Great Taste In A Small Package

Eat It: Petra Cafe

Petra Cafe serves up Middle Eastern megaliciousness during lunchtime

By Rachel Birdsell
TFW Contributing Writer

Petra Cafe
31 E. Center St. Suite 101


The other day I was making a list of restaurants to review and Petra Cafe ended up being first on the list. It’s on Center Street in the same building as Taste of Thai.

It is a tiny place, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor. This is one instance in which the old adage about great things coming in small packages is really true.

Food for Thought

I had the Mayo Platter which comes with your choice of gyro meat, pita bread, taziki sauce and two sides. I opted for the beef/lamb and had falafel and baba ghanouge for my sides.

The beef/lamb gyro meat was excellent. Gyro meat is formed into a loaf and then sliced, which is how you get a mixture of beef and lamb; it’s not some strange genetic mutation of a cow and sheep. My beef/lamb gyro meat was tender and mucho tasty. Slap a couple of slices on a piece of pita with a little taziki and it’s gyro meat heaven.

The baba ghanouge was magnificent. It had a lot of garlic, but just when you thought the garlic was going to be overwhelming, the tahini took over to temper it. It was the perfect marrying of tastes.

The falafel was fabulous as well. Try saying “fabulous falafel” three times really fast.

I didn’t order the hummus, but my dining partner did. I kept stealing tastes of it off of his plate. It was sensational. It was absolutely the best hummus I’ve ever eaten. I wanted to lick the plate, but I do have a couple of manners when I’m out in public.
When I first looked at my plate, it didn’t seem like the amount of food would fill me up, but it turned out that I could barely finish the last few bites. In fact, I was full before my last bite, but everything was so good, I felt it would have been immoral not to finish it all.

The Sporkcast

(1-5 sporks)

Atmosphere: 4.25 tiny sporks with red sparkly handle. Petra is small. It’s a lunch counter with a few two-person tables. It’s crowded, quirky and very relaxed and homey.

Food: 4.90 titanium sporks with iron-clad tines and diamond studded handles. The food is some of the best in the area. Heck, it’s some of the best food anywhere. There is a daily lunch special, which is either a platter or pocket and a cup of soup for $7.59.
Staff: 4.85 My waitress was awesome. She made me feel welcome and made sure I was taken care of throughout my lunch.

Dollars spent: Just a shade more than $7. Some of the best seven bucks I’ve ever spent.

Chance of returning: I’ll go back many times. You should too. Unfortunately, Petra is only open from
11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch. However, they are open on Saturdays and they’d be a perfect post-Farmers’ Market lunch stop. If you’re looking for great Middle Eastern food, Petra Cafe is a must-try spot.

If you know of a great eating place, drop me a line at I’ll check it out and let you know what I think.

Categories: Food