2023 March 29, Wednesday
Don Collins, Editor
The last time I ate Greek food was 2003. It was a drive-thru at the corner of Youree Drive and Southfield in Shreveport, Louisiana. Long time ago. And, wow, was it good.
Then, today, “Greek To Me” pulled in to Blair. By noon, my second Greek meal in 20 years was finished. My wife, oldest son, and I each had an original “Greek To Me” gyro – and fries.
It may be a spoiler of sorts that my wife and I ate “Greek To Me” for dinner, too. I wanted to both eat more from the menu, and also do a review for you.
When I emailed Matt Baughman to let him know we would be stopping by, he wrote back, “If we knew you were doing a review, we would have sent you home with some nachos!!!! Swing by and grab some before you review anything. They will change your life!!! Ha!”
Well, that seemed like as good a reason as any to try the “Greek Nachos.” For dinner, we ordered the Greek Nachos, a Gyro Bowl, and an order of Baklava.
Since I last ate a Greek-centric meal 20 years before today, I’m probably not what you would call an expert on Greek cuisine. What I am, though is an expert on good food. And, I can report without any hesitation:
The food we got from the good folks at “Greek To Me” was more than “good.” If you need a rating scale, let’s go with 4.5 stars out of 5. And, if you are upset about the missing .5, consider my rating scale.
Five Stars – A family meal prepared by the grandmother of Olympia Dukakis, Nia Vardalos, or Zach Galifianakis.
Four Stars – A family meal prepared by Olympia Dukakis, Nia Vardalos, or Zach Galifianakis, using recipes from their grandmothers.
Three Stars – Anything “Greek” prepared by me.
Two Stars – Anything “Greek” from the frozen section of Family Fare.
One Stars – Do you have to ask?
The food we got from “Greek To Me” for lunch was fantastic. I knew it was going to be good when we got in the car. The car filled up with a smell that was aromatic and warm. The gyros for lunch were a good blend of cucumber sauce, gyro meat, and obviously fresh-cut red onion and tomato. The pita bread was soft, and easy-to-wrap around the goodness. The fries were perfectly cooked. (However, as good as the fries were, I did not feel they were Greek-tasting. To me, they did not add to the experience. They weren’t bad, just not on the same level of the gyros.)
For dinner, the Gyro Bowl, Greek Nachos, and Baklava were all the same high-quality. Which, well, I did not know what to expect. By that time, Matt, Tony, and the super-nice lady who took our order, were there for a good six hours. You never know if there may be some drop in quality after a long shift like that.
But, no way. The dinner meal was the equal of lunch. Not a beat skipped.
The Gyro Bowl – and, this is a description others have given me – was like the Gyro we had for lunch, but on rice. If you like a Gyro, and you like rice, then it’s gonna work for you. If what you want is a Gyro and not rice, then, yeah, probably not what you’ll want. It was a specific pairing which some of you will love, others will look across the room at the guy with the gyro meat falling out a pita and think, “I wish I got that.”
Then, you’ll eat the whole bowl, love the taste profile, be happy you tried it, and get the classic Gyro next time.
The Baklava was, and I mean this as literally as I can, the textbook example of what I would want: a symphony of flavors and textures, a true ode to the culinary arts, with perfectly golden, gossamer-thin layers of buttery phyllo pastry masterfully arranged, a tantalizing promise of the exquisite treat that awaits within. The delicate, paper-thin sheets were expertly brushed with a glistening layer of rich, melted butter, amplifying their crisp, flaky perfection.
So, yeah, it was good. Also, I note they have Baklava Cheesecake on the menu. If they bring that to Blair next time I will order one (okay, probably two)!
Oh, but wait… Did the Greek Nachos change my life? As of this moment, I have to say, well, yes. Yes, in fact they did!
Where the Gyro Bowl was good, “but” not the pairing I would choose, the Greek Nachos were exactly what I would choose.
Boy, did I order the good stuff with that. Feta Cheese, cucumber sauce (zatziki), lettuce, tomato, gyro meat, and, well, not nacho chips.
Instead of hard, roof-of-your-mouth-slicing, choke-on-shingle shards of chips, “Greek” To Me used crispy-outside and soft-inside triangles of pure, unadulterated, Beignet-esque bread.
Don’t know what a Beignet is? A beignet is a heavenly, pillow-soft, deep-fried pastry, often square-shaped, with a delightfully crisp, golden-brown exterior that yields to a warm, fluffy, and tender interior. As you take a bite, the beignet’s irresistible sweetness comes from a generous dusting of powdered sugar, which creates a delicate snow-like effect on its surface.
The “Greek To Me” nacho chip replacements have the quality of a Beignet, but without the sweetness. Make sure you understand the “without the sweetness” part. They are not sweet, it’s just the texture and consistency I refer to. Also, I would put money on the fact they are deep fried – which is a good, very good thing.
The next time I order from “Greek To Me,” I will order the Greek Nachos. Oh, and the Baklava cheesecake. And, probably something else I didn’t try this time. (What do you think I should try next time? Email me at email@example.com and let me know!)
“Greek To Me” prices were fair, the portions were large enough to keep us full for hours, and I absolutely recommend you try them the next time they are in Blair. Baughman, Antonopoulos, and friends made Blair a better place today and I hope they return again soon.