Alfredo’s Mediterranean Grille and Steakhouse offers a world of cuisine, all on the same menu.
There is perhaps no decision more difficult than choosing where to eat. It’s bad enough when you’re alone—add in a spouse or some kids, and the negotiations could drag on for hours.
Alfredo’s Mediterranean Grille and Steakhouse in Charles Town makes that decision easy. At this United Nations of nosh, you’ll find dishes from France, Greece, Iran, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, and Spain, all under one roof.
The cosmopolitan cuisine is a product of owner and chef Alfredo Amaya’s upbringing. He was born in Honduras to a Palestinian father and an El Salvadoran mother. The family came to the United States to escape political unrest and Amaya lived for a time with a Persian family, adding the flavors of that home to his expanding culinary palette.
He moved to Jefferson County about a decade ago and ran a small grocery store before opening Alfredo’s Mediterranean Grille & Steakhouse in a small space downtown, where it remained for nine years. In 2017, Amaya moved the operation to a space near the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. He made the move overnight with little fanfare, yet customers found him. “They were all there waiting for us,” Amaya says, with a bit of wonder.
The new location features a much larger kitchen and seating for 99 people, even if the modern stucco exterior seems incongruous with the food served inside. Every order gets a complimentary appetizer of pita slices, housemade hummus, and shirazi salad. The menu’s main focus is Persian, with a variety of tender kabobs cooked on long metal skewers over an open fire.
Morocco and Lebanon are represented by couscous and falafel. Francophiles will enjoy dishes like Coquilles St. Jacques, sea scallops in herb sauce over pasta, and Crevettes a L’aneth, shrimp in a dill sauce over rice or pasta.
Alfredo’s Italian offerings include classic dishes like fettuccine alfredo, chicken parmigiana, and veal marsala while the Spanish section of the menu includes Arroz con Camarones, saffron rice and shrimp, and Pollo a la Castellana, a sauteed chicken breast with roasted red pepper, capers, and artichokes in a lemon butter sauce over pasta or rice.
If you just can’t choose, ask for one of the family platters. This option isn’t on the menu but is available in a variety of sizes, from two people on up. The meat platter features steak, chicken, and lamb kabobs, but there’s also a seafood platter with shrimp and salmon and a vegetarian platter. Each comes with smoky Mediterranean pasta plus hummus, basmati rice with saffron, and a Greek salad.
For dessert, don’t miss Alfredo’s baklava, not overly sweet but crammed with walnuts and phyllo dough made special in Baltimore. It’s served with sweet tea in equally sweet little glass cups.
Alfredo’s opens at 11 a.m. each day, closing at 8 p.m. on Sundays and 10 p.m. the rest of the week. There is live entertainment most nights, including belly dancing by Jensuya from Berkeley Springs.
741 East Washington Street, 304.724.9992, alfredosmedcafe.com
written by JEANNE MOZIER