TOWN OF CEDAR — Anyone who has said words like hummus, falafel or tzatziki in Iron County knows that look. Some look in confusion and ask what language it is, or worse. Others pair them with similar healthy foods, like tofu.
In truth, Mediterranean foods like these have been using plant-based proteins in diets for centuries with tasty recipes in parts of the world where meat is not so abundant.
So the last place many would think of finding a healthy bowl of hummus is at a restaurant called Pork Belly’s Eatery and Catering Co. Although one can’t find such foods there, Chris P. Bacon’s vegan girlfriend opened a new type of restaurant next door.
When Kate and Eddie Meek moved to Cedar City more than eight years ago, they brought with them more than two decades of experience in the restaurant industry.
They opened their first restaurant in southern Utah offering grilled meats, chicken bombs, island tacos and funeral potatoes, among other similar hearty dishes. Next to it, they now offer cuisine with Mediterranean accents.
The new store, 565 Hummus, sits next to the barbecue restaurant on Main Street after the cell phone carrier that previously occupied the building left.
“We needed space to grow our restaurant business and our owners are really great,” Kate Meek told Cedar City News. “After renovating and getting new equipment and flooring, there was a little extra space up front. I always wanted to do this.
By “this,” she means handing out food that might be considered different from most Southern Utah palettes.
“There’s nothing like this in Cedar City,” she said. “My two youngest daughters are Greek and I have always loved the food we share together. It’s basic. It’s clean. It’s fresh – raw ingredients. I get the Mediterranean seasonings locally from The Drunken Butcher.
For those wondering about falafel? There was nothing horrible about it, at least when it was first tested by this Cedar City News reporter.
“It’s chickpeas ground with different spices and herbs and then fried,” Meek said. “It’s a protein option for vegans and vegetarians.”
Hummus bowls are served much like a salad, with a choice of three different types of hummus spread on the bottom, several options of greens and toppings, like quinoa and pickled onions, then topped with tzatziki sauce and drizzle. a choice of proteins.
For those wanting traditional portions, chicken, beef and lamb are also protein options for flatbreads and gyros available, as well as bowls.
“We make our own tzatziki sauce and marinate the tomatoes here. We want to eventually introduce traditional Greek soups,” she said. “We wanted to offer healthier options.”
For the past two months, business has been growing as the news spreads through the city.
“We just announced we’re hiring,” Meek said. “I have several clients who come in twice a week and they tell me how much better they feel. It’s exciting, you don’t get the fat and grease like you do from eating fast food. Even the falafels are air fried.
While Eddie Meek was a little hesitant about opening this type of restaurant, they chanced upon a similar establishment in Las Vegas shortly before opening the new location. After seeing him look at the menu in disgust, Kate Meek finally had to order for him.
“He wasn’t going to order,” she said. “I ordered the bowl of hummus for him. And he’ll admit now, it was one of the best things he ever had.
565 Hummus is located at 565 S. Main Street in Cedar City and is currently open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. As demand increases, hours of operation will also increase, she said.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.
Haven Scott was born in Provo and moved to Cedar City in 1987. A member of the Class of 1994 at Cedar High School, where he fell in love with journalism at the Cedar Post, he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in media studies (2015) and a master’s degree in professional communication (2018) from Southern Utah University. Her hobbies include correcting her children’s spellings on social media, spoiling her grandchildren, camping, spending time outdoors, and watching local sporting events.