- Dave Plotkin
Whitewood Mediterranean Grill1 S. Orange Ave.
Downtown isn't wanting for lunch options, but Whitewood Mediterranean Grill is a new place to nosh on healthy Middle Eastern favorites for a fair price.
The place is chicly appointed with marble tables and walls, an open kitchen and plenty of space to dine inside or out. Service is friendly and prompt, though impersonal – the guy who dropped off my food cradled my plate in his right arm and his smartphone in his left.
Since the release of a certain Marvel film this month, shawarma has gotten its day in the sun. Whitewood's steak version is appropriately lemony, garlicky and served atop pillowy basmati rice. Sides were lackluster, though; the tabbouleh ($2.79) lacked seasoning and housemade “Grandma's” grape leaves ($2.79) were tiny and forgettable.
Maybe hummus isn't tops on your list of drunk food, but Whitewood is open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, so that makes it as good a hangover preventer as any. Whitewood's version was a little heavy on the tahini, and for a huge scoop, the meager serving of pita wasn't satisfying.
Whitewood's addition to Orange Avenue's power lunch and late-night scene is more than welcome, but a few tweaks in flavor and finesse are necessary if it's going to last.