Constantine's Mediterranean Grill - Closed
Once considered too exotic for the American palate, Mediterranean food now easily ranks up there with Japanese as one of the most popular types of cuisine around. Whether it's rich and creamy hummus or well-prepared gyro, there's something for everyone. Mobile has a number of Mediterranean restaurants and each has it's good and bad qualities. I've passed by Constantine's on Old Shell Road in Mobile a number of times and finally stopped by one afternoon.
My brother and I decided on the garnished hummus as our appetizer. According to the menu, it's chickpea dip topped with ground beef tenderloin, tahini spices and toasted almonds. I thought the hummus was light and refreshing. It's very smooth and thinner than what I make at home. There's also much more of a citrus punch. I enjoyed it a lot. The beef mixture on top was also good but I didn't get much of the tahini flavor out of it. There also wasn't any almonds on my hummus and I wish there was because the contrasting crunch would have been nice. The pita bread served with the hummus was slightly different than others I've tried. It's much less substantial and kind of wilts when you top it heavily with the dip. I ended up just wrapping the bread around the dip like a roll and ate it like that.
|Falafel Sandwich, $5.95|
Baklava is easily my brother's favorite dessert. It's something about the honey, almonds and phillo dough that calls to his inner (and to be honest outer) fattie. Constantine's baklava threw us both for a loop. For one, it's really small, bite size pieces. For comparison purposes, the larger pieces are about the size of a finger. I liked the size just because baklava is usually so sweet I can't eat more one bite. Also, this is a much dryer baklava. I'm used to the ones where it's literally still dripping in honey. These has more of a hint of honey and a slight coconut flavor that threw me off. This is definitely not the typical baklava that comes to mind when you're thinking about the Greek dessert but it's delicious all the same.
It was a really pretty day when I tried out Constantine's so I chose to eat outside. They have a very nice patio area with wrought iron chairs and tables. I liked the little breeze that was going on but the sound of the tire service company next door was a little distracting. Also, Constantine's is also serves up hookah - a flavored tobacco product - so the tablecloths had burn marks and holes that makes it look a little tattered. I was able to snoop a little and check out the inside of the restaurant. I like that the tables are spread out a little. There are a few booths that looks super comfy with pillows and such.
I have to say, the service I got at Constantine's was one of the better experience of late. The waitress was very nice and attentive considering we were the only ones sitting outside. She was very knowledgeable about the menu and was quick to tell us everything was made in house daily, which is a big plus for me. I did have to peek my head in the door to ask for a few things but all in all a great experience. I can't wait to come back and try out more of their foods. To check out Constantine's menu, click here.