Darna, located in the Medical Center at 8132 Fredericksburg Rd., serves up generous portions of authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Jacqueline and I discovered this gem one day while casually driving down Fredricksburg. I’ve always been a huge gyro fan, but I wanted to expand my horizons to other delicious dishes.
My first time at Darna was incredible. I ordered the gyro entree (really switched it up from my typical dish!) which came with a hefty serving of biryani rice, the Darna salad, four pieces of soft pita bread and gyro meat packed on top of it all. The Darna salad always excites me because the vegetables are cut up into large pieces, unlike most salads I’ve tried. Diced cucumber, tomato, onion and bell pepper make up the base of the Darna salad and then it’s tossed with mint and parsley that’s been marinated in lemon and olive oil. If you were like pre-Darna Alyssa and were accustomed to the gyro, the gyro entree is a nice dish to try because you can create your own gyro and spread as much tzatziki sauce as you please while enjoying a huge side of rice.
I was so excited about the gyro plate that I forgot to talk about the appetizers! Don’t worry about running out of pita bread with your hummus at Darna, because you won’t, but in case you do, they’ll serve you more. We tried the mahamarrah, a dish that’s a mixture of tomato and pepper paste, and wiped the plate clean with our large serving of pita bread. Mahamarrh makes the perfect companion to hummus because it’s spicy. I love spicy food and eat the mahamarrah with my rice as well.
Jacqueline ordered the chicken shawarma (spelt shawermah at Darna) with a side biryani rice. Shawarma is a Levantine Arab meat preparation. Lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal or mixed meats are placed on a spit and grilled for as long as a day, increasing the intensity of the flavor. The chicken paired perfectly with the pita bread.
As our meal came to an end, it was clear that we were incapable of having another mouthful of anything. However, after walking by the pastries, we ordered a baklava to go. Baklava is a rich pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweet syrup. The flaky exterior pairs perfectly with the rich syrup inside. Whether I am extremely full or not, I always order a baklava to take home.
Darna will continue to be a restaurant I dine at often because the service is wonderful and the portions always leave me pleasantly full.
We want to know, what’s your favorite Mediterranean dish?