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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nomming At The Mad Greek

For days now I have had a strong desire for gyro. I'm partial to The Pita Pit on campus, but because I no longer live on campus, some effort is involved with getting to Pita Pit. Effort the boy had no desire to exert.

I charged him with the task of finding gyro's in our own section of the city and he came up with a place we have passed frequently but never tried before called, The Mad Greek.

Online reviews passed his inspection and off we went.

Upon arrival I noticed a drive-thru window. The boy has in the recent past mentioned that he felt any Greek place with a drive-thru window runs the high likely-hood that it should be avoided. It seems he has not forgotten this statement but did not notice the window as we drive past it while looking for a parking spot.

When you walk in there is a small front area with a few deli counters full of what I assume was Mediterranean fare (I didn't really look because I was pretty focused on getting food into my tummeh'.) Off to the right of the counters we found a hostess ready to seat us right away.

The rest of the restaurant is still very small with tables that, for my taste, were disturbingly close together*, but there were a lot of windows making this tiny restaurant relatively light.

Appetizers will not be a problem at the Mad Greek, there is quite a list to choose from. I decided on the spanikopita and some skordalia.

Our waitress was very sweet and pleasant but not frequently where she was able to be found. However, it was only her second day working there and for all I know, her first time as a waitress. Any mistakes that were made throughout the night she smiled and was very apologetic.

The appetizers came at a reasonable speed. The spanakopita was alright. The kind of spanakopita I grew up with and love leaves you reeking of it by the time you have finished. This was not at all that sort of spanakopita. I would recommend this to first timers, those who may not be quite so picky about it, or those who crave it badly enough that it doesn't matter how dead on the taste is. Would I be willing to eat it again? Yes, but it doesn't even rank if I were to create a list of the top spanakopita's I have eaten in my life. Is it better than the spinach and feta in a pocket sandwich from Amy's Kitchen? That may be for you to decide.

On to that skordalia. Skordalia is a dip that I can always get excited about, yesterday was no exception and that's really too bad. This was definitely the worst skordalia of my life. What was supposed to be a thick puree of Greek goodness was what can at best be described as soupy (and not necessarily a particularly good potato soup.)

After a bit of effort to wave down our waitress we ordered. I had the large gyro sans banana peppers and the boy had the large gyro with only meat and sauce. Alright foodies and particularly you Greek food lovers like myself, I'm sure you noticed it. That's right. I had to say "without banana peppers." Never in my life have I heard of a banana pepper finding its way onto a gyro. I was a little horrified. The sauce to be found on these gyros was not tzatziki, it was what was described as "creamy garlic sauce." The boy also opted to order a side of fries.

The gyros came but the fries did not. It once again took a bit of effort to find our waitress and let her know but she worked to remedy the solution quickly.

The gyros were quite tasty and I wasn't horribly disappointed, I would and will eat these in the future.

The fries were covered in some sort of indistinguishable seasoning which immediately left me disheartened but I forged on anyway. Perhaps I shouldn't have. The fries were not very good. What started off as a tasteless fry as you tried more became an oddly sweet fry. We asked for ketchup seeing what this would do for these forlorn potatoes. There is no other way to put this: the ketchup was completely disgusting and sweet, almost like sugar or some sort of sweetener had been dumped in to make what it may have began life as go further.

I'm not sure what happened. Perhaps management noticed the issues of plates not being cleared away as they emptied and more food coming or our need to flag down the waitress and her returning with more food that may have been obviously overlooked, but we were suddenly being taken care of by multiple servers that we had not previously seen. Including what seemed to be the owner himself. Drinks were refilled and we were repeatedly asked if we were alright and if we needed anything.

When the time came to pay the check, I had a bit left on my plate. The waitress whisked it off and packed it up for me, which I didn't expect because I had seen another patron packing their own food up to go for them-self. I also ordered some hummus to go. I tried the hummus this morning for breakfast and it was similar to the skordalia experience. Worst. Hummus. Ever.

Believe it or not kids, I didn't consider the night or the restaurant completely awful. Maybe it was just because I enjoy date night with my husband so much but I don't think the Mad Greek experience was a bust.

My overall rating is three stars. I liked it but didn't love it. It's very convenient to where I live and the gyros were worth remembering for when I want some in the future. Would I travel from campus to get here and try it? No, definitely not. If you are looking for authentic Greek - this is not it. But really, you shouldn't look for authentic anything that isn't Ethiopian food in this area of Ohio because you probably won't find it.

* The people at the next table could not only hear what we were saying if they wanted to but the couple was pretty obviously attempting to do so. They also paid attention to what we ordered (even though they were there first) and made a comment on their way out (conversational and moderately polite but not at all necessary.)


Xiaolu said...

Sorry your experience didn't turn out as you'd hoped. I've heard great things about skordalia, but will probably make it myself when I want to experience it for the first time to avoid a potential bad batch.

Pro-Portional said...

Hey Xiaolu!
So happy you dropped by.
When you make skordalia I can't stress enough the importance of white wine vinegar over plain vinegar.