On an entirely unrelated photographic whim, my friend Tomasz (the talent behind www.mananetwork.net) and I found ourselves roaming around North Vancouver. Having lived a good chunk of his life in the area, he suggested that we dine at a Greek restaurant where he used to bus tables as a teenager. With promises of gigantic platters of food and an insider’s knowledge of the kitchen, who was I to pass up this opportunity?
Owned and operated by a Greek family, some of whom still sport a thick accent, the food is about as authentic as one could hope for. From what I’ve been told, the interior has gone through some major renovations over the years, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it is nice. Be that as it may, the somewhat dim and jarringly decorated interior detracted little from our famished focus on food.
(I brightened up the photos in post to give a better impression of what to expect)
Ordering the Greek Platter allowed us to both get a large sampling of the many different dishes available on the menu while simultaneously feeding our voracious hungers. Being in a particularly productive mood, we continued to work whilst awaiting our dinner.
First up to the table were a pair of individually portioned Greek salads. Underneath all of that grated parmesan cheese was a chunky mixture of cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers and olives. The vegetables were also tossed in a light vinaigrette and there was a healthy drizzle of olive oil over the top of everything. Other than the cheese being on the slightly chalky side (the prepackaged variety is liable to do that), the salad was crispy, light and fresh.
And there you have it. A massive metal tray loaded to the nines with pita bread, potatoes, calamari, spanakopita, three varieties of souvlaki, rice pilaf beef patties, tzatziki and hummus. Suffice it to say that this meal could probably feed a small family of four, but that didn’t deter us.
The baked potato was fork tender and not dry in the slightest, while retaining that great marinated flavour. The spanakopita was a bit on the thin side. Although the filling wasn’t abundant, the flaky exterior and intense spinach and cheese flavours within more than made up for it. The tzatziki is made in house and is wonderfully thick and full of chopped onions. The pita bread was warm and fluffy on the interior and hemmed in by a crusty exterior.
The beef patties (foreground) were slightly overcooked (tough) and seemed a bit superfluous when put next to chicken, lamb and beef souvlaki. Also ever so slightly past perfect was the chicken skewers. The beef and lamb souvlaki were both better prepared and quite tender. The lemon wedges, when squeezed over the whole platter, helped to cut some of the grease and brighten up all of the flavours as well.
Out of focus in the background, the hummus added another, albeit unusual for this genre of food, flavour to the platter. It really helped to break up the monotony of eating the same thing for too long.
Calamari seemed fairly standard and much like what you would find at any pub as a starter, which really isn’t a bad thing.
As famished as we were, this food presented a challenge that impressed more for sheer quantity rather than quality. As I think back on it, the food was a little less than stellar, but all of it was still more than passable. The wait staff was friendly, perhaps propped up by the recognition of one of their former employees and the seeming lack of customers at that particular time.
And what you have before you here is an empty platter plate. Yes Tomasz and I polished it off.
Was there ever a doubt?
153 16th Street West
North Vancouver, B.C.