Whenever I'm in PDX, I try to hit up Baba's Mediterranean Grill because the act of creating a build-your-own falafel bowl is my own personal yellow brick road. I was always disappointed to come back to Bend, knowing my sweet, customizable gyro love was being left behind in Portland.
Enter Kefi Fast Fresh Mediterranean. Everything I loved from Baba's was finally available in Bend, but Kefi's ingredients tasted even better. The lemon harissa tahini sauce melts in your mouth, the kabobs taste like sunshine—and don't even get me started on the grilled corn garbanzo salad. Plus, they opened at the height of COVID, making their future anything but certain.
Owner Nick Stanitsas explains, "We didn't have an online ordering system or website set up yet. As a result, we had to take call-in orders on only one phone line. This meant spending hours on call-in orders each day and calling people back when we missed their calls. Another thing we did during the pandemic was we kept all of our employees. Even if it meant my parents and I didn't get paid ourselves. Myself, my 58-year-old mother and 63-year-old father all worked 12 hour days, seven days a week to keep this place going."
But aside from the excellent service, Stanitsas knows the secret to his success: "Once you try it, you're hooked. The freshness of the ingredients, and the fact we make 90% of everything in-house keep the people coming back. Especially the baklava." No arguments here.
2nd - Deeply Rooted