Thursday, May 30, 2013

Greek Islands

Location: 200 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661
Greek Islands on UrbanspoonGreek Islands Restaurant on Foodio54
A Quick Word:
With Greektown so close to my apartment, it is difficult not to always consider eating here at any time during the day.  But, with so many restaurants, which one to choose?  Personally, I frequent many of the restaurants, and this time we chose Greek Islands.  After leaving my car with the complimentary valet parkers, we were led to the top of a village-like dining room.  The menu is extensive... with almost too many options.  The food is all very authentic (according to my Greek friends), but the prices in my opinion are definitely on the higher side.  And the portions... they are only moderate.  For these reasons, I could only rate them 3.5 miles even if I frequent this restaurant several times per year.

What We Ate:

Saganaki

One of the most famous Greek appetizers is saganaki.  For this dish, a slab of imported Greek cheese is flambeed table side.  Yes, that means it is LIT ON FIRE!  A little fresh lemon juice is squeezed on top giving a nice acidity to the dish.  I prefer eating the first couple of bites with bread and then towards the end of the dish, I just eat it plain.  I love this dish.

Dolmades and Mousaka Combo Plate

Whenever dining at a greek restaurant, it is difficult for me to choose an entree.  A great option at Greek Islands is the "Create-your-own Combination Plate."  I chose to do a 1/2 order of dolmades and a 1/2 order of mousaka.  The meal also came with oven roasted potatoes.  The dolmades were incredible.  Dolmades are grape leaves stuffed with rice and ground meat.  They are covered in a egg-lemon sauce. The mousaka is an eggplant casserole that is layered with ground meat and topped with a rich b├ęchamel sauce.  The size of each half order is plenty for a meal but a little pricey for my liking.

Gyros Dinner

My friend ordered the gyros dinner.  It is hard to go wrong when having gyros, but unfortunately, the gyros meat is shaved off of a pre-made slab rather than having fresh meat layered on the rotisserie.  Not many places do this... so I can't really complain.   The meat is a mixture of lamb and beef and it is served on a bed of onions and tomatoes.  A nice helping of tzatiki sauce and a warmed pita also comes with the order.  My biggest suggestion is they should double the pita order because there is too much meat.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
DO:
- Free Valet Parking.
- Everyone must order the Saganaki... aka flaming cheese.

DON'T:
- Not a big fan of their outdoor seating area.  It is right next to the valet parkers and is not a pleasant experience.

How far would I walk for this food?



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