Dining: Greek meets Mex at California Tortilla

By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

If this were one of those blindfold tests, you wouldn’t think you were in a restaurant named California Tortilla.

The casual dining spot located at Crosslands Shopping Center, has a new limited item menu, the Mediterranean Bowl, that seems like it might be more at home in Athens, Greece, than at a place that specializes in burritos and tacos.

But that is a very good thing.

The Mediterranean Bowl (served up in a large cardboard bowl to help the environment) is just full of surprises. Well there are lots of surprises if you didn’t  study too closely what is included in the Greek/California fusion twist.

You can have your choice  of many items (I had to have them all, of course) including grilled mesquite chicken (or fresh vegetables) served on a bed of romaine lettuce. Those many other options pearl couscous, Israeli salad (tomato and cucumber) and hummus. And that’s just for starters. There also is tzatziki (the white cucumber sauce found on gyros); fresh sliced avocado, feta cheese  and California Tortilla’s signature Screamin’ sauce.

What I really liked about this tasty salad/entrée is that all of the ingredients are separated in the bowl, except for a few surprise items like the couscous, are hidden away just waiting to be discovered. You can try each ingredient or mix up the flavors with the hummus (served with a large pita chip) or tzatziki.

Much of the dish has a distinct flavor that stands out on its own, like the Israeli salad which is enhanced with lime juice and cilantro, something you won’t find in any typical salad in Tel Aviv.

This was lunch-time, but the $8.39 bowl would make an excellent dinner selection as well.

Says Keith Goldman, executive chef for California Tortilla “California Tortilla is always looking for ways to incorporate fresh, nutrient-packed ingredients into its reimagined Mexican menu.”

If you are counting calories, the new bowl has 724 calories and 35 grams of fat. That is pretty much the same calorie count as the restaurant’s Enchilada Bowl, but more than the California Sunset Bowl at 485.

The Mediterranean Bowl will be available through the middle of August.

Of course, the restaurant still serves up some really nice burritos, quesadillas and more.

The Taco Fresh Deal is just that. Two soft flour tortillas with choice of meat or veggies, jack cheese, lettuce and salsa and it comes with a drink or any side item or dessert for $8.79.