A few new restaurants have popped up in Charleston recently, with Olive Tree Cafe receiving the most praise. This Mediterranean meets American restaurant features everything from shawarma and falafel to Philly cheesesteaks and hot dogs.
The cafe is charming. It has a good bit of seating, a deli with fresh meats and cheeses, a Pepsi Spire machine (!!) and other packaged goods for purchase.
Up at the counter, I ordered the Olive Tree Shawarma because it's one of their signature sandwiches: marinated, slow roasted steak with garlic sauce, shredded pickles, onion, tomato and tahini in a pita. I also got a side of the Olive Tree Pasta Salad.
After a short wait, my meal was delivered. The shawarma wasn't so much wrapped, as it was reliant upon the paper to keep it together, which proved problematic when I need to peel it away. And although there was too much lettuce, the flavors of both the tender meat and the garlic sauce was pretty tasty. A few grizzly bits, but overall - pretty good.
The pasta salad was billed as: Al dente cavatappi topped with the perfect blend of veggies and spices with a little bite. I found it a bit underwhelming, unfortunately. Not bad, just not a ton of flavor and lacking the veggies and spices I was looking forward to.
So, overall I think this place is fine. I liked my shawarma, but I wasn't blown away. I think the pasta salad was fine. I like the little space, and I'm not sure how I feel about it seeming to have a bit of a mixed vision. But, I think I'll just have to try some more to see.