For over a year now, my friend Tom and I have driven back and forth on Burke Avenue in Towson noting the “open” neon sign on the Cedar Cafe tucked away on the basement level of a residence facing Hillen Road but somehow never stopping to investigate!
Finally one evening, we finally threw in the towel and decided to check it out.
Our first pleasant surprise was that there’s a small parking lot behind the restaurant and that we didn’t have to wrestle with finding a nearby spot to park on the street. Half expecting Cedar Cafe to be a “take out”, we were surprised to find that it was not only a sit-down restaurant with tables (and bunches of people dining there!) but also a small store offering middle eastern specialty items.
Our next surprise was the charming and friendly young woman who welcomed us and invited us to pick any table to sit at. We were surprised that the menu was full of comparative bargains – most appetizers were $5-$6 while most sandwiches were $7-$8. The most expensive things on the menu were kebobs ($9-$13)
We decided to share an order of Boreh ($5); the flaky pastry was filled with a mix of ricotta and mozzerlla cheeses.
John decided to try the Kufta Kebab ($9) and Tom decided to try the Beef & Lamb Shawarma ($8).
John’s Kufta platter came with choice of two sides and he decided to go with Tabouli and Baba Ghanooush.
John combined some of his sides with the rice that came with Kufta and was pleased with the tasty combination that it made.
Tom’s Shawarma was encased in a fresh pita and made for a very tasty sandwich.
The dessert case lured us and we tried some small pastries that proved a flaky, melt in your mouth delight (and only cost $3 !)
John was intrigued by the rack of spices in the grocery area. He found a large 5 oz container of salt-free Kefta Spice with a blend of Coriander, Fennel, Caraway, White Pepper, Garlic, Peppermint, Marjoram and Ginger for $2.99 that he couldn’t resist.
Our server told us about the Friday evening buffet (from 5 to 8 pm) which offers an all you can eat array of different middle eastern “home style” dishes for $12. That sounded good and we’re going to have give that a try!
All in all, Cedar Cafe was a pleasant surprise (that left us wishing that we had stopped by their sooner instead of driving past it so many times! <Wink>
Facts: Cedar Cafe, Towson, 246 E. Burke Ave (facing Hillen Rd); 443-275 2592; no alcohol but some unusual soft drinks; lots of vegetarian options; parking in back (entrance off of Hillen Rd); http://www.cedarcafeshop.com/ ; visited 12/7/2013