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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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Restaurant Review: Sofra Family Bistro

Full Disclosure:  I paid for this meal with my own money and I was in no way reimbursed for this blog post.  The opinions are completely my own.

I’ve talked in the past about how sometimes it is overwhelming that Madison has so many diverse and interesting food choices. Sometimes, the diversity actually works in my favor.   Often times, when I am very hungry/tired/lazy, I just want to go somewhere close, preferably new, and food I will like.  Sofra Family Bistro is fairly close to our house, and it is a kind of food that we don’t have often – in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had Mediterranean food. The husband, however, was excited to go and convinced me that there would be food that I would like.  And that is the beginning of my first Mediterranean dining experience.

When we got to the restaurant, it was filled with a few families, but otherwise not very crowded.  The waitstaff was very friendly throughout the meal, and I could tell by their interactions with other customers that there are many regulars that come in frequently – this made me a bit more excited to eat this unknown food – at least other people think it is good enough to come back to.

The meal started out with olive bread and dipping oil.  Now, I know I’ve said in the past that I’d probably never meet a bread that I didn’t like, but this might be the exception.  But that’s not to say it was a total loss.  The bread itself was good, warm and squishy.  I’m just not a fan of Olives.

Sofra Bread

We don’t often order appetizers, but we were both really hungry, and they were half price, so we decided to go for it.  We got the Baked Feta - Feta cheese baked with extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs and pita bread.  The cheese was delicious, I just wish that there was more bread to accompany it since, for me, feta is pretty strong flavored on its own.

Sofra Feta Appetizer

After the appetizer came our salads. The husband and I both got them, but since they are virtually identical I’ll spare the time and space and only show you one photo.  The salad was good, nothing spectacular, but a good addition to the meal….I kind of wish we had saved some of the feta to put on top of it!

Sofra Salad

For dinner, the husband had the Beef Skewers - Beef tenderloin marinated in Mediterranean spices, grilled to perfection, served with rice, fresh grilled zucchini, hummus and yoghurt-dill sauce.  He said it was good, and was a big fan of the yoghurt-dill sauce.  Ideally he would liked to have gotten some kind of meat sampler, but the only option for that was a two-person meal.  Sorry folks, I’m not eating sausage and lamb for dinner anytime soon.

Sofra Beef

I got the Chicken Tosca – Tender grilled chicken breast, served with zucchini, sweet peppers, rice, hummus, smoked roasted pepper aioli and yoghurt-dill sauce. I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed this!  It definitely is not something I should have been concerned about not liking.  Chicken, zucchini, rice – why did I think I wouldn’t like this? The zucchini may have been my favorite part actually, it’s not often that I eat grilled zucchini!Sofra Chicken

So overall, I’d say the meal was a success.  I enjoyed the food, the staff was very friendly (you could tell it is family owned), and now I can say I’ve tried Mediterranean food……something that definitely was not at the top of my desirable list at all before this.

Taste: A, I did actually like this. And honestly, it was much more plain and less “weird” than I expected.
Cost:  A-, not too bad.  Considering the portion size, and that it is a local establishment, I didn’t the it was bad at all.  Although it might be more than I’d typically pay at a burger joint, the quality and interest of the food makes up for it.

Would I go there again?  Hmmmm….I’m up in the air on this one.  If someone asked me to go there? Yes. Would I choose to have Mediterranean food instead of some other kind of more American style food? Probably not.  BUT (maybe most importantly) I now will not be (as) afraid of going to other Mediterranean restaurants in the future.

Sofra Family Bistro on Urbanspoon

4 Responses

  1. Huzzah for trying new things!

  2. Hey! I just found this blog, and I’m a senior at UW-Madison, so I’m super excited to hear more from you!

    Great review – I’ll definitely take your opinion into account next time I decide where to eat out.

    Best,

    Gabby

  3. This review is, well, unique.
    You consider downgrading a part of your meal, at a Mediterranean restaurant no less, because there are olives in some of the dishes?!
    Do you also criticize pizza places for having high-carb food when you’re on a low-carb diet? Olives are an integral part of Med. cuisine, and not to be considered a negative at a Mediteranean restaurant. Expect olives, and/or don’t go if that bothers you.
    Don’t be like the vegetarian who criticizes the steakhouse because there’s too much meat on the menu.
    And you won’t be having lamb or sausages for dinner anytime soon? Why not? Those are pretty mild choices as food to eat. It’s not like you’re eating haggis or “Rocky Mountain Oysters.”
    Then you reference this place in comparison to a hamburger joint on some level (when making a dining choice)? Why would you do that when these 2 places are absolutely nothing alike?
    I like that you’re getting out and trying new things. Kudos to you on that. Sincerely.
    But this place must be really, really good and underrated by you (and it is) if it can satisfy your too parochial view on types of cuisine.
    Keep trying new kinds of foods, though!
    -Gary

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