As you can already see from one my About page photos, I love love LOVE Greek food! Or just any food with Mediterannean origins. There’s something so satisfying about it and I love that there are both meat-heavy and vegetarian options – perfect for everyone!
If you’re afraid to go Greek, start with the basic staple that’s infiltrated my diet, as well as the diets of many out there: hummus! It’s a chickpea spread perfect for sandwiches, dipping, wraps, pizza, EVERYTHING. If you’ve already been going with store-bought (Cedar’s Garlic Lovers is my favorite), that’s fine, but once you try REAL homemade hummus (or hommus), I swear you will never go back!
Or you will go back, because you don’t have a food processor at home or the time to make homemade hummus in said food processor. I fall under both of those categories, so good old Cedar’s saves me.
They also make a delicious tzatziki sauce (a yogurt dip) that definitely is closer to homemade versions than their hummus! Don’t think sweet when you hear yogurt, tzatziki is savory and a really great light alternative to creamy ranch or french onion dips for your next gathering (or solo snacking session). My mom just got turned onto tzatziki this summer and now she can’t believe she lived that long without it.
I could go on and on about different types of Greek food I love, but instead I’ll share some awesome experiences I’ve had at various restaurants!
One place I love so much for their convenient location, great service, and awesome food is Cavos Tavern in Newington, CT. I have actually been there twice! The first time I had the cold pikilia platter (the photo from the About page), which featured hummus, tzatziki, skordalia (potato garlic dip), and kopanisti (hot pepper feta spread). The pita was BEYOND amazing and the leftovers I brought home were what got my Mom hooked on tzatziki! And I also ended up eating half of my friend Lidia’s HUGE gyro. She liked it so much she ordered it again the second time we went back!
Next on our Greek restaurant tour, we head to another place I’ve liked enough to go back to, Steve’s on Newbury St. in Boston. Both times I got the same thing, the cold pikilia platter (see a running trend here? I can’t make up my mind so I need a little of everything). Theirs comes with dip and pita and veggies like at Cavos, but also some dolmades (vegetarian stuffed grape leaves) and spanikopita (spinach and feta pies) that were AMAZING.
Next on our tour is Parthenon in Washington, DC, one of the stops on my DC-food-frenzy trip that I took this past May with my foodie friend Jeff. It was recommended to us by one of my Greek friends, so I didn’t think we could go wrong – and we definitely didn’t! We split the hot and cold sampler platters (gotta try it all) and had a wonderful experience. We had to tell our waitress to stop bringing pita because we were sooo full – they were certainly generous with it!
I have traveled far and wide to try all things Greek (or more like, whenever I travel I try to try something Greek along the way), so when Lidia and I went to Florida for Spring Break in March, we couldn’t resist trying a hole in the wall that had been around the area for ages – Olympia. When the owner found out Lidia was Albanian, he sent us complimentary shots of ouzo – and it was good! Guess I even like the Greeks for their alcohol!
She went with their keftedes (Greek meatballs) while I, unable to decide as usual, went all out and got both their cold AND hot platters. It was another incidence of me polishing off this food and Lidia’s leftovers. When it comes to Greek I seem to be a bottomless pit!
Both of my selections were beyond amazing. It’s a shame I don’t live in Florida because I’d love to go back here, but luckily I am returning for Christmas and will definitely be stopping by with my mom for some cold sampler platter action.
The last place on our tour of Greece-away-from-Greece is an obvious choice for ethnic food of any variety: NYC! I have been to a few Greek places here (I almost always go to one when I visit because there’s an endless amount to try). I love being able to order a sampler platter every time, but get a different variation at each restaurant! I’m a bad blogger (don’t hate me, I’m new!) and don’t remember the names of the Greek places I’ve visited, but here is a photo from each of the three places I’ve tried in the Big Apple:
Sorry for the awful last photo, the lighting was so weird, but you get the idea!
So if you’re a Greek food fan, I hope I’ve given you some recommendations to keep in mind for places to get good food, whether you’re travelling or staying local!
And if you’re afraid of Greek food, I hope the below photo doesn’t scare you even more:
My aplogies again for the scary iPhone photo. I promise you, it was delicious.
Do you like Greek food? What are some of your favorite places to get it? If you haven’t tried it, what’s stopping you?