Olive Tree Caffe, Petaluma
Drove down to P-town for some outlet shopping and stopped at Olive Tree Caffe for some lunch.
First off, the ambiance of this place is just odd. Looks like an old Sizzler or Bakers Square. They haven't improved much on the space. We were seated promptly, and the only other diners throughout the hour we dined there were all over the age of 70. Not a problem...just so people get the ambiance I'm talking about.
Despite the odd decor, the menu is not cheap. Knowing we were there to try the Med. specialties we asked our waitress who recommended a few dishes. We tried: 1) The Med. Sampler appetizer (falafel, babaganoush, hummus, tabouleh, dolmades, and pita) and 2) the beef Mousakka.
I've never had "authentic" mousakka, so I don't know if this is it, but what I do know, is it is DELICIOUS. 3 well seasoned beef "balls" (but they were more like patties) SMOTHERED in a flavorful melange of peppers, tomatoes, and cooked onions. This was all served up on a bed of rice/lentil mixture (and oddly, covered with a pre-shredded cheese blend. Despite the weird cheese, the dish was a stand out. Really tender beef and a flavorful mixture of veggies on top. YUM YUM YUM. $12.95, but a very large portion.
Hubby and I also shared the sampler. It was also good, though we both prefer the falafel at Real Doner down the road. One interesting aspect was I kept getting a pretty spicy kick, I couldn't figure out what it was until I noticed the finely diced "green peppers" in the tabouleh and sprinkled on the hummus. JALAPENOS! Of course. Something I'd never seen as a topper in a Med. restaurant, or eaten, but it added a really nice flavor to both. $8.99, great deal.
All in all, there aren't many Med. dishes on the menu, but the two we had were a very nice surprise. Go here, just don't expect stellar service, or normal ambiance. The food more than makes up for it, though.
Olive Tree Caffe
840 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, CA