On a Sunday night a few weeks ago, we were in the mood for Mediterranean food but had trouble finding a restaurant that was open. A friend of ours, who lives off Taylorsville Road, introduced my husband and me to a little place called Petra. Petra Restaurant and Cafe is a small locally owned Mediterranean restaurant located on Bardstown Road in the Buechel neighborhood.
We walked into a small dimly lit place with only a few tables but the smell of grilled meat was in the air and my mouth began to water. One of the tables seated what appeared to be family members or close friends of the restaurant owners which aided in creating the cozy atmosphere. The restaurant was mostly empty but we did run into friends who were there to smoke hookah and order some hummus they had heard so much about. I regretted not ordering the hummus after that. :)
My friend John ordered the gyro combo ($6.99) which came with fries and a drink. The Gyro consisted of rotisserie grilled lamb and beef, onions, tomatoes, and Tzatziki sauce. My husband ordered the Lamb Shwarma ($9.99) which came with seasoned rice and salad. I had the Chicken Tikka ($11.99) which also came with seasoned rice and salad. We all shared an appetizer order of falafels (12 for $2.99).
The falafels were amazing; crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. They came with tahini sauce which acted as the perfect compliment. The portions were huge and definitely worth the price. The Shwarma was like little lamb 'bacon bits' and the chicken was spicy with crispy skin and moist meat. The rice was seasoned with saffron (my favorite!) and the salad had cabbage, carrots, cucumber and onion and was tossed with a light citrusy dressing. We didn't have room for dessert but bought some Baklava to take home for later.
It's easy to overlook this little gem but I suggest stopping by if you're in the mood for authentic mediterranean food. The extensive menu includes items like Hummus, grape leaves, Tabouli, Fatouch, Baba Ganouge and a variety of kebabs.
Petra Restaurant and Cafe
3904 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40218