I finally got a chance to eat lunch at Mumtaz, the Mediterranean restaurant in Lafayette. I’d seen a sign on the side of Highway 287 several months ago, but I guess I just don’t get to Lafayette very often around meal time. And actually, I was planning to drive up to Longmont to try out a coffee shop and taqueria. But I stopped by Mumtaz, and saw that they open at 11 AM, and that they have falafel. So I stopped in for lunch.
The food is, supposedly, Lebanese. The restaurant was started by a Lebanese immigrant who learned to cook from her grandmother. And now her adult son runs the business. I guess you’d call it a “quick service” restaurant, meaning that it’s not a “sit down and someone comes to take your order” type place, nor is it a “place your order and wait for it at the counter” type place. The menu is pretty thorough, will all the Mediterranean basics – falafel, gyros, pita, hummus, baba ganoush. You order at the counter, then go get a drink, and a few minutes later your order appears at the counter.
I ordered the falafel plate because I’ve been having a craving for Israeli style falafel lately. Unfortunately, this didn’t really satisfy it. The falafel plate included a lot of food. It had 6 falafel patties, tahini, baba ganoush, hummus, green salad, and a big pita. Everything was pretty much as I expected, but the falafel patties were different than any others I’ve had. At Mutaz, they’re made from chick peas (garbanzo beans) plus fava beans, with garlic, onion, and other spices. The batter is really, really thick, and so the patties were unusually chewy. I like falafel when it’s crispy on the outside and then somewhat light on the inside, but this wasn’t like that. And it was brownish purple instead of green on the inside, which was strange. I guess that’s the fava beans.
I had just come from a coffee shop, so all I wanted to drink was water. That’s just as well because I didn’t see any special drinks on the menu. Just the usual American soda fountain stuff. I did notice that the gyros are of the variety where they have a big spit of meat rotating on a roaster, and then they shave off pieces from the outside. I like that sort of “fresh” meat a lot more than the grilled type. So, since I didn’t really care for the falafel, I think when I visit next I’ll be sure to get the gyros.
And I will go back. Mumtaz didn’t knock my socks off, but most of the meal was decent. And it’s the only Mediterranean food (not counting Italian) that I think you’ll find in either Lafayette or Broomfield without going to the shopping mall. The meal plate was about $8.25 with tax, but for the amount of food you get, I think it’s worth it.
588 North Highway 287
Lafayette, CO 80026
(by the way, their takeout menu/flyer has that website on it, but when I tried to visit their site, there was some kind of error and it wouldn’t load)