Nestled away in the Moorestown Commons off of Young Avenue, The Blue Fig Café offers a host of delicacies from the Eastern Mediterranean. This afternoon, they treated me to the pleasure of dining on the best lunch I’ve ever had.
As the tag line “the Essence of Mediterranean Cuisine” intrigued me, I decided to partake of the full experience. I started off with a Lebanese Tea with Mint. The small glass it came in added to the cultural ambiance. What an outstanding beverage. I discovered that it tasted just as good with or without sweetener. I’ve never written that about tea before. For tea-totallers interested in something with more of a punch than regular tea without the harsh, spicy aftertaste of Indian tea, my recommendation would be as strong as this tea itself. Just don’t drink it less than two hours before bed time.
My server brought over some flat bread with an olive spread. The later had the texture of ground meat, so the olive taste did surprise me. I’ve had them on many occasions, but I give the chef credit: he included just the right amount of olive oil. My server offered to bring more bread. I took advantage just so I could have more of the spread. With the greatest of respect to the folks who make olive loaf: that’s the first time I recall making a provision so I could eat more olives.
For my main entrée I ordered the Shish Tawook. The menu described it as, “Tender marinated char-grilled chicken cubes with a touch of our house spice blend. Served over rice or couscous and grilled vegetable.” In essence, think Shish Kebob while substituting chicken for meat. I had mine with the couscous. It tasted excellent, but I wouldn’t call it spicy. However, the meal included a creamy dipping sauce. That may explain why I didn’t find it very zesty; either that or I’m mentally comparing it to Indian food. Let’s face it: after eating Indian, not even jalapenos taste spicy.
I didn’t see it listed on the menu, but the lunch even came with a salad: a real salad. The later contained very fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. The unexpected addition to my lunch pleasantly surprised me. The café didn’t just deliver what it promised: it over-delivered. I can’t think of a previous time I’ve encountered that.
I liked the authentic Eastern music adding to the ambiance. The three large pictures on the wall of the sea and some Grecian rock formations enhanced the overall decor. My one criticism involved the size of the interior. I went at an odd time and was the only patron in the building for most of my visit. It still seemed cramped. I thought a lot of the tables very close together. If I’d eaten at a peak time, I would’ve been concerned about elbowing the person sitting next to me.
To be fair, the Blue Fig Café offered outdoor seating. I noticed plenty of space outside. In fact, one of the reasons I was the sole diner in the building was because the other patrons chose to eat there. The next few months will be a great time to do so, especially in the evenings. The establishment also provides take out, and, much to their credit, delivers.
Without doubt, the Blue Fig Café served the finest meal I’ve ever had for $12. While I did have the chicken, they serve a number of meat-based lunches for only a dollar more. They also provide kid’s meals. Zagat’s rated them, as well. For those looking for quality, value and a taste of the East, I’d strongly recommend the Blue Fig Café in Moorestown, NJ.