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Lunch Break Quiz: Cava Grill vs. Roti
Which Mediterranean-friendly restaurant offers the healthier meal? Test your knowledge by taking our quiz. By Melissa Romero
Comments () | Published September 23, 2013

If you're interested in healthy eating, you've probably heard of the Mediterranean diet. Research shows the diet, which encourages a high intake of olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and cereal, works wonders for the heart and may even help ward off dementia. 

So it's no wonder lunch-goers flock to places such as Roti Mediterranean Grill and Cava Mezze Grill, which both have multiple locations in Washington. The two restaurants allow you to customize your own salad, pita, or bowl with protein, sauces, and toppings. 

But we all know how dangerous those choose-your-own-adventure menus can be. Let's see how the two lunch spots stack up against one another nutrition-wise. 

Cava Mezze Grill

Falafel Salad

Salad with falafel, hummus, tzatziki, eggplant and red pepper, tomato and onion salad, and tomato and cucumber salad.

Roti

Falafel Salad

Salad with falafel, spicy Shug sauce, hummus, Spanish eggplant, and tomato and cucumber.

It has the same ingredients but clocks in with fewer calories (355), almost half the fat of Roti's counterpart, and about the same amount of protein.
Though it has many similar ingredients, Roti's falafel salad contains 430 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 1,181 milligrams of sodium.

Cava Mezze Grill

Chicken Pita

Pita with chicken, feta cheese, roasted red pepper hummus, chicken, tomato and onion salad, and tomato and cucumber salad.

Roti

Chicken Kebab Pita

Pita with chicken kebab, hummus, tomato and cucumber, and feta cheese.

There are more calories and fat and less protein in this chicken pita. Consider turning it into a bowl or salad instead.
It's only slightly lower in calories than Cava's counterpart, but is a lot richer in protein, with 47 grams. Just watch for its high sodium content of 1,490 milligrams.

Cava Mezze Grill

Grilled Meatball Bowl

A rice bowl with grilled meatballs, cabbage salad, roasted red pepper hummus, and crazy feta.

Roti

Steak Roti Rice Plate

A rice plate with steak, dill-yogurt-cucumber sauce, couscous, onions, and mixed vegetables.

It has almost 100 more calories and nearly double the amount of fat (22.5 grams) as Roti's offering.
Red meat is not the best protein option on the list, but this plate has a more modest 512 calories and 14 grams of fat.

Cava Mezze Grill

Mini Pitas With Braised Lamb

Two mini pitas with braised lamb, tzatziki, lettuce, cabbage salad, fresh mint, and lemon wedge.

Roti

Sandwich With Salmon

Laffa bread with salmon, mixed vegetables, tahini sauce, and hummus.

Don't let the two pitas deceive you. They're smaller than average and have 200 fewer calories than one sandwich at Roti.
Although salmon is a heart-healthy addition to the meal, this sandwich can't beat Cava's mini pitas. It has 749 calories and almost 1,000 milligrams of sodium. Even without the salmon it has a higher calorie content than the pitas.

Photographs via Cava Mezze Grill and Roti's Facebook pages.

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Lunch Break
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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 09/23/2013 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs