A couple of weeks ago, on a Saturday, my neighbor took me to dinner at a “Fresh Mediterranean Grill” on North Allen (before Washington, past the school) in Pasadena called Soumarelo. Now, I think this place took over the space of another Mediterranean place that my friend used to have cater her Pharmaceutical Doctor lunches, but I could be wrong.
Either way, my neighbor loves it, and since he seems scared of trying Ethiopian (my choice), we ventured to his choice (who ever said I wasn’t flexible?!).
It is a neat, clean, bright little space; they have tables outside and inside. The people who work there are very friendly and helpful. They offer rotisserie chicken (whole, with 16oz rice, 4 Pitas and 4 garlic pastes - $7.99); half - $5.99 (1/2 of everything above). They have the usual suspects – Shawerma, Chicken/Beef/Soujouk Lula, Chix breast or thigh Kebob, Beef Shish Kebob, Gyros, Falafel, Pressed cheese or Armenian soujouk sandwich. Sides – Rice, Potato & Onion, Fries, Kufta, Sarma (stuffed grape leaves). Lentil soup. A variety of salads – Armenian, Greek, Italian Pasta, cabbage, eggplant, mushroom, mushroom mary, Oleev-Ya, etc. Appetizers – Tabula, a variety of hummus: regular, red peppermus, yellow peppermus, Jalapenus; Muttabel, Fattoosh, Ekra, Muhamara, Ha-Jek, Tarator. And drinks – the usuals and Yogurt drink. On the mains, you can get them a-la-carte as a sandwich $3.99 – 4.99 or as a Plate – main, rice, choice of salad and appetizer - $4.99 – 8.99. Not sure but for some reason I seem to remember them having gelato (but please don’t quote me on that).
After much debate, I settled for the Gyros plate with a greek salad and hummus. My friend ordered the Chicken Lula Kebob plate with mushroom (maybe the mary one, maybe not) and Garlic Paste. $8.99 each. The food took a while to come out, but we chatted while we waited.
The servings are very large. Gyros was delicious – very flavorful. The rice was really good as was the hummus. Salad was great as far as greek salads go. I would definitely try it again. I tasted my friend’s Kebob and it was SO good! If I were ever to order that, I would ask that they char it a little more. The parts that had a bit of char were extra flavorful. Very juicy, tender and flavorful. The mushroom side he ordered was interesting. I think there were red onions in there, too. The garlic paste was good, but has nothing on Zankou’s (can you believe my friend has never been to Zankou??!!).
My friend told me that everything that he has ordered here he has liked, but I think the chicken Lula and rotisserie chicken are his favorite.
They also cater. When we walked in, there were no other people there, but as we were eating, a few to-go orders came and went and a large catering order went out as well as another couple dining-in. They also have a frequent diner’s card which my friend pounced on (I think this is something new).
If you are in the area or just want decent, honest Mediterranean food, give this little place a try. You just may like it!
Soumarelo – Fresh Mediterranean Grill
1090 N. Allen
Pasadena, CA 91104