Taking its name from the Greek word for honey, many visitors might be surprised by the lack of Greek standards at Meli—particularly given its address. Instead of gyros and kebabs, you'll find a spruced-up cafe menu with a focus on high-grade ingredients and pleasant presentation.
Items like the chicken aioli sandwich approach standard diner recipes with an original (in this case garlicky) twist, and the red pepper shavings around the edge of the plate make you feel fancy, even if you're in a T-shirt and jeans. Plenty of healthy options (including a full juice bar with unusual treats like a maple pecan smoothie) sit alongside deliciously unhealthy ones (like the Cloud 9 crepes, which are stuffed with a strawberry filling that makes you fell like you're eating a big plate of fancy truffles).
The Greek influence is absent from the decor as well. Forget columns and statues of Zeus; here it's bright colors and lightly stained wood. The space itself is divided into two large rooms, each with its own big painting of flowers, and the seating, while perhaps a little too close together, is comfortable. Don't be surprised to find everyone from businessfolk in suits to cops in uniform to slackers in sandals (weather permitting), all feeling a-OK at Meli's tables. And with most entrees priced below $10, they're all going to leave happy.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Mac McCormick