A few weeks ago, we were invited by Christian Falatko, the owner of Medi, to come down to Shirlington and sample his Greek fast-casual concept. Christian is a Virginia native who has had quite an extensive history in the restaurant industry. He managed a catering company where, at one particular event, waited on four living presidents. After that, Christian and his business partner and lifelong friend George Theodorou opened Delia’s Mediterranean Grill in Alexandria.
Last summer, the two decided to open a casual offshoot of Delia’s which they named Medi. Located in downtown Shirlington, Medi is like a Greek version of Chipotle where diners construct their meal based around three styles: a pita, bowl, or salad.
Proteins range from Greek marinated chicken to slow-roasted pulled pork to Mediterranean skirt steak. Our favorite, however, was the spicy braised lamb seasoned with peppers and medi spices. And vegetarians fear not – you can order balsamic grilled veggies as your main ingredient.
From there, you have a plethora of freshly-made dips and toppings to choose from. Medi even offers preconfigured topping selections such as Moroccan and Europa style featuring a combination of veggies and dips.
Be sure that your meal includes the Kalamata olive spread and roasted eggplant dip as they particularly stood out due to their freshness and flavor. The “Spicy 17 Spread”, Medi’s version of harissa, was pleasantly spicy without having to reach for a glass of water. Other harissa dips are oftentimes too spicy but this spread had just the right amount of kick to it.
I ordered a Moroccan-style lamb bowl which included the Spicy 17 spread, sweet peppers and onions, cilantro, tomato, and red onion. Sitting under a bed of lemon and mint infused rice, it was a satisfying dish with flavors that really complemented one another, especially between the sweet peppers and raisins.
On top of that, Medi also offers “Gyritos”, the restaurant’s take on a Greek style taquito. Featuring gyro meat and feta, it’s then rolled into a white corn tortilla, fried, then topped with a balsamic glaze and a side of tzatziki. Delightfully crispy, the Gyritos make for an excellent alternative if you’re not in the mood for Medi’s typical offerings.
All and all, we had an excellent visit at Medi. The nautical-themed interior has a warm, inviting feeling to it. In fact, Christian mentioned that the ropes on the walls were actually from the ship used in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. If you’re ever in the mood for Greek but don’t feel like sitting down for a full-service meal, Medi makes for a solid choice.