First Bite: Rachel’s Mediterranean (Downtown)

A few years ago, Alli and I grabbed lunch with my cousin Chris at Rachel’s Mediterranean at UB’s North Campus. We enjoyed their Greek and Lebanese menu; it was very affordable and had some of our favorite dishes (lebne, chicken shwarma). So when I read that Rachel’s was opening a third location off Chippewa (their first is on Main Street in Williamsville), I was pretty excited.

The menu and set up is a little different at the Chippewa/Delaware location. It’s really optimized for fast service and is take out only (there’s no dining room or seating). If you’ve ever dined at a Chipotle, you’ll experience some deja vu when you walk into the restaurant for the first time. Rachel’s menu and ordering system is very similiar, you start with your base (wrap, salad, rice bowl, pitachip bowl), then pick a protein and then toppings. They put everything together in front of you as you move down the line. I’ve never seen a Greek restaurant set up like this and  I was curious to see how well the system worked.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Take Out, Fast Food
  • Cuisine: Greek
  • Location: Downtown
  • Prices: Main Dishes $7-8, Sides $3-6

When Alli and I visited on a Friday for dinner, the restaurant was empty and there was only one person working (other than the owner). After Alli and I looked over the menu for a couple minutes, we decided to both order pita wraps. It appeared that we had visited during a transition point, definitely after the busy lunch crowds and before the late night eating started. So when we ordered our Chicken Kabob and Gyro, they had to grill up some fresh meat for our orders. It only added a couple minutes to our visit and really wasn’t that big of a deal.

I ordered the Gyro Pita Wrap (6.95, gallery) and added some tomatoes, cucumbers and dill sauce. The wrap itself was very big and held it’s structure for a little bit but started to become a bit of a delicious mess near the end and required a fork. I thought the gyro meat wasn’t the best I’ve had, but still had a nice flavor and they piled a generous serving inside. Alli’s Chicken Kabob Pita Wrap (6.95, below) was really overflowing with large grilled pieces of chicken that had been marinated in some delicious Greek spices. She added peppers and onions, pickles, garlic spread and even some dill sauce. It was messy but pretty damn delicious. Both orders were on grilled, thin pita bread.

We also split an order of their Greek Fried Potatoes (5.65, above). It’s something we’ve ordered dozens of times over the years at various Greek restaurants but Rachel’s version is one of the best we’ve had in a while. They fried up thick hand-cut french fries to a nice crisp (while still keeping a good chew) and then covered them in dill sauce, feta cheese and some Greek seasoning. The meal is basically a big pile of heart-attacks but it’s one of our favorite guilty pleasures and something we’ve been craving since. If you aren’t on a diet or really want to indulge your fried cravings, you can’t go wrong with an order (plus it’s huge and enough to share).

I’m looking forward to visiting the restaurant on a more regular basis for quick lunches on the weekends. Besides the Greek french fries, there are plenty of healthy options on the menu and vegetarians will be happy to know they do serve Falafel, Hummus and Tabouli. It was only one visit but I’m more then happy driving down to Rachel’s for my take out Greek needs and if I ever found myself drinking on Chippewa late at night (god help me), their late service on Friday and Saturday (open until 5am) would be a lifesaver.

Photo Gallery

Rachel's Mediterranean on Urbanspoon

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