It’s no secret that I try to stay away from places that are in their first few weeks of business because more often than not they blow aren’t quite consistent yet. Well, being the rule breaker I am I headed over for lunch at One Arts Plaza’s newest spot, The Greek. After a last minute chef mess, The Greek has taken over where the Commissary once served up over-priced burgers in a maze of white lacquered tables.
Joining me on this adventure was one of my chef buddies who happens to be the pickiest eater on the face of the planet and I’m convinced he may or may not hate all food. I tend to ignore everything he has to say whenever we dine together because I wan’t to form my own snarky opinions, naturally.
Arriving around noon, the restaurant was packed out with eager diners and confused waiters. I noticed right away that the staff was just sort of wandering around but nobody seemed to actually be helping any patrons. Strike one.
Looking at the menu I was immediately confused as to why “pitas” were at the top of the menu followed by salads and small plates. I get that their shtick is “Pita, Meze, Wine” but what if I don’t want it in that order? Sigh.. Just a minor detail in the sea of cucumber laced lamb dishes that had me drooling from reading their descriptions.
We ordered up the Lollipop lamb chops, Keftedes and Hipiti Hop dip to start and waited for them to arrive while we checked out what else the menu had to offer..and waited…and waited… An easy 15 minutes passed before anything came to our table, not a good sign for lunch service. Strike two. Everything looked delicious when it did come, however, so all would be forgiven I thought. Not so fast.
Two lollipop lamp chops are served on a bed of polenta and although I immediately noticed the amount of fat on the chops, they were cooked to perfection and the polenta was absolutely delicious.
The Hipiti dip is described as spicy roasted red pepper dip with imported feta and pita. At first glance it may look like that visually but it misses the mark on taste. A huge chunk of feta is plopped into the center of the bowl and then topped with this not-spicy-at-all dip that tasted nothing like red pepper. It’s not that the dip was bad, it just wasn’t good. The only thing that made me continue to eat it was the plump, fresh pita that was served with it.It was pointed out to me that this was Austrailian lamb, not Colorado lamb but again, my friend is full of shit so who knows. It tasted fucking good and that is all that mattered to me. Keftedes were up next. What in the sam hell is a Keftede you may ask? It’s a ball of meat topped with tomato sauce. So…a meatball. I was just confused by these. The meat was dry, they were over-sized and difficult to cut and the sauce that topped them tasted more like tomato jelly than a sauce. Again, these lacked flavor or anything that offered distinct taste for that matter. Salt? Pepper? Bueller? These would not make any Greek Granny proud and should disappear from the menu immediately. For my entree I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a pita that seemed to be so far shoved up The Greek’s ass they better be phenomenal. I went with the sliced lamb pita which is grassfed lamb, tomato, red onion, a mixture of green weeds and Ziziki sauce all wrapped up in one of their grilled pillow pitas. The pitas are served wide open for full exposure to the goodies inside. Stop, I’m talking about the pita you perverts. Now, I am all for sauce but I tend to not like my food to drip all over the place when I lift it up off the plate and unfortunately, as good as Ziziki sauce may be, my pita was absolutely drenched and overpowered any of the other flavors that made this dish. It seemed as though the lamb was almost slow-cooked as it had a shredded texture and probably would have been delicious if I could taste it. With all this said, I did eat the entire thing but I am 90% convinced that’s all due to the pita.
Do I think The Greek has potential? Yes. Am I rushing back? Absolutely not. For as great as Ziziki’s is, I expected more from the atmosphere, the staff and most importantly, the food. This is a great spot for a Greek restaurant and I hope that this restaurant doesn’t have the same fate as former tenants of this location at One Arts Plaza. With some fine tuning of the menu and some gathering of their shit, The Greek could be in it for the long haul.