The Paisley Violin a charming little spot on Grand Avenue

Not going to lie, Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix looks pretty sketchy.

But it’s also home to some of the coolest places downtown, like performance arts venues and galleries The Trunk Space and Soul Invictus, and Mediterranean eatery The Paisley Violin.

I love The Paisley Violin’s intimate setting. It barely seats 20 people inside, and the vibe is laid-back and casual. There is live music on Friday nights with acoustic guitarists, and there’s also a patio to sit on when it’s cooler. Plus, indoors, there’s a full bar with coffee, too.

For being such a small place, the food at Paisley is pretty amazing. My pal and I started with the Mediterranean Platter ($8.50), a great sampler that included massive amounts of hummus and babaganouge, as well as dolmas, olives, falafel and veggies. We even got extra pita offered to us for free by the server when we ran out–score!

I had the oh-so-tasty veggie burger with potato salad for my entree ($7.50). I opted to have it on nine-grain bread, and I felt healthy just for eating it. The burger, made from rice, veggies and herbs, was very filling and topped with a ton of veggies and mozzarella. As far as non-soy-based burgers go, it was top-notch. My potato salad was also delicious, with a mustard base.

My pal tried the El Greco ($8.50), a lamb sandwich he paired with some Spanish stew. He said it was mighty tasty, as well.

Besides the awesome food, I just love the relaxed atmosphere, and it’s a real gem in Phoenix that’s worth checking out.