By Dylan Bailey
If you’re a foodie with a taste for Mediterranean cuisine, then you’re in for a treat with the latest entry in Amelia Island’s food scene – Baba’s Mediterranean. Emphasizing fresh, healthy ingredients and classic recipes, Baba’s brings a much-needed Mediterranean flair to the area.
Nestled a few steps away from Centre Street and less than two blocks from the riverfront, Baba’s promises not just an enticing adventure but also a location that’s as convenient as it gets.
The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating options, though space is limited. But that’s not a drawback. It adds to the charm of the place, making it perfect for a quick and light meal before going back to explore Centre Street.
Baba’s boasts a menu as diverse as the Mediterranean region itself. From traditional Egyptian hawawshi (a dish made with beef, lamb, and spices) to couscous, fattoush, and more. While their online menu might seem slim, fear not. An array of desserts and daily specials are in store.
On my visit, I sampled their Greek meatball pita, which was a special. The fluffy pita was generously filled with juicy meatballs, greens, and feta, and slathered with ezme and baba sauce. It was hard to stop myself from going “Mmm…” with every bite.
Next, I tried the seasonal fattoush with chicken shawarma. The fattoush was a vibrant assembly of peaches, greens, radishes, and toasted pita, all tossed in a tangy pomegranate vinaigrette. The chicken shawarma was a perfect addition, making the salad not just rich in flavor but also filling.
A visit to a Mediterranean restaurant wouldn’t be complete without trying baba ganoush, and so I did. This smoked eggplant dip, topped with chopped pistachios and served with pita chips, was a flavor bomb. The smoky, creamy, and savory baba ganoush paired beautifully with the pita chips and offered a taste that was both memorable and delightful.
Sadly, I couldn’t sample their dessert options, which included baklava, a tahini cookie, and baklava cheesecake. But that just gives me another reason to revisit. Baba’s also offers a decent selection of beverages, including beer on tap, bottled beer, and wine. There’s something to pair with every dish on their menu.
Despite having opened recently and receiving mixed reviews initially, my experience at Baba’s Mediterranean was really good. From the atmosphere to the flavorful food and friendly service, everything was spot on. So, if you’re in the mood for some Mediterranean fare, Baba’s has got you covered.
Address: 11 N. Third St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034