Livermore is a gem in the east bay that has fantastic wine and food options. Today I happened to be passing through Livermore and needed a place to get a quick lunch. I used yelp to find a good spot to try out. When I searched restaurants in downtown Livermore, my attention automatically went to Middle Eastern place called Petra. It had 542 reviews and a perfect 5 star rating. I use yelp pretty often for food, so I know it is pretty rare to find a restaurant that is 5 stars with so many reviews. I knew immediately that I had to try it out.
When I entered the restaurant I was instantly overcome by the cheery and pleasant demeanor from the waitress. I later found out that the restaurant is run by a husband and wife team. The husband is in the back cooking and the wife is the main waitress. I can honestly say that this was some of the best customer service I have ever had. The wife was amazingly kind and attentive. Once I sat down, she offered me some complementary decaf tea that is steeped with cardamom pods. The tea was hot and soothing with the perfect amount of spice from the cardamom pods. Not to mention, refills were endless. It was perfect for a rainy day!
As I scanned the menu I saw that there was a hummus appetizer and I knew immediately that I had to try it. I love hummus. It is one of my favorite foods. When she brought out the hummus, it was a thing of beauty. The thick, luscious hummus was shaped in a circular pattern around the bowl and then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh herbs, slivered almonds, and spices. It is so gorgeous that it looked like a piece of art. Using the pita bread I dipped it generously in the hummus and took a bite. I’ve had a lot of hummus in my day. Yet, nothing compares to this hummus. This was the best hummus I’ve ever had. No joke. It had a creamy and velvety texture with a smoky flavor from the added cumin. The sprinkled slivered almonds and herbs on top added a great crunch with the thick hummus. I literally couldn’t stop eating this hummus until it was all gone.
Next up was the lentil soup. This was also some of the best lentil soup I’ve ever had. It had a rich and earthy flavor with a smooth texture. Sprinkled with some fresh herbs on top, this was the perfect soup to satisfy my stomach. Not to mention, incredibly healthy!
The last thing I ordered was the combination meat platter with chicken and beef. The chicken and beef were incredibly tender and packed full of flavor from the spices rubbed on the outside of the meat. It came on a bed of fluffy basmati rice, a fresh salad, and grilled onion and tomatoes on the side. Sprinkled with crunchy almonds, sumac, and fresh herbs for texture. Within the first bite, it became very clear to me why this place had 5 stars on yelp and so many reviews. If you are a fan of middle eastern food, this is worth the drive!