Tag Archives: Greek food

Holding out for a gyro @ Messini Authentic Gyros

Now, we’ve already been all up and down Greektown, chowing down on octopus at Soulas, licking up lamb chops at Mezes, and destroying some quail — with a side of Greek fries — at Astoria, not to mention slaughtering several souvlaki sticks at Taste of the Danforth. But when it comes to gyros, the classic shaved meat off a spit, we were holding out for the real-deal, three-course meal at Messini Authentic Gyros.

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Now, when you order a gyros plate at Messini, it comes with a starter Greek salad, which is about 50% feta, with pieces of onions, tomatoes and green peppers underneath — we don’t need no stinkin’ lettuce, son! But the cheesiness does not stop here…

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Now, if I had known I was getting a salad to start, I might not have ordered the cheese balls. Nah, just kidding — this is body by cheese balls, bro! These tirokroketes are deep-fried and crunchy, with hot, cheesy goodness oozing out into my mouth — shut the front, back and side doors!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. This plate comes with your choice of pork, chicken, or the traditional lamb/beef blend, which is where it’s at. You also get slices of tomato, onions, a pile of beefy french fries and some freaky tzatziki. For a dollar more, you can get the “open faced” plate, which comes with pita bread, so you can make your own personal pan pitas, like so:

messini_gyros_pita (9)Man, all that’s missing is some more of that feta!!!

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Now, after destroying that lineup of Greek deliciousness, I actually did NOT have room for dessert! But I did wash it down with a coupla Eza Premium Pilseners, straight from the old country…

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SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: Real-deal lamb dinner @ Volos

So, Summerlicious ends on Sunday, and we’re going out in style at this fancy Greek joint, Estiatorio Volos, just a Rob Ford backpedal away from City Hall. Now, you KNOW I love lamb, bro, so when I saw they had lamb shank, I was all over that like a Fun Guy on the Greek Freak!!! But Greece is also known for seafood, so we’re starting off with some grilled octopus:

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This crunchy creature of the sea is the one that I want, do-do-do! (Wait, wrong Grease…) Nice, lemony chew to the octopus, with a bit of bite from the black olives, a couple pieces of red pepper and some arugula. Hey, if you put arugula underneath an octopus, I guess I’ll eat it…

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But now it’s time for the main event. Dude, this was probably the most tender lamb I’ve ever had — it falls off the bone, pulls apart with a fork AND melts in your mouth, bro! You’ve got a nice bed of mashed potatoes, some braised greens, and then these crispy leeks on top…man, I could eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!!!

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For dessert, we’ve got an Ouzo chocolate mousse, with strawberries, blueberries and Ouzo-infused Chantilly cream. Now, this little mousse scoop was quite tasty, but after that massive chocolate cake at Piano Piano, it felt like I was ordering off the kid’s menu!

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Washed it all down with a Volkan Blonde, this Greek wheat beer that they’ve got on tap. I guess they’re not pros at pouring beer, cuz that’s a whole lotta head for such a small glass, bro!!!

Tangy tzatziki & grilled octopus @ Soulas Modern Greek

Man, when I heard that Pan on the Danforth shut down last summer, I was breaking plates like Nia Vardalos, bro! But the good thing is that the owners just opened up this new funky joint a few doors down in Greektown called Estiatorio Soulas, so I know they know what’s up. This place looks like a cozy, neighbourhood gastropub…if your local gastropub served Greek food. And lemme tell ya, their tzatziki is totally on point:

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Now, that’s the real-deal cucumber spread, son–it’s even got a cucumber garnish! The tzatziki is super creamy, with a nice tang, and it goes great with some fresh hot pita bread… Dude, I’m about to get freaky with this tzatziki!!!

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But you KNOW we’re not here to fill up on bread, bro! This grilled octopus gets down with the tangyness in a white wine grape vinegar dill sauce, with spinach, onions and peppers. This might only be on the appetizer menu, but after enough tzatziki to feed a small army, it totally eats like a meal!

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When I walked into this funky joint, I saw they had a few Woodhouse taps at the bar…but when you’re in Greektown, you gotta go with the Greek brews! Now, they were all outta the Volkan Wheat beer, so instead I went with Volkan Blonde, which is kinda like a slightly better Heineken…cept you won’t find this one at the LCBO, bro!!!

Slammin’ souvlaki sticks @ Taste of the Danforth

Bro, anybody who knows Toronto knows that the Danforth is the place to go for real-deal Greek food. You’ve got all these funky joints like Astoria, Mezes, Pan on the Danforth… You could probably eat souvlaki for an entire month without stopping at the same place twice. And hey, if you like souvlaki, then Taste of the Danforth is totally the best weekend for it–everybody’s killin’ it and grillin’ it outside on the sidewalk from Friday to Sunday, son!

Of course, this year’s maybe a bit different after some fuckhead decided to shoot a buncha people on the Danforth a couple weeks back. But you know down here we’re Souvlaki Strong–I would put that on a t-shirt and wear it, bro!!!

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The ceremonial first souvlaki of the weekend comes from Asteria Restaurant (not to be confused with Astoria House down the street). This three-dolla chicken stick is iller than a three-dolla bill–tender, juicy, melt in your mouthy, straight off the grill, son!!!

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Now, this ain’t souvlaki, but I’m still gonna shove this skewer straight down my piehole. Katsu Sushi’s serving up some deep-fried squid on a stick, bro!!!

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Now, when you’re down on the Danforth, you can’t just stick-en with the chicken. This pork souvlaki from Anestis Taverna was four bucks, plus it comes with bread. Dude, the bread is the word!!!

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Now, here’s a classic Greek dish done differently. These Phi Slamma Jamma lamb chops from Sushi Delight are marinated in a Japanese teriyaki. They’re supposed to be two for six dollars, but they gave me three cuz I’m baaaaad to the bone, bro!

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Now, I’ve been to Greenwood Smokehouse before for a super-stacked sammy, so when I saw ’em selling brisket on the street, I knew their meat can’t be beat! This beef was nice and tender…but maybe a bit too much sauce, though?

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Now, it was getting a little late at this point, but I’m holding out for a gyro till the end of the night! Hunter’s on the Danforth was just taking the gyro meat off the grill when I stopped by, so you know it’s hot ‘n fresh. Dude, this is like a total eclipse of my mouth, Bro-nnie Tyler!!!!

$33 freeky Greek feast @ Pan on the Danforth

Everybody in Toronto knows that the Danforth is the place to go if you want some real-deal Greek food. And I’m definitely no stranger to the area. Whether it’s the BBQ quail and Greek fries at Astoria, the four-pack of lamb chops at Mezes, or the bitter balls at Borrel…OK, so that last one’s Dutch, but my point is there is plenty of great grub in Greektown.

Now, I’ve heard that one of the best, most authentic Greek joints in this city is Pan on the Danforth, but I’d never been there before. It can be hard to get a table sometimes, cuz they’re packing ’em in for their Panlicious Dinner–three courses for 33 bucks, bro!!!

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So, we’re starting off with some lightly breaded, deep-fried calamari, so hot you gotta wait a couple minutes before you pick ’em up. Lemme tell ya, there are few things I love more than deep-fried squid, and these squid are too legit to quit!

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But you know that was just the first course in Flavourtown! We’re moving on to the braised lamb shank, which is my go-to at Jimmy the Greek…but this one’s, like, 10 times better! The melt-in-your-mouth meat falls off the bone and slides straight down my piehole, while the orzo pasta in a tomato broth is like risotto gone “Opa!” (Smashing plates not included.)

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Now, I kinda hate to admit this, but I actually did NOT have room for dessert. So I had to get this piece of Greek ravani cake to go. The sweet semolina with syrup on top, some chopped almonds and blueberries still tasted good for breakfast the next day, though!!!

I just got a great deal on gyros, bro!

Now, I don’t always eat at food courts, but when I do, I like to funk it up. And Village on the Grange is probably the funkiest food court in the city–this side of the Urban Eatery! You won’t find any chains here bro, except for Mickey D’s. On the other hand, you’ve got vegan, you’ve got Korean, you’ve got sushi and dim sum and pho, oh my!

Oh, and there’s also this family-run Greek joint called Souvlaki House that’s been there for a million years…and they probably haven’t even raised their prices during that time. Cuz you can get a whole plate of food for just fo’ fiddy–and we’re talkin’ meatballs, we’re talkin’ moussaka, and my personal Greek favourite, gyros:

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Nobody really knows what animal gyros come from, but one thing’s for sure, they’re magically delicious! These zesty meat strips go great with tzatziki, and then you’ve got some potatoes, and your choice of side salad. (I went with the coleslaw, which was maybe a mistake.) All that and a can of Arizona will only set ya back about seven bucks…after HST, bro! That’s like a Giannis Antetokounmpo throwdown in Flavourtown!!!!

It’s a lamb chops slay-along in Flavourtown!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Mezes, this real-deal Greek restaurant on the Danforth, that’s been serving up authentic comfort classics for more than 20 years. Man, this place has everything: kalamari, souvlaki, mousaka and even kleftiko, which puts the filo in filo-nominal, bro!

But when it comes to Greek food, you know I’m all about that lamb. And when I heard this place is serving up not one, not two, not three but four lamb chops to an order, all for just 23 dollars, I started singing the song that doesn’t end…and I haven’t stopped since!

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This dish is taking me to Funkytown like a buncha spandex-clad cokeheads on a Dutch TV show, bro! And they don’t need no oven, cuz they grill ’em all up to perfection, medium rare with a nice char. It’s kinda like eating a T-bone steak…except that there’s four of them, and they come with rice, potatoes, tzatziki and even a side salad! Opa to ya mutha!!!!

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And yes, I even ate all the salad, too. What I can I say? It’s my cheat day–the one day a week I eat veggies!!!