Last updated on November 28th, 2016

This is the best lunch spot in Walla Walla, Washington: Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen
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Whenever we’re in Walla Walla, Washington, for wine tasting, or just for visiting family (they live nearby), we are always excited to stop at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen for lunch or dinner. Not only is it some of the best food in town, it has a cozy, warm atmosphere that transports you to a small town in Spain, rather than a small town in Washington.

If you haven’t heard, Walla Walla is a fantastic place to go wine tasting. It has one of the largest conglomerations of wineries in the state. When we’re out wine tasting, the first place we think of to stop for a lunch refueling is always Saffron. It’s open every day from 2pm to 9pm, or 10pm in the summer. If you arrive by 2pm on a Saturday, you’ll have your pick of spots to sit. During dinner and busy times of the year, like in the summer, reservations are always recommended.

A few weekends ago, we stopped by Saffron for a lunch break after hitting up a couple of wineries on the Southside of town. We were the first to arrive so we grabbed the booth table by the window. You know I do these food posts just to make you drool and give a little food porn for the food-obsessed fans out there.

The food is mostly Mediterranean tapas with a strong Spanish influence. We ordered as much of the menu as possible for three people to consume. For lunch, the pastas and entree items are not available, but there are plenty of other options.

Each dish we ate was just as delicious as the last.

Housemade yogurt spread with zatar and freshly baked pita
Housemade yogurt spread with zatar and freshly baked pita

We started with a housemade spread and pita bread. The spread was a strained yogurt base topped with zatar spice. The homemade pita bread was pipping hot, and both chewy and crispy. Perfect for dipping in our spread.

Patatas Bravas fingerling potatoes, saffron aioli, spicy tomato sauce & chili pepper
Patatas Bravas fingerling potatoes, saffron aioli, spicy tomato sauce & chili pepper

Next we had Patatas Bravas, which consists of fingerling potatoes, saffron aioli, spicy tomato sauce & chili pepper. It was not quite what I remember the Patatas Bravas being like in Spain because the aioli had saffron and the sauce was not as sweet, but they were very good.

Octopus, extra virgin olive oil poached potatoes, olives & smoked paprika
Octopus, extra virgin olive oil poached potatoes, olives & smoked paprika

I don’t tend to order octopus because it’s rarely done well and I’m not a fan of chewy, rubbery food. It’s normal to be leary of the pulpo (octopus). I like that word. But at Saffron, there’s no need to worry. The Pulpo is cooked perfectly. There’s no rubberiness – just tender bits of deliciousness, doused in olive oil and paprika.

Tartar, all natural lamb & beef, roasted pepper, preserved lemon, fresh herbs, bulgar wheat, nigella seed, chili oil & grilled pita
Tartar, all natural lamb & beef, roasted pepper, preserved lemon, fresh herbs, bulgar wheat, nigella seed, chili oil & grilled pita

I really need to start making tartar at home. My worry is that I won’t be able to get fresh-enough meat to work with, but that’s just a matter of sourcing quality, and Seattle is great for that. I love a good beef tartar. The one we had at Saffron was a mixture of Lamb and Beef Tartar, with roasted pepper, preserved lemon, fresh herbs, bulgar wheat, nigella seed, chili oil & grilled pita to scoop it all up on. Delicious.

Beef cheeks, fig mostarda, R&R Farms apples, curry, basil & house made saba
Beef cheeks, fig mostarda, R&R Farms apples, curry, basil & house made saba

We had one extra dish than we ordered delivered to the table, which none of us were sad about. It was the Beef Cheeks, which we had foregone in order to get the tartar. Alas, they took pity on us and convinced us to try both. Turned out the Beef Cheeks were amazing. The meat was so tender and falling apart. It was served with a fig mostarda, R&R Farms apples, curry, basil & house made saba. You agree that the plate looks incredible right? It tasted even better than it looks.

Iberico ham, fire roasted romesco, olives, Manchego, fresh parsely & toasted almonds
Iberico ham, fire roasted romesco, olives, Manchego, fresh parsely & toasted almonds

Finally, we obviously saved room for the flatbread. This one had Iberico ham, fire roasted romesco, olives, Manchego, fresh parsely & toasted almonds. I think flatbread is a fickle thing. It’s not always done very well. Unfortunately, I think the one we ordered went a little too pizza-ish for my liking. It had a tomato-based sauce that was similar to pizza sauce and the jamon on top felt a little like pepperoni. Not that that’s a bad thing, but in this case, I was hoping for fresh jamon and maybe some fresh arugula. In any case, the flatbread is a good choice here because they have a great wood-fired oven so the crust gets the perfect char and crispiness.

I don’t kid around when I say that Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen is a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner in Walla Walla. It has a great atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re somewhere more special, and the food is the perfect accompaniment to a day of wine tasting. Next time you’re in Walla Walla, you must check it out!

 

19 thoughts on “Devouring Tapas at Walla Walla’s Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen

  1. Maya says:

    I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to try the octopus. But would go for a flatbread with ham and veggies at the end. I think I started drooling on my keyboard already 😀

  2. Natalie Deduck says:

    Ok!! Now I´m dying of food desire!!
    For me one of the best cuisines in the world is the Spanish one, and the dishes you tasted at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen are to die for. I´m not a big fan of tartar, but addicted to jamon flat-bread, and yogurt spread with pitta bread. I love to eat small bites full of flavours.
    Cheers,
    Nat

  3. Rob says:

    Awesome food, I will have one of everything! I am reading this post after an afternoon of eating and visiting with friends and I am stuffed, but you post made my mouth water. If we ever get to Walla Walla, we will definitely be stopping by Saffron

  4. Mar says:

    Oh this made me really hungry! all the dishes are the type of food I enjoy and I love zaatar! Used to be my late night comfort food when I lived in Dubai as there was lebanese take away place that delivered 24h!

  5. Alli says:

    The food looks absolutely terrific – and like an amazing pairing with some delicious wines! I can’t remember the last time I got to enjoy a bunch of tapas – it’s such an enjoyable way to dine 🙂

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