(Update, 9/20/2007. I'm sad to say that Mediterranean Spirit has closed.)
Nearly every week, you can bet on finding me at Mediterranean Spirit -- a small, family-run restaurant at Polk and Bush in San Francisco. I was first lured into Mediterranean Spirit by some exuberant reviews on Chowhound, but I continue to return because I crave their delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.
Upon entering the restaurant, you will most likely be greeted by owner Khalil Aboudamous or his wife Lubna. If it's the weekend, one of their children may be working behind the counter. This is a counter-service restaurant, so you can order and then take a seat where your food will be brought to you.
The Vegetarian Special ($7.95) is a good way to try out some of the best things that Mediterranean Spirit has to offer. Khalil makes the falafel balls fresh, which is something that he claims only occurs at a small handful of restaurants in town. I am a relatively new convert to baba ghanoush, and the baba served here is some of the best I've had, with a great balance of smoky eggplant to lemony acid. The dish is also served with dolmas, delicious hummus, and tabouleh salad.