A Mediterranean sampler

Two round homemade Pita bread sliced into quarters and arranged neatly in a small basket completed the tray of the “Mediterranean Sampler”, a specialty served only by Barracuda Bar & Grill located at the Fish n’ Fins in Palau.
Chef Cesar Adriosula set the tray on the table with a flourish, complete with seven different dips for me to photograph- and to taste. Restaurant owner Tova Bornovsky said that in Palau, the Mediterranean Sampler is served only at the Barracuda Bar & Grill.
“Bread is the staple food in the Mediterranean area and the Middle East, just as rice is the staple in Asia. We make our own bread because there’s a technique that’s unique for making the Pita bread,” Tova said. She added that tasting the Mediterranean Sampler would be like taking a glimpse of the Middle East.
You just open one slice of the Pita bread, open its center and stuff it with any or all of the seven dips—and presto, you have an instant appetizer. Tova however said that for some, the whole serving is already a meal by itself.

And the dips.
Falapal is a fried vegetarian patty made of garbanzo beans and parsley which serves as a healthy substitute for burgers. The roasted eggplant dip originated from Greece. It is mixed with mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. The Hummus dip is a concoction of garbanzos beans with sesame sauce. Tzaziki dip is made up of cucumber and yogurt. Of French origin is the eggplant dip, marinated in balsamic vinegar and rosemary. The sautéed tomato dip is of Turkish origin similar to the Mexican salsa. It is kind of sour but when used as a filling gives off a satisfying taste that leaves you craving for more. Pumpkin dip is crushed pumpkin fried with cumin seed and powder.
One order of the Mediterranean Sampler costs only $11.50 and is more than enough for two people to share. I just tasted one slice of the bread and stuffed it with three of the dips, and it was enough for my lunch.
Taste the Mediterranean Sampler for yourself and also check out their other delectable menus. Barracuda Bar & Grill also serves soups, breakfasts, appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, entrees of fish and seafood, chicken, vegetables, and lamb- all served with rice, homemade bread and fresh salad, all served at budget-friendly prices.
Barracuda Grill & Bar caters to all parties and functions. Please call 488-5416 or 488-2637 for inquiries/reservations.
Barracuda Bar & Grill opens at 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Published in Island Times, September 28, 2006 issue

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