Walking along the row of busy shops at Legacy West, I stopped in front of a smaller eatery with the name CAVA spelled boldly on the awning. Having not heard much of this restaurant, I was unsure of exactly what to expect. I opened the door and a strong smell of cumin immediately invigorated my senses.
The atmosphere was bright, clean and inviting. Standing in front of the counter, I noticed an array of foods: greens, grains, spreads, proteins and dressings. Behind the assembly line, I could see employees grilling proteins and preparing sides.
The ordering process was quick and simple. Beginning with the base, I chose the greens and grains option. I then moved to the array of dips and spreads, selecting classic hummus and tzatziki.
A variety of protein options stood before me: grilled chicken, spicy lamb meatballs, falafel, roasted vegetables and more. Although I was offered two protein options, I chose the grilled chicken.
The hardest part was next. A fresh selection of Greek toppings was laid out for my choosing. After moments of internal debating, I loaded my bowl with a seasoned tomato and onion salad, diced cucumber, crumbled feta and a mouthwatering pita on the side.
The restaurant also had a large assortment of fountain drink options. At first, I tried the beet lemonade, but it had too much of a dirt taste for my liking. I then tested the apple, cinnamon and vanilla juice. I loved this one because it tasted like an iced apple cider with a slight vanilla kick.
I sat down and admired the bright and aromatic bowl. I took my first bite and immediately knew I’d be coming here often. The ingredients in the bowl mixed effortlessly, making the perfect hybrid of Greek cuisine.
The chicken was seasoned skillfully, creating a burst of flavor without the spice overpowering other ingredients. My dad tried the spicy lamb meatballs and was very pleased with them as well.
The greens, grains and vegetables accompanied everything well and were clearly very fresh and high quality. Tying the bowl together perfectly, the hummus and tzatziki added an extra burst of delicious greek flavor.
Last but certainly not least was the pita. Once again, my expectations were exceeded. The pita was fluffy and subtly seasoned, making it perfect to use with the leftover spreads and dressing.
Although the Legacy West location in Plano is about a 30-minute drive from my house, a more convenient location will be opening in Uptown on McKinney Avenue very soon.
I would highly recommend CAVA to anyone who loves fresh and flavorful Greek foods. The menu is open to anyone with dietary restrictions, so no worries if you are vegan, vegetarian or just trying to eat clean. I will definitely be returning to CAVA for more delicious bowls and cannot wait for the Uptown location to open.
FROM THE FOURCAST KITCHEN
Lea Whitley’s Recipe for Simply Delicious Hummus
1 29 ounce can of garbanzo beans
½ cup of unsweetened tahini
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and turn to a medium speed. Adjust the speed as needed until texture is creamy.
Add water if you feel necessary for the texture.
Once finished blending, pour into serving container and enjoy with your favorite veggies or pita chips.
Story and photo by Lea Whitley