A message to the south enders (heck, a message to everybody!): Did you realize that we have an outstanding falafel/kabab restaurant down here in Hillman City/Rainier Beach? I'd driven past Mawadda Cafe, in the somewhat unappealing mini-strip mall at Graham and Rainier, many times and just recently decided to stop in.
I entered with the intent of ordering a falafel sandwich ($5.99) but immediately got distracted by the veggie combo ($9.99), which I ordered to go. There were quite a few vegetarian options on the menu, including falafel, dolmas, spanakopita, salad, hummus, and a veggie patty made with eggplant, zucchini and potato.
When I got home and opened the box, I was delighted to see all of the (made from scratch!) components of my combo: two falafel patties, two dolmas, a big well tucked triangle of spanakopita, a container of hummus, a warm pita, a container of cucumber yogurt sauce, a container of garlic sauce, and a big pile of salad. And I was even more delighted, upon tasting each item, to realize that everything was absolutely delicious, possibly even the best versions I'd ever had. Everything was perfectly spiced and bursting with fresh flavor. The spanakopita was packed with lemony spinach and cheese and was notably fantastic.
The falafel had a most exquisite crust. I've never had anything quite like it... it was highly textured and fried to a delicious brown but didn't feel greasy. The inside was moist and well seasoned. Unless you live really close by, I'd recommend eating at the restaurant (rather than "to go") so that you can experience the falafel hot.
There were all kinds of goodies on the menu that I'd love to try, including homemade chai and four different types of middle eastern pastries (baklava, busma, burma and baluri). The refrigerated drink case had a few interesting beverages in it too, including a mint flavored yogurt drink and mango lassi.
What a great discovery!!