Photo Credit: Photo By Kendall Cope
CAVA Brings A Taste Of Greece To Locals
Hitting Huntsville with flavor comes the highly anticipated CAVA. This Mediterranean restaurant originated in Maryland with three Greek chefs and has made its way into Rocket City.
Located on Whitesburg Drive, CAVA offers the options of dine-in, carryout, delivery, catering and pickup to make it convenient for any schedule. With seldom Mediterranean choices nearby, it allows a flavorful change of pace for locals.
CAVA partners with businesses such as the family-owned Stavros Manolakos olive for olive oil and Damascus Bakery in an effort to provide high quality and healthy options for their restaurants. They advertise making food that tastes good and allows for customers to feel good.
The menu features salad and grain bowls, pitas, cookies and five signature drinks. All of their pitas and bowls can be build-your-own with the choice of spicy lamb meatball, falafel and chicken. They have spreads including tzatziki, hummus, harissa, crazy feta and roasted eggplant to accommodate your preference.
The bowls and pitas range from $10 to $14 with the side spreads being $3 and the bakery items $2.50. Their signature drinks include pineapple apple mint, cucumber mint lime, blueberry lavender and lemonade for $2.60. I would say these prices are fairly reasonable for the quantity and quality of the food you receive.
The inside of the restaurant reminded me of Chipotle with the build-your-own counter and the long line during lunch time. I ordered my food on their website and received it incredibly soon after the date set for pickup, which made for an efficient and healthy lunch. I loved the immense options of available tables and seating along with the modern feel of the restaurant. They also offered seating outside that would be perfect for when the weather warms up, but is far too cold to enjoy at the moment.
After scouring the menu for a good bit of time, I decided to try the saffron rice, tzatziki spread, harissa honey chicken, tomato and cucumber, fire roasted corn, hot harissa vinaigrette, lemon herb tahini, pita chips and the blueberry lavender drink. When I received my meal it was full of vibrant colors and a delicious aroma that confirmed to me I made the right decision.
They advertise making food that tastes good and allows for customers to feel good.”
— Kendall Cope
The chicken and the pita chips were my absolute favorite. The sweetness of the corn and tomato complemented the chicken well. The chicken had a kick to it that was perfect for flavor and not too overbearing which I enjoyed. The pita chips were a perfect pair with the hot harissa vinaigrette, which was probably my favorite combo.
However, next time I will choose the crazy feta spread instead of the tzatziki as I am not a huge fan of yogurt and was unaware that it was the main ingredient in the spread. I also was not a fan of the lemon herb tahini sauce because the lemon was overpowering and made for a sour condiment. The rice differed in being more on the bland side, but with the addition of one of their sauces or the chicken it was delicious.
Since I had never heard of a blueberry lavender beverage, I was enticed by the name and color of the drink. I thoroughly enjoyed the blueberry portion of the drink, but was not expecting the flowery aftertaste. I did not mind it, but beware of the shock if you decide to try it for yourself.
Normally, I tend to stray away from cold food, but CAVA made for the ideal lunch and at a reasonable cost which is always a plus. I would say that I had a great experience overall and can not wait to go back and try their remaining condiments with the knowledge I have now.