Mediterranean Street Food by ShishCo (https://www.mediterraneanstreetfood.com/) is a small free-standing shack in the middle of a shopping plaza parking lot on State Road 17-92 in Maitland, between Casselberry and Winter Park, not far from Lake Lily, the Enzian Theater, and Luke’s Kitchen and Bar. If you live in Orlando, you’ve probably driven by it countless times and might not have given it a second glance. But if you know, you know. I first ate there on New Year’s Day several years ago. It is a perfect setup for drive-through or takeout, but they have a few outdoor tables under an awning, and it was a gorgeous, sunny, chilly day for an al fresco lunch. It helps that I absolutely love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. It’s rare when food is so delicious, yet also relatively healthy.
But I hadn’t been back in a while — not since I started The Saboscrivner in 2018 — so I was long overdue for a return for some serious takeout. About a month back, I ordered us the sampler platter, and me being me, I chose the one that feeds three ($13.50) so my wife and I would have plenty of leftovers, instead of the sampler platter that feeds two ($11.50). It was a huge amount of food, and probably worth the extra two bucks. I think this top container in the photo below was supposed to be babaganoush, but it was nothing like the creamy, smoky eggplant dip we’ve had at other restaurants and always love. It was almost more like a chilled, spicy salsa, with lots of tomatoes in it, and maybe some eggplant too? Nothing like that was listed in the menu online. My wife was disappointed because it wasn’t standard babaganoush, and it remains a mystery to me. The hummus was much better, and you can see they were extremely generous with grilled pita wedges. But that’s not all…
The sampler platter also came with a generous portion of falafel balls (that were more like patties) and the most delicious Turkish egg rolls called sigara boregi — crispy phyllo dough cylinders wrapped around a blend of spiced savory cheese. You can order those separately, and I’d definitely get them again next time. There were stuffed grape leaves too — one of my favorite foods — but I guess I ate those before getting a photo. The sampler also came with tahini and tzatziki sauces.My wife is going through a major falafel phase, so I think we added on a few extra falafel balls for her (75 cents each). The extras came packaged separately, but trust me, they look the same as the ones above.
This is the doner/gyro bowl ($10.49), which is a huge amount of food and a terrific value for the price and quality. The doner/gyro meat is a combination of beef and lamb, served in a soft, fluffy bread bowl over rice with lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions, all dusted with savory za’atar seasoning. This is what I ordered on my first visit a few years ago. I sat at one of their tables under the awning on a beautiful, sunny, cool January day and felt like a king, eating this in the middle of that parking lot. I loved it then and loved it this time too. The bread bowl is really fantastic. I like to tear off pieces and make little roll-ups with all the ingredients.
And this is the chicken shish kebab bowl (also $10.49), served the same way. I hesitate to order chicken at a lot of restaurants because it is often dry and bland, but I knew this would be good because the menu said it was grilled dark meat, marinated in spices. I love dark meat chicken, especially thighs, and the best thing you can do to prepare chicken is marinate it before cooking. It was very tender, juicy, and flavorful, plus you got more of that nice rice and another fluffy bread bowl. Needless to say, the two of us got a few meals out of all of this bounty.
These two bowls might have come with additional tzatziki sauce cups too — I’m afraid I don’t remember, but they probably should have. I made sure to request a little two-ounce cup of the “Julides hot relish” listed on the menu under Add Ons (50 cents), and that was terrific stuff. It’s one more condiment I would happily buy by the jar.
Anyway, I don’t intend to stay away from Mediterranean Street Food this long again. In an attempt to live a little healthier (and longer), we have both been eating a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food recently, especially from Casselberry’s Beyti Mediterranean Grill, an amazing Turkish restaurant that opened last October, that we have been to many times. We love that place! This return trip to Mediterranean Street Food in Maitland was an attempt to switch up our routine, and it was good too. I can’t think of too many world cuisines that are just as tasty and somehow also pretty healthy. Usually you have to trade one for the other, but not at Mediterranean Street Food.