flavor at this restaurant!) or skip the meat altogether and go for some plant based protein! Feel free to get back in line to try all the different salad and veggie options. If you aren’t too worried about carbohydrate intake, my personal recommendation is the hummus and pita- just stick to one serving.

I think these weekly restaurant visits are something I’m going to incorporate into my life at Montevallo. I love trying new things and don’t do it as often as I should, so I’m going to make it a tradition. At least once a month, I’ll go to a new restaurant and try something I’ve never had. This experience has given me real perspective and I’m sad for it to end, so I’m going to keep it going myself!

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