For: Spicy 17 Spread
FOR: SPICY 17 SPREAD
4037 Campbell Ave., Arlington; eatmedi.com
Fast casual chainlets are big business—and with Sweetgreen expanding, Black Lime Mediterranean Cafe open in Crystal City—Medi tries to capture the pita market.
Opened last summer in Shirlington, Medi pulls from Mediterranean-sided countries, demonstrated through its dips: hummus (Middle Eastern), spicy 17 spread, (harrissa-like, a North African spice) and tzatziki (Greek).
Options are streamlined and include meats or veggies in a wrap or over (boring) rice or greens.
Sticking chunks of souvlaki-style chicken in a pita is a good idea, especially with bites of sweetness from golden raisins piercing through yogurt sauce.
Most inventive are the gyritos: gyro meat and feta, wrapped into a cigar and fried for a Mediterranean version of a taquito. The meat stays moist surrounded by the crispy shell, decorated like a pastry with artful strips of balsamic reduction. At $6.95, it’s decent food for pretty cheap.
But the food is not nearly as addictive as the cafeteria-style, customizable fast food king; Chipotle doesn’t need to worry.