Tag Archives: Greek food

These deep-fried lamb balls are magically delicious, bro!

Now, we’ve had a whole lotta lamb here on Triple B, so when I heard that Bar Koukla, this funky Greek tapas place in Little Portland, was serving up lamb three ways, you KNOW we had to check it out, bro! Man, this place is serving up lamb ribs, sweetbreads… and these round mounds of Flavourtown, lamb croquettes:

bar_koukla_kroquettes (15)

No, we’re not scarfing sheep scrotum, son — these croquettes are stuffed with braised lamb and halloumi cheese, and served with a feta donkey sauce. They only come three to an order, but I could pound these balls all day, bro…

bar_koukla_lamb_ribs (5)

…except then I wouldn’t have room for lamb ribs. Now, when I’ve had lamb ribs before, I was usually disappointed; either the portion was too small or they just weren’t meaty enough. But these might be some of the best lamb ribs I’ve ever had, nice and tender with a decent amount of meat. You do only get five bones to an order — but that’s OK as long as you’re eating at least two other things.

bar_koukla_sweetbreads (6)

And that brings us to some sweet, sweetbreads. We don’t know whether these were lamb or veal sweetbreads — you can’t really dust for sweetbreads, bro. But that’s some tasty thymus gland, son! The rest of the Triple B Krew was too scared to try ’em, but I’ve actually had sweetbreads a couple times before (last time, they were Kentucky fried), so I knew what I was getting into. And call me crazy, but these kinda taste like chicken karaage, or maybe kung pow chicken, minus the pow.

magna_pale_ale (9)

Now, the last time I went to a Greek restaurant, they didn’t even have any Greek beer. But I guess Bar Koukla has a better beer guy, cuz they had a handful of Greek brews to choose from, including a couple I’d never even seen before. This Olympica Magna Pale Ale doesn’t really taste like an IPA — it’s got more of a malty finish — but it does go pretty good with lamb.

volkan_black_lager (12)

Now I’ve had Volkan Blonde a couple times before, but this is the first time I’ve even seen Volkan Black. And you know what they say, once you go black…you’re gonna hafta wheel me outta here, bro! This dark lager almost tastes like a porter, but it’s got a hint of honey at the end, for a little kick of sweetness. Yo sweetness is my weakness, son!!!!!

 

 

 

 

This is the most expensive Greek restaurant I’ve ever been to. But was it worth it???

Now, we’re no strangers to souvlaki here on Triple B, and Greek food has gotta be one of my go-to’s. So when I heard about Myth, this fancy Greek place on King West, that was serving up a 35-dollar chicken souvlaki along with 67-dollar lamb chops, I thought this could be really, really good — I mean, if they’re charging that much for it, it’s gotta be a lot better than Jimmy the Greek, right?

Now, I will say that this was the best-looking Greek restaurant I’ve even been to (both the building and the staff), and the service was very friendly. As for the food, we tried four different dishes, and they were all pretty tasty…

myth_flaming_saganaki (3)

I’m always a big fan of food that’s literally on fire — and that’s why I’m such a sucker for saganaki, son! This Greek cheese is all lit up like Josh Todd at a KISS concert (back in ’09), and served with a side of warm, tasty pita bread. Man, even the bread here is good! And at 21 dollars, the price of this dish is pretty similar to other fancy Greek joints like Volos or Soulas Modern Greek, so I would say we’re off to a good start here.

myth_calamari+shrimp (6)

We also went with the kalamari mixto, which combines fried calamari and shrimp for a double down in Flavourtown! While the squid rings were suspiciously small (size doesn’t matter, bro!), they were still quite tasty — but I gotta say, that shrimp stole the show. Dude, it takes Red Lobster out back and chucks it into the ocean, bro! But as good as the shrimp was, this 28-dollar dish was a good $9-$10 more than you’d pay for calamari at some other Greek places. The shrimp was worth at least a couple extra bucks, though…

myth_chicken_souvlaki (6)

When it comes to the famous $35 chicken souvlaki, as you can see, you do get a lot of meat here. I mean, it’s about twice as much as your standard Greek joint, I’ll give ’em that. But on the flip-side, all you get with it is a handful of peppers and onions, and a small puddle of tzatziki. At Soulas Modern Greek, a 23-dollar souvlaki dinner comes with rice, potatoes and salad. Here, the potatoes cost $16 extra — even if they give you enough potatoes for 2-3 people, this just turned into a $50 souvlaki dinner for two, with no rice or salad…

So, I didn’t feel totally ripped off at this point — but then the lamb arrived…

myth_lamb_chops (2)

Don’t get me wrong, this lamb was quite tasty. I didn’t even let a chop go to wastey. But at Myth, 67 bucks gets you a total of four lamb chops, with nothing else but tzatziki. For that same price, you can get both a rack of lamb AND a loin of lamb at Soulas, and one comes with black olive mash, pan seared spinach and garlic roasted carrots, while the other is served over feta scalloped potatoes and more garlic roasted carrots. (I can also tell you from experience that Soulas’ lamb is super-legit!) So if you’re a fan of the lamb, you can definitely get more baaaah for your buck elsewhere.

apricot_old_fashioned (10)

But even if the lamb was more than a little overpriced, what bums me out the most about this place is the complete and utter lack of beer here. There’s no Volkan, no Fix, no Hellas or Eos — you’ve only got one option, and it’s Heineken. So instead, I drowned my sorrows in an Apricot Old Fashioned, which was not nearly as fruity as it sounds. At 20 bucks a pop, though, let’s just say I switched to Heineken after this one…

…and it turns out Heineken tastes pretty good with Greek food!

So, was it worth it?

While I would definitely avoid the lamb — and maybe stick with Mr. Greek if I want souvlaki for lunch — I wouldn’t skip Myth altogether. It is a very nice-looking place, and this fancy Greek feast did fill me up (all the dishes were split two ways) quite nicely. Everything tasted good, although I wouldn’t say it was better than some of my go-to Greek spots… it also wasn’t any worse. But be prepared to drop mad dimes if you’re dining here. Even going halfsies on the bill, I spent more on this meal than I did on a three-course dinner of foie gras, pigeon and chocolate souffle at Sash — and we didn’t even order dessert at Myth!!!!

(Sash was totally worth it, by the way.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Greek land, sea & air platter from Soulas

Now, when it comes to Greek food, sometimes you just want a gyro and a whole pile of fries — and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But for something a little more upscale, one of my go-to spots on the Danforth is Soulas Modern Greek Cuisine. I’ve still got one more 40% off code from Uber Eats, and I wanted to make the most of it, so I ordered up their Mermaid Platter. We’re talking calamari, jumbo shrimp, mussels, lamb chops and chicken, served on a whole pile of rice, potatoes and veggies, for 69 bucks. It’s enough food to feed a family of four…or one Hungry, Hungry Hippo in Flavourtown!

soulas_jumbo_shrimp (2)

Shrimp are nice ‘n juicy, slide right outta the shell. Can’t complain at all, but they’re only like the third best piece of seafood on this platter…

soulas_greek_mussels (9)

Mussels were nice ‘n tender, steamed to perfection. They give you at least a dozen, which is a decent-sized dish on its own, but only part of a much bigger platter…

soulas_greek_calamari (4)

Well, you know I like my calamari fried, but these grilled calamaris were still pretty good. Probably the chewiest thing on this platter, but they still come apart pretty easy with a knife and fork. Add a little squeeze of lemon, maybe a dab of tzatziki, and you’re cooking with olive oil, bro!!!

soulas_greek_chicken (8)

This grilled chicken might not come on a skewer, but it’s still got the same flavour profile as a good souvlaki. Goes great with some of those roasted potatoes — and dude, there were a lotta roasted potatoes on here!!!

soulas_lamb_chop (6)

But the star of the show has gotta be the lamb chops, two to an order, grilled to perfection. I could probably slam at least seven of these — y’know, if I didn’t have all that other stuff to eat…

soulas_mermaid_aftermath (12)

Now, there really wasn’t too much meat and seafood, but the rest of this container was completely full of rice ‘n potatoes and vegetables… dude, that’s gotta be the most veggies I’ve ever eaten at once! I will admit that I barely put a dent in the pile of pita bread — you don’t fill up on bread, bro! But hey, I can always have it as a snack for later!!!

trans_human_state_beer (8)

Washed it all down with a Trans Human State pilsner from my bros at Blood Brothers Brewing. It’s got the crispness of a good Greek beer, but maybe just a little more fruity…not that there’s anything wrong with that!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Greek burger with Greek poutine

Before the pandemic, I’d sometimes head down to Alexandros on Queen’s Quay for some quick and easy Greek food. It was mostly a takeout spot, although they did have a small front patio that was right on the lake, which wasn’t a bad place to sit in the summertime. So when I found out they had another location downtown on Church Street, you know I had to check it out. Only, instead of ordering a Greek classic like gyros or souvlaki, I went with more of a mashup with this Greek burger and a side of Greek poutine.

alexandros_greek_burger (12)

Now, the burger patty had the taste and texture of a frozen burger from like M&M Meat Shop, but then they added Greek toppings like tomatoes, onions, tzatziki and feta cheese, and served it all in a really big bun. I gotta say, the flavour combo works. I mean, it’s like having a gyro, but instead it’s a burger. So I can go for that…

alexandros_greek_poutine (7)

Now, I have had Greek fries before on the Danforth, and maybe somewhere else, like W Burger Bar or something. But Alexandros is kicking it up a notch with this Greek poutine. You’ve got fries, a classic poutine-style gravy… but with feta instead of cheese curds. Now this gravy was actually more authentic than a lot of the poutines I’ve had in Toronto, and the saltiness of the feta didn’t seem outta place, but the problem was with the fries. They either didn’t cook ’em long enough or hot enough, cuz they were soft, and not crispy. A nice, crispy fry couldda tied this thing together, but now they’re making me wish I ordered a Greek salad — and that’s a crying shame in Flavourtown, bro!!!!!

Image result for guy fieri crying

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.

messini_greek_salad (5)

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…

messini_cheese_balls (9)

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!!!!

messini_lamb_beef_gyros (6)

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!!!

messini_gyros_aftermath (5)

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…

eza_greek_beer (5)

 

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:

volos_grilled_octopus (5)

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…

volos_lamb_shank (8)

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!!!!

volos_chocolate_mousse (3)

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!

volkan_blonde_beer (2)

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:

soulas_tzatziki+pita (3)

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!!!

greek_grilled_octopus (7)

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!

volkan_blonde_beer (3)

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!!!

asteria_chicken_souvlaki (1)

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!!!

katsu_squid_tempura (1)

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!!!

anestis_pork_souvlaki (1)

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!!!

sushi_delight_lamb_chops (4)

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!

greenwood_smokehouse_brisket (5)

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?

hunters_danforth_gyro (4)

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!!!

pan_danforth_calamari (5)

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!

pan_lamb_shank (2)

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.)

pan_danforth_ravani (3)

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:

souvlaki_house_gyros (6)

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!!!!