24 March 2017

Review: Eleni’s Greek Taverna – Springfield VA

Category: Reviews — Posted by Michael at 1336

Eleni’s is an authentic Greek restaurant with some Greek Diner mixed in. I could probably end this review right here because who could pass up that winning combination? As soon as you walk in, the atmosphere and décor are unmistakably Greek. Then you notice the counter and realize that they serve breakfast all day long along with a big selection of classic diner sandwiches, etc. I’m sure the breakfast and sandwiches are good, but we were there for the Greek food so that’s what we ordered.

We started out with a trio of appetizers. The saganaki was flambéed tableside, just as it should be and it was delicious. The spanakopita and tiropita we equally as good. The portion sizes of all three dishes were much larger than we expected! After eating my salad (which was also surprisingly large), I had one of my favorite Greek dishes, pastitsio,. It too was delicious. It was baked just right. The bechemel on top was properly browned without being dried out and the meat/pasta was properly spiced. All of our dishes came with a side of fasolakia (string beans in tomato sauce with oil and herbs).

Add a very friendly staff to the incredible food and my only complaint is that Eleni’s is so far away from home. Although it’s probably good for my waistline that they’re 150 miles away!

Speaking of location, one note on getting to this place… It’s tucked in the far back corner of the shopping center facing the back of another building, so it’s not easily visible from the street. Just turn into the Concord Shopping Center and you’ll eventually find it.

07 October 2016

Review: The Black Olive – Voorhees Twp NJ

Category: Reviews — Posted by Michael at 1612

The atmosphere and service at Black Olive was great. Our waiter was very attentive and the space feels much bigger than it is thanks to some cool modern design choices. The acoustics aren’t the greatest, but really, have you ever been in a quiet Greek restaurant?

Moving onto the most important part, the food, I would sum up my first meal here as not bad. It was not the best Greek food I’ve ever eaten, but it was not terrible by any means. I love Greek food. So as far as the staples go, I know how they should taste. I know every restaurant puts their own spin on things but I felt like most of the food here was bland. It seemed as though the chef was trying to conserve his limited supply of spices.

We started out with the saganaki which was delicious. It was not flambéed tableside with ouzo as I’ve enjoyed in some other restaurants, but I certainly can’t hold that against them. The spanakopita was good, but instead of being layered as it usually is prepared, it was more of a roll where all of the filling was wrapped with layers of phyllo. The phyllo was nice and crispy, but the filling lacked the depth of flavor that you’d expect.

The house salad was unique and very tasty. The whole salad was finely shredded which I’ve not seen before. I ordered the pastitsio, my favorite Greek entrée. The dish was bland and a bit dry. The béchamel formed a solid cap on top of the pasta. For dessert, we had baklava and ekmek kataifi. While not bad, they too were generally lacking in flavor.

I’d like to think it was just someone in the kitchen being stingy with herbs and spices the night I was there and maybe it would be better next time. This is certainly not a restaurant that I’d refuse to try again, but reading similar comments in other reviews makes me think our meal might be the norm.

03 June 2013

Review: Kuzina by Sofia – Cherry Hill NJ

Category: Reviews — Posted by Michael at 0745

I’m a sucker for Greek food. Finding a really authentic Greek restaurant in South Jersey is tough. (not counting Greek diners that have some great Greek items but not a full Greek menu) I don’t know how I never tried Kuzina by Sofia In Cherry Hill before now. The food was as authentic as it gets. It was hard not to order more than we could possibly eat in one sitting because everything on the five page menu sounded so good. We finally settled on the spanakopitakia and saghanaki appetizers which were both delicious. The Greek style steak and moussaka were both fantastic and were accompanied by potatoes roasted in lemon, olive oil garlic and herbs.

We didn’t intend to have dessert, but is there a person alive who can resist baklava? Theirs wasn’t the very best I’ve had, but it was still quite good. We also had an almond roll that was even better than the baclava. (I wish I could remember the name of it, but I’m terrible with Greek names!) and a cup of Greek coffee. As we ate our dessert, we were already planning our next visit to Kuzina!

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