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Oct 20, 2004 09:05 AM

MEZES on the Danforth

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I had dinner with a friend at Mezes on the Danforth yesterday and have to say that I LOVED THE FOOD!

We started with a grilled octopus appetizer. Two long tentacles were grilled with olive oil, lemon and herbs. This was the best grilled octopus I have had. It was not chewy at all and was very tender. We then tried the grilled quail. Again, it was grilled to perfection! It was tender and slightly pink inside. I could have 4-5 of the quails for dinner, as they were so good with a squeeze of lemon on top. I opted for 2 Lamb chops and my friend opted for the roast leg of lamb dinner. My lamb chops again were perfectly grilled and yummy. My friend was so stuffed that he was unable to finish his dinner. His dinner came with rice, potatoes and a greek salad.

Overall, I would give this restaurant a 8.5/10. I would definitely go back again. I have to also mention that the restaurant was almost full at 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night.

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  1. Sounds good. Will try as i live in the area.

    However, for my money the best Greek on the Danforth is Avli for the high end, and Square Boy for the low end. Square Boy's $5 Souvlaki special is everything souvlaki is meant to be! Now if only I can convince them to put fries in the pita!

    And Avli's Rabbit Pie is extraordinary: a rich flavourful sauce, spiced with cinnamon and cloves, and paired with little pearl onions. Their village salad is beautifully prepared, with a fruity flavourful olive oil and creamy feta, and no lettuce (Horatiki I think it's called). My wife enjoys their stuffed chicken. The dips are also great. My kids can't get enough of their spicy red pepper dip with feta, and the tapenade is one of the best I've had flavoured with orange peel.

    Love to here other opinions!

    16 Replies
    1. re: bluedog

      Avli is also my favourite. They do a delicious lamb shank.

      1. re: Madge

        My favorite is Ellas on Pape just north of the danforth.

      2. re: bluedog

        As someone who lives nearby, I agree on Mezes...However, I also like Kalyvia, just down the street. The souvlaki is fine, it seems to be the popular choice here (and all other Danforth establishments) but the real standouts, in my opinion, are the fish dishes. The swordfish and seafood combos are top-class.

        Funny how the above post mentions "Square Boy"...It's been a guilty pleasure my whole life, and having returned to live in the area, the souvlaki and the homemade hamburger with a side of onion rings are the envy of any other similar place...especially at the price.

        1. re: Deco

          I've got another guilty pleasure for you: Alexanders Greek fries

        2. re: bluedog

          Heck, I go way back. Square Boy was there before many Greek Food establishments!!! WOW!!!!! Wore out that brain cell remembering! An aside in that I notice most emails are replies with regards to meat/fish dishes. Greek food is a lot, lot more!!

          1. re: Jar

            Thanks for pointing out that greek food is a lot more than just grilled meat and fish. In a visit to Greece almost 15 years ago we were struck by how many places offered a multitude of stews and casseroles (e.g. Moussaka), kept warm in ubiquitous steam tables.

            The only place that I know of that is "authentic" in this speciic manner is Zorba's on the south side of the Danforth, just east of Pape. We ate there a few times prior to the "child" ban (when they declared themselves a bar for smoking purposes), but have not been back since. However I remember pretty tasty, savoury dishes, many with a tomato base, that are unique on the Danforth. It is also the only place i know of where one can get whole stewed lamb's heads. Not that I tried one (though I would certainly be willing to nosh in a "sharing" situation), but it is worth going just to see them smiling at you from the steam table!

          2. re: bluedog

            We were there years ago , I was pigging out and my bb ordered wine to wait- she got a beer size serving for $4 - plonk but indicative of portion size.

            1. re: jimbo

              Square Boy was established in 1968 I believe. When I moved into the neighbourhood in '99 I caught notice of the crowded parking lot and hustle and bustle around the place.

              The chicken souvlaki and rotisserie chicken dinners (with Greek Salad) are great tasting and great value. For the old school Canadian craving, the "homemade burgers" are also delicious.

              Support the local independent. Square Boy will always "treat you right".

              1. re: jimbo

                Square Boy was established in 1968 I believe. When I moved into the neighbourhood in '99 I caught notice of the crowded parking lot and hustle and bustle around the place.

                The chicken souvlaki and rotisserie chicken dinners (with Greek Salad) are great tasting and great value. For the old school Canadian craving, the "homemade burgers" are also delicious.

                Support the local independent. Square Boy will always "treat you right".

              2. re: bluedog

                Can't believe I forgot about Pan, sort of Greek-Continental fusion. Excellent Dolmades, made with fresh grape leaves, maybe the best on the Danforth IMHO, and really good lamb tenderloin. My kids love the dips.

                Very reasonable wine list also, with many Canadian selections.

                1. re: bluedog

                  I have to disagree about Pan - a few years back I was realively impressed with what they were doing to Greek inspired cuisine. On may last visit I thought it was quite bad - food and service. I had the lamb tenderloin which was served with a thick and sweet fruity sauce of some kind, and lukewarm at best. Lamb is a fav but this was inedible. Sent it back and to their credit they responded in a very proper and professional manner which is nice to see. Maybe I'll try again but not the lamb.

                  1. re: fryboy

                    yup. Went there once about a year ago, and ordered the special which seemed very impressive on arrival because it had enough shrimp and salmon to make two mains. Found out why pretty quick, the shrimp were bad(tasted strongly of ammonia - I've never had bad shrimp before and I didn't get sick even though I ate two, but they were definitely inedible whatever was wrong with them). It was a very special occasion dinner for me and it would have been absolutely innapropriate to complain (and I suspect that's the number-one reason people don't complain at the time - if you're a guest or it's somebody else's birthday or somebody else's choice of restaurant that they rave about - only a boor would complain)

                  2. re: bluedog

                    Those "Excellent Dolmades" can be obtained from the same place Pan sources them: the supermarket. Just look for the CEDAR brand Stuffed Vine Leaves. (And you thought Danforth cooks actually cooked things; for shame.) Ever since the cool folks who started PAN left, and the Friendly Greek-related people took over, this place has not only gone down hill, but off the edge of the planet. Avoid at all costs! This is NOT the place you remember! Your stomach has been warned.

                  3. re: bluedog

                    Coming from someone who grew up in the area, take it from me..
                    The best gyros is from Alessandros (who also has a location on Queens Quay).
                    Pantheon has the most authentic greek cuisine. It's received a lot of positive right ups. It also has best grilled calamari in the area!
                    Highly recommend!

                    1. re: DimSum

                      Love Pantheon as well as the waiters there. They treat everyone like guests rather than customers.

                      1. re: DimSum

                        I'm with you on Alessandros for greek fastfood, awesome chicken or pork gyros and the greek fries (fries with a sprinkle of feta, lemon and oregano) are truly a guilty pleasure. The ambience is gross, so don't think to much of the grime (gives flavour I think) and get your order to-go. They're on Logan I think. That big new fountain with the lights at night is right in front.

                    2. Mezes is one of my favorite restaurant. "Mezes" in Greek means "tapas". Skip the dinners and just order "mezes". I agree on the octopus. It is so tender you do not need a knife. Ths stuffed calamari is also very good. This place always has a line up while other Greek restaurants in the area sit half empty.

                      1. problem with most greek rest in ntoronto, that they adapt the ingriedents to North american taste.

                        I have yet to find ONE rest that actually makes good taziki (sP) LIKE ARAHOVA IN MONTREAL...

                        GARLIC ETC.

                        most of these place tone down/water down till there is notaste at all

                        very disappointed in the danforth (aside from having a terrible experinces with PAPAS GRILL). Other rest are just american copies of greek food

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: bob

                          Thanks for checking every place out.

                          1. re: bob

                            Every time my friend and I go to the Danforth for a meal... we ALWAYS go to Omonia. It's a family business... very sweet people - they take good care of you when they get to know you (they take good care of you anyway, but they special attention to you when you're a regular).

                            The food is pretty good - but then... I'm not really the know-it-all for Greek food - but it IS superior to the Greek restaurant chains.

                            My friend and I love to go there for the great service, handsome and oh-so-very-friendly waitors, and decent food.

                            1. re: greek_food

                              Agreed on Omonia. I always go there for take-out souvlaki on a bun. My kids like the chicken souvlaki on a pita. Both are well-dressed (the souvlaki I mean, not my kids), juicy and delicious.

                            2. re: bob

                              I know what you mean....when I moved here from Montreal, I had a hard time finding good Greek food - we tried several places on the Danforth and were disappointed every time...I can recommend a place that we have now found which is FABULOUS and it's on the Danforth - cheap, fresh, huge portions and the best tzatziki ever! Messini. They even have amazing vegetarian souvlakis with veggies, olive tapendade and all of their souvlakis and gyros are authentic (with fries in the sandwich too!) They are also open late...

                            3. Went to Mezes tonight for the first time and I really liked it. Service was really quick, our appetiser came within only a couple minutes of ordering it. We started with some really delicious hummus and warm pita. For mains I had the lamb chops, 2 had the half roasted chicken and one had chicken souvlaki on a pita, all came with a greek salad, roast potatoes and rice besides the souvlaki that came with fries and salad. Really delicious greek salad, much better then Megas' greek salad with just the right amount of dressing and feta. The lamb chops were really delcious, perfectly medium as requested, well marinated and flavourful. I didnt try the other dishes but they got good reviews. One thing I can say is come REALLY REALLY HUNGRY, the portions are huuuuuge, so we couldnt have dessert. But for a resonably priced meal on the danforth, I'd definetly recommend Mezes. (Im sorry I dont know exactly what the bill was but mains ranged from 6 for hummus to 12 for the souvlaki to 15 for the chicken to 18 for the lamb chops which was the most expensive item on the menu)

                              1. Is this place still there and are they still good?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: itryalot

                                  They are still open but I don't find them to be nearly as good as Messini which is across the street from them....