• Lillie Burke

Kalamatas fills Mediterranean culinary food niche

It’s official. Belmont has a new neighbor on the block.

What used to be Fresh Blends Juice and Smoothie Bar has now transformed into Kalamatas, a Mediterranean restaurant that opened the last week of February.

With Green Hills and Brentwood locations, the restaurant opened a third location with the Belmont community in mind.

“We are excited to be in the neighborhood,” Maher Fawaz, the restaurant’s owner, said about moving in next to Subway on Portland Avenue.

Fawaz said he sees it as a good investment. It’s another spot for students without transportation to expand their off-campus food options.

“We have a lot of Belmont students coming to the Green Hills location and we wanted to make it more convenient for them,” he said.

Students can show their Belmont ID and receive 5 percent off their purchases.

“Classical Mediterranean cuisine reinterpreted,” as the menu reads, consists of mostly healthy dishes from Spain and the Middle East with Lebanese and Greek influences.

“Our recipes are very healthy and fresh without taking away the unique flavor,” Fawaz said.

With a full menu of choices, all for less than $11, Kalamatas brings together the experience and taste of several cultures and cuisines.

Kalamatas offers appetizers such as hummus and fresh pita, a soup of the day, or rice and vegetable stuffed grape leaves.  The menu also includes Greek and Mediterranean salads, sandwiches and a hummus bar. For those interested in entrees, Kalamatas offers spinach pie, gyro and lamb, chicken or beef kabobs. Many dishes are also vegetarian options.

“The food at Kalamatas is incredible,” Sarah Frueh, a Belmont senior, said. “I love the hummus bar.”

With the support of the community, Fawaz wishes to expand the menu and bring his most popular items to Portland Avenue in the near future.

“All of our fish is very good, but our tuna and salmon are the most popular,” he said.

Kalamatas also offers brownies, cookies, fresh fruit, or pistachio baklava to tempt anyone’s sweet tooth.

Fawaz hopes this new location will be a place where Belmont students and neighbors can have fun and enjoy the home-style cooking Kalamatas has offered for more than 20 years.

And by the way, there is a punctuation question. “Kalamatas” or “Kalamata’s” ? OK, there’s no apostrophe on the signs for the Belmont and Brentwood restaurants, but on the sign in Green Hills, there is an apostrophe. We’re going with two out of three.)

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