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Jun 11, 2007 09:50 AM

Greek Food ?

I want to buy a gift certificate for some friends who love greek food. What are some good options for high quality greek food (other than Mr Greek)?

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  1. Avli, hands down. (I assumed that with the Mr Greek reference you meant for restaurants.) Not a typical souvlaki joint at all. Casually elegant-like (lite?) with a pretty interesting menu.

    1. First choice: Avli
      Second choice: Ouzeri
      Third choice: Pantheon

      8 Replies
      1. re: embee

        Embee, I dare you, daaaaaare you to go to Ouzeri, order (and eat) the pastitsio, and then recommend the place.

        1. re: Full tummy

          I've found Avli much more consistent than Ouzeri, making it my first choice. But I was taken to Ouzeri just yesterday with a group of six and they were really on.

          Everything was good. Freshly grilled pita and rolls hot from the oven; standard three dip plate (hummus, taramasalata, melanzane); artichokes in avgolemono; chicken rosemary pie; bakaliaros with skordalia; lamb chops; salmon; calamari; porgy. The only (minor) flaw was the excessive iceberg in the salads.

          They haven't always been this good, but they do have a nicer and more spacious ambiance than Avli (which is expanding and undoubtedly will be renovating).

          The only other Greek place on the Danforth that I like is Zorba's, but I don't think Zorba's is good spot to use as a gift. Good, cheap food, but depressing ambiance.

          I can't recommend any other Greek restaurant in the area. Many choices; few finds.

          Your "recommendation" of the pastitsio at Ouzeri has been duly noted. (The best pastitsio might well be from the deli counter at the IGA.)

          1. re: embee

            I love Pastitsio! Which/where IGA are you talking about? I wasn't aware of it being 'sold' anywhere. I used to have it made for me by Kay, the previous owner of "Peoples Foods". The family sold the business a couple of years ago and I have lost contact with them but would love to try any other sources for one of my all time favourite Greek dishes.

            1. re: pearlD

              Let's not get too carried away here ;-)

              The Pape IGA (just west of Pape on Danforth) sometimes has some Greek comfort foods at their deli. They are served from large foil pans and are not part of the normal IGA/Sobeys stock.

              The pastitsio is extremely filling and dirt cheap. I'ts better that what is served at most of the Greek restaurants. I'm told it even tastes reasonably authentic. BUT this is not a gustatory delight that merits a trip across town.

              We're talking about macaroni in bechamel with a layer of beef and some mild sweet spices. Try it if you're in the area. Take it to Withrow Park. But don't take this post as a "chowfind."

              1. re: embee

                hey I shop there anyway and I have seen that dish, thought it was a crappy wanna-be lasagne or someting, so it's good to know it might be worth a try.

                1. re: embee

                  Thanks Embee...I promise to not get 'that' excited ...the one I prefer is sans ground beef but this may be worth a try when I am in that neighbourhood.

              2. re: embee

                If there's something good at the Pape IGA deli counter I want to hear all about it!

          2. I haven't tried the places mentioned (although now I will have to), but I've always very much liked Penelope on Front Street. Great food at moderate prices, and they offer a lot more than your lame souvlaki platters and variations therein. I'm surprised that this place doesn't get more mention here.

            1. The greek salads at Kaylivia (sp?) on the Danforth are unbeatable....

              1 Reply
              1. re: leslievillian

                Pan does good things with quali and lamb, a few steps outside the box from traditional Greek, which makes for a nice change.

              2. The best "Greek food" I've had is at Winfield's on York Mills. Their souvlaki blows away anything I've ever had in a Greek restaurant. I never realized that souvalaki could actually be tender and juicy and not overcooked before I ate there.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wordsworth

                  youve been going to the wrong restos on the danforth if the meat is overcooked and not juicy, tender.