Otmane Bezzaz claims to be the inventor of the famous cream cheese dog. His super-eclectic Med Mix is in Pioneer Square and a new location in the Central District, where the infamous Philadelphia Cheese Steak used to be.
How did you come to own J&M Cafe, the oldest bar in Seattle?
Accidentally. The original Mediterranean Mix shares a building with J&M, whose previous owner filed for Chapter 7. I paid the landlord to avoid foreclosure.
Is your multitude of dishes, including everything from falafel to burgers to Philly cheesesteaks, meant to honor all previous inhabitants of the space?
We serve those things at the other Mediterranean Mix. That's where I invented the cream cheese dog! I didn't want to serve exclusively Mediterranean food. I've considered changing the name to just "Mix."
What's the strangest combination of things you've seen someone order?
People don't understand falafel is vegetarian. They ask for lamb falafel. That's why I have to put up pictures of the food.
What is your favorite thing to eat after work here?