Carrie and I wanted some alone time for dinner tonight, so we left the kids at home and went to try a new Mediterranean restaurant that just opened around the corner call Mirage. Located at 880 NE 25th Ave, Ste 6 in Hillsboro, in the stip mall adjascent to Albertsons. We had no idea what to expect as far as quality, but like to support local business when we have the chance.
We started with hummus, and were pleasantly surprised. Carrie normally isn't a hummus fan, but she polished off more than I did of this appetizer. There was a great balance of oil and citrus, and a very nice nutty flavor to the garbanzo. Very well executed.
Carrie ordered the gyro platter, which was strangely served without any pita at all. The meat was obviously processed, rather than being hand cut and stacked on the spit. Normal in this price range around here, but I was really hoping for real meat. It has been a long time since I had a real authentically made gyro. The meat was served abed basmati rice, with a mediterranean salad.
I ordered the Kabob combo plate, and it was great. Featuring Chicken, Beef, and Kafta kabobs I thought it would be a good sampling of how Mirage did food. The kabobs were served over basmati rice which was well prepared with plenty of saffron and seasoning. The Kafta was moist and full of classic flavors, with a great blend of seasoning that was very pleasing. The chicken kabob was very moist and well marinated, without any tough spots or lack of flavor. The beef was well marinated, but slightly over cooked. I prefer beef medium rare, and this was decidedly well past that point. The other issue with the beef was that it was tepid rather than hot. This may be a result of it being the third one I tried, but I would have preferred it to be warmer. The platter was also served with a nice mediterranean salad, but it surprisingly included no feta, nor any dressing to speak of. It really could have used one or the other.
Service was good, with a very friendly waitress that was excited that it was our first visit. She refused to let us leave without trying their Baklava, which she threw in free of charge just to get us to taste it. It was great, without the walnuts that can make it bitter, and they add a layer of custard that I had never seen in a baklava before. It was far and away the best baklava I have had since the last time my grandfather made it for me more than 20 years ago.
In all Mirage was good but not great in my opinion. Since it is so close to the house I am sure we will be back, as prices were reasonable and food was not bad. It isn't Fat Boy Heaven, but it will make a great addition to local lunches. You can learn more from their website here.