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Originally published June 22, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 27, 2007 at 9:50 AM

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Dining Deals

A heartfelt welcome and hearty portions of food at Gorgeous George's

If the appreciation of its neighbors is any way to judge a restaurant, then Gorgeous George's Mediterranean Kitchen has that part down. Though the restaurant has been...

Special to The Seattle Times

Mediterranean $$ Gorgeous George's Mediterranean Kitchen


7719 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle;

206-783-0116

Hours: Noon-9 p.m. daily.

Drinks: Espresso, teas, juices and sodas; wine list coming soon.

Access: No obstacles to the restaurant, but there are three steps up to the restroom.

Rating:

Recommended.

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If the appreciation of its neighbors is any way to judge a restaurant, then Gorgeous George's Mediterranean Kitchen has that part down.

Though the restaurant has been open for only three months, the neighbors in Greenwood seem glad to have George Rashed. They wave as they pass by, and Rashed's welcome is as hearty as his food.

"I don't know if I'm gorgeous, but the food is!" he says when asked about the name.

As we entered, muted orange walls were brightened by the evening sun streaming in through huge windows. The space is cozy, no more than 10 tables or so. Local artists' work graces the walls, along with pretty photos of Jerusalem.

Garlic, tahini and lemon rule, and the menu is unapologetically meat-heavy, with the focus on lamb and chicken in sandwiches and marinated kebobs.

Gorgeous George's Mediterranean Kitchen


7719 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; 206-783-0116

Mediterranean

$$

Hours: Noon-9 p.m. daily.

Drinks: Espresso, teas, juices and sodas; wine list coming soon.

Access: No obstacles to the restaurant, but there are three steps up to the restroom.

Rating:

Recommended.

There are several entrees above our Dining Deals boundaries — Spring Lamb Ribs at dinner can take you as high as $24.95 — but most are between $10 and $15. Lunch prices are cheaper.

Portions are massive and could easily be split. Rashed doesn't skimp on the meat, piled high on the plates, or on the starch (pita bread and long-grain rice).

You also get a choice of soup or salad with each entree. I wanted him to bottle up his herby, lemony salad dressing for me to take home.

With all this, it might seem insane to order an appetizer — but it would be a shame to miss the hummus or rich zabra, tahini-sauced fried cauliflower. Rashed also offers a couple grilled-fish dishes (salmon and halibut), served Fridays through Sundays only.

We were full, and had hardly made a dent in our entrees. We decided to take our leftovers home (which ended up being dinner the next night).

With a benevolent glance from Rashed and his parting "God bless you!," we left feeling blessed indeed.

Check please

Hummus: This lemony, creamy chickpea dip had a subtle garlic bite and a dose of rich sesame tahini that rounded out the flavors. A healthy sprinkle of paprika gave it color and depth. This was just as hummus should be.

Chicken shawarma: A big pile of moist, tender chicken — mostly thigh meat dressed in a slightly tomatoey sauce — came with a grilled onion half, a large slice of tomato and rich tahini. The light sauce on the chicken paired beautifully with the tahini. The entree also included subtly spiced long-grain rice and cauliflower soup. Buttery and rich without being too heavy, the soup had a pleasing, earthy texture and a hint of carrot flavor.

Gyro platter: The salad came first, with a ripe red tomato, cucumber and romaine. The dressing — herby with fresh oregano, mint and marjoram — was remarkable. The gyro platter included thick slabs of well-seasoned meat (though some spots were a little too charred), tomato, onion, pita, a tangy tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber and garlic sauce) and rice. It was good, but I would have liked a little more tzatziki.

Baklava: The gooey crunch of rosewater-fragrant, honey-drenched pistachios in golden phyllo dough was a fitting end to our meal.

Espresso: A sign proclaims Caffè Umbria the coffee of choice, and ours was in fine form, served in tiny cups.

Hummus: $4.25

Chicken shawarma: $13.95

Gyro platter: $9.95

Baklava: $2.95

Espresso (2): $3.70

Tax: $3.23

Total: $38.03

Leigh Haddix: haddixleigh@yahoo.com

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