Mediterranean Sandwich Co. - WeMo

Update: 7/27/12 

You know you've become a regular at an establishment when you order "off the menu."  Since I bounce around so much, I can hardly be called a regular at any one place but Mediterranean Sandwich Co. in West Mobile.  I started coming to this location when it first open and true I have strayed but I always come back.  I really love the way they do Mediterranean food.  Only recently though did I find out about their "off the menu" items.  It's a collection of three or four items that were the daily specials and were so popular it stuck around but not quite in the regular scheme of things.  You have to be in the "know" to order these and well now, you are.

I want to start by recommending one of my favorite things that is on the menu; the goat and boursin cheese tart.  It's a goat and boursin cheese mixture spread on a crispy pita then topped with balsamic glazed onions and roasted almond slivers. This is O-M-G delicious.  The richness of the cheese with the tartness of the onions are great.  The almonds give it a nice butter feel while adding that bit of crunch.  Very good stuff here.  It's a little pricey at about $5.99 but a treat for the taste buds.  You won't regret it.

Jeti chicken swarma
The first "off the menu" item I was introduced you to is the jeti chicken swarma.  It's the basic swarma that's on the menu with a hefty twist.  I'm told, it's exactly what you can find on street vendor carts in Saudi Arabia.  The jeti has your regular chicken swarma meat then add french fries, slaw, red pepper garlic sauce, tomatoes and a tzatziki sauce.  Talk about a burst of flavor! The chicken swarma already has a lot going for it but the jeti takes it up a couple more notches.  First, the slaw has got to be the big flavor booster.  It has a very nice pickle taste to it but it still doesn't over power the rest of the sandwich.  The roasted red pepper garlic sauce is too die for.  If you were worried about not getting full, no worries.  The handful of fries stuffed in the sandwich should take care of all that.  Really, this can get a bit messy.  I would have a fork standing by just in case you need to get down and dirty with this sandwich.  I have a pretty big appetite and I can barely (note: I used the word barely) finish this monster of a sandwich.  

Redneck Gyro
Another monster at the MSC in WeMo is something they call a redneck gyro.  Again, it's almost like the regular gyro but taken up a couple of notches.  Upon biting into this delicious sandwich, you would immediately know why it's so different; the Concecuh Sausage!  Hello, the flavor of the sausage nearly rears up and bite you in the nose.  Well, at least it did for me.  The addition of the smoky and slightly fatty sausage adds a lot of dimension to the gyro.  Also topping the slices of concecuh sausage is a blend of smoked gouda and mozzarella cheese.  Ladies and gentlemen, it doesn't get much better than this.  The fresh veggies on top help balance out all the richness and the cajun tzatziki sauce pulled everything together.  It's one superb sandwich.  Again, this sucker is darn near gargantuan so bring an empty stomach so you can gobble all this yumminess down.  

There are a couple more things "off the menu" that's available only at the WeMo location but I haven't tried it all. The next time you decide to visit MSC or even if it's your first, come in open minded and ask if anything special is available.  Be gracious if the answer is "no, not today" and try again at a later date.  You won't regret it.

Original post: 7/29/11

Sometimes when a restaurant expands, it either loses it's original charm or the quality of food suffers; not  Mediterranean Sandwich Co.  Vlad and his crew hit it out of the park with the new WeMo location.  The caliber of food remains the same, the service is still great and the atmosphere is a little more pleasant.  This is a great place for more "tame" people to dine.  When I say "tame" I mean those of us who don't want to dodge bullets for a good gyro (please reference any local nightly news program).  

MSC is still a counter service restaurant where the food is made with fresh ingredients with a Mediterranean spin.  I absolutely love MSC's panini-style flatbreads.  I haven't tried one yet that I didn't like. On this visit, I had the "Mixed Grill" and the Bacon Carbonara Orzo ($7),  The panini was made up of roasted chicken, beef-lamb, sweet onion marmalade, provolone cheese and Bearnaise Aioli Sauce.  It was amazing.  There was just enough meat to cheese ratio and the distinct flavors of each ingredient showed through.  I love, love, love the contrast of the toasted flatbread to the fillings.  It gave it a slight "bite" instead of one texture throughout.  The Bacon Carbonara is as good and rich as I remember it.  The orzo is tossed in a bacon, spinach cream sauce that is wonderfully tasty.  The small cup it comes it is about all I can eat because it is extremely rich.

MSC also cooks up a special just about every night of the week.  Usually it's only available at one location or the other.  On this night, I spotted the delicious teaser on their facebook page "Only at WeMo location. About to hit the grill!! Dinner special will be conecuh sausage, spinach and feta stuffed pork loin, service with roasted garlic and cheese polenta cake and ratatouille".  And it was only $8.95. How could I resist?!?   I quickly grabbed my fellow fatty (my brother, Tho) and sped off to MSC.  Maybe I should have waited a little longer since I got there before the pork loin was done!

It was only a little wait to get the special out and it was worth it.  As many know, plain pork loin can become dry and be bland if not cooked properly.  This was definitely not the case.  The meat was still very juicy and getting those little bits of stuffing was like a burst of flavor in your mouth.  The ratatouille is your basic grilled vegetables but also delicious.  The polenta cake threw me a curve ball though.  I was expecting a more pasta type texture and got GRITS!  You can taste the roasted garlic and cheese in the polenta.  I loved it.  Also, the portion was huge and very satisfying.
Goat & Boursin Cheese Tart $4.95
As I was waiting for the pork loin to cook, I remembered I wanted to try another menu item from the last time I was downtown - the goat and boursin cheese tart.  What I got was flat bread topped with the cheese mix, balsamic onion marmalade and roasted almonds.  Although good, it's not quite a tart is it?  The flavors of the marmalade are really intense and goes well with the cheese mix.  Goat cheese tends to be tangy and boursin has more of a rich flavor.  The almonds gave it a nice crunch.  I recommend spreading the marmalade all over the flatbread instead of eating as is.  If you get a big hunk of marmalade, you will not be able to taste any of the other flavors.

Finally, I can't take my brother to a Mediterranean restaurant and not get him baklava.  We had to take a picture of the display because Tho ate BOTH baklavas before I can take a picture of it.  To be honest, I did have a bite of one.  They tasted as it should.  This will definitely satisfy any sweet tooth.

The WeMo location is at the shopping center on the corner of Cottage Hill and Schillinger Roads.  There is much more room at this location than downtown. I say it can comfortably fit 40 to 50 people no problem. I think it's more set up for the lunch crowd where there's only one or two people eating.  However, the tables could easily be moved to accommodate families.  The best part about the WeMo location is that it serves the entire menu all day.  The other location switches to a very limited menu for dinner and the late night crowd.  I've reviewed that location too.  If you want to read more reviews on MSC's food selection, click here. And, to check out MSC's menu, click here.

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