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Greek place across from Ferdinand's in Wheaton

I was having a quick dinner with the family at Supporn's Thai in Wheaton and was leaving around dusk and noticed that there was a sign at the place across from Ferdinand's Restaurant for a Greek place. I didn't quite get the name.

Anyone know anything about it?

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  1. There's a place across the street that's been closed for a while in a sort of old-timey building. The sign has some funny x's on it--is that what you mean? I don't think it was ever a Greek place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shellymck

      Yes, that's the one I am referring to. There is a new sign saying coming soon.

    2. are you talking about the building that used to be a Sir Walter Raleigh's Inn?

      1. Alekos Taverna, in the old Sir Walter Raleigh. Had great spanakopita and dolmos a few years back. Old Washingtonian review: http://www.washingtonian.com/articles...

        1. I saw the sign too, its new (the sign, not the location). Saw no sign of activity. Good Greek would be welcome.

          1. Hey folks, just wanted to let you know that I was up in the area last week and there seems to be movement at the new greek place. I will be in the area today so I will see if any progress has been made.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kfpainemilla

              There is a new sign up, the building looks like it's had a coat of paint and they've registered a web page but not much info yet. tavernakefi.com

              1. re: shellymck

                I was by there last night and there is an open for dinner sign...5pm. Lunch offering will come soon.

                I may check it out within the next week.

            2. We got takeout from there tonight. I placed my order and it did take a while but everything was fresh and nicely prepared. I didn't love the taromosalata (I prefer mine a bit fishier) but it was good. The menu was balanced and had a lot of nice meat dishes. I will for sure go back. They seem to be working out some kinks but I had a very positive experience and will go back to dine in for sure.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Super Salad

                My wife, son, and I went there last night. We were favorable impressed. We started with appetizers, Imam Baildi (baked and sauteed baby eggblant stuffed with garlic, onions, pine nuts and tomatos) for my wife. She thought it was very good, with whole cloves of mild and flavorful garlic in it. My son had the Horta (seamed dandelion greens with fried onions, lemon and olive oil.) It was also good, not too bitter and not over dressed with olive oil. I had the Htapodi Xidato (poached octopus marinated in vinegar, olive oio, capers, red and green onion, and green olives) I wasn't sure how poached octopus would be, but I love it grilled so I thought I'd try it. My son and I both agreed it was excellent, well seasoned and not overly chewy. (My wife wouldn't even try it, but she did like the the bite of the olive, caper, etc. mixture I gave her without the octopus)

                For entrees my wife had the salmon that was the catch of the day. Very moist, mildly flavored, and served with mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked whole baby green beans. I ordered the gyro platter. The meat was excellent, not overcooked and dry, but rather well spiced and very moist. A huge mound of it was served on top a very good pita with diced tomatoes, red onions and feta. (No lettuce) It came with suprisingly good french fries.

                Dessert was Kataifi Akmek for my wife and son, espresso for me.

                They also have a fairly large wine list of Greek wines, some of which are offered by the glass. I'm not an expert on Greek wine, but what few American wines there were on the list were inexpensive and very ordinary.

                All in all, we found it to be a very good meal and will definitely return. Service was friendly, efficient, and non rushed. The restaurant is large, allowing for plenty of space between tables.

                1. re: dinwiddie

                  Just to confirm...is the name Taverna Kefi? Thanks.

                  1. re: jeb

                    It is Taverna Kefi. I live in the area and we went on Friday night. Excellent food. My only complaint is that they don't have a kid's menu. They were accomodating though and made some sugestions which worked out fine. Definitely going back.

              2. We just went, on my husband's demand that we have something different that wasn't Asian. I found this an insane request, but, you know, marital harmony and all...

                We had had a light lunch, fortunately for review purposes, and ordered an assortment of an excessive number of appetizers. One was the dip platter, and first of all, I am glad they offer a dip platter, because not every Greek place does. The taramosalata was very fishy, which I liked. The tzatziki was very dill-y, which made me realize that there is not enough dill in my life. The eggplant dip didn't hold my attention in comparison to those two.

                The downside of the dip platter is that their bread is lousy. Just that crummy kind of American Italian bread that you get in middling Italian restaurants. It occurred to us later that maybe we should have asked if they had pita (I recall some places like Yanni's in Cleveland Park where you can get pita at least if you care enough to pay extra.). On the other hand, they asked if we wanted more bread about a thousand times, and you'd think they should have offered if they had another kind - especially since we were the kind of people who ordered octopus and said when questioned that the taramosalata was our favorite so far. So we obviously wouldn't have been frightened of slightly unusual bread.

                I sometimes wonder if places like this and the aforemention Italian places make a deliberate choice to have this kind of bread even though they know it's no good. Because since it's a kind of ethnic food that less adventuresome Americans eat, and those people are actually often appalled by artisan bread (I've seen it happen), they know that they can't please everyone, and they might as well go for the cheaper option instead of a more expensive product that a certain percentage of people will hate.

                Well, anyway... We had some zucchini pancakes that reminded me that I used to make a thing like that a long time ago, and that I should make them again now that I see the wonders of a ton on DILL in them. I can't remember the last time a restaurant made me want to go home and cook something, so they get points for this.

                We had something described as meatballs in avologemono sauce that came as patties sitting on sauce. This did not impress me and I would rather they had been meatballs. We had asked and were told that they were a combination of beef and lamb. They tasted kind of gamey but not really lamby and didn’t have a lot of flavor otherwise. I’d skip these next time.

                We ordered octopus salad – I wish they had a grilled octopus on the menu instead. It was fine, but we had also ordered a regular salad which was good but the total effect was too much vinegar.

                My husband insisted on the mussels. They came in a cream sauce with feta. The mussels themselves were good. The cream sauce tasted like a good clam chowder and I was sorry that I didn’t have a spoon. The whole combination didn’t work for me – I was raised in an Italian family, and have an automatic reaction against the combination of seafood and cheese, like some of my nonobservant Jewish friends are turned off by non-Kosher combinations of meat and cheese even if they never kept kosher in their lives. So I can't judge - it just seems wrong before I even start. But your mileage may well vary since the components of the dish were all good.

                We ordered baklava for dessert – just one order to share – but the piece the waiter brought was TERRIFYINGLY massive. And I say this as a very serious dessert eater. He can’t have been serious that that was one order. I am assuming that he was being nice because we were spending so much, or something. It was also VERY thick.

                The baklava was not bad. It is not as good as my favorite, which is the one they sell at the autumn church festival on 16th street. Which, by the way, freezes perfectly for months. But it was a good baklava if you don’t mind a very tall version with a very thick layer of filling. Not crazily excessively sweet or anything.

                We were the first people there when they opened for dinner on a Sunday so the service was perhaps excessively attentive, but I mind that less than the other extreme. And the food arrived very quickly. the presentations are a little fancy. The room is nice. The other patrons were mostly grey-haired. We spent an astonishing amount of money, but you could definitely eat here for less if you ordered a more normal dinner.

                In sum, there were some good things and some just OK. I was not overwhelmed, but they are the only game in this part of town for Greek food, so would like to go back try some of the entrees. We had already bought ingredients to cook moussaka at home this week, so it wasn’t a good time to try that. I would order the taramolsalata and tzatziki again instead of the whole platter, and see what some of the main dishes are like.

                3 Replies
                1. re: wombat

                  My husband and I were in Greece recently and based on the comments on this Board decided to try Kefi on Saturday night. We enjoyed it. The owner was extremely friendly and tried very hard to please...as did our waiter. It's a pretty big restaurant but started to fill up by 7ish. We ordered a decent wine for $27 that went well with our food choices. My husband had the lamb shank and I had the gyro platter. The gyro meat was excellent and there was more than enough to eat. Pita was good. Came with tzasaki (sp?) and tomatoes. Really very good. Lamb shank was nice size. Tasty. Came with orzo. Too much to eat so had to take some home. We couldn't resist trying the baklava even though we never eat it. It was made that day by the owner's wife. Huge piece. They are trying very hard to please and I hope they succeed. We live in Bethesda and find ourselves going over to Silver Spring and Wheaton more and more. Bethesda restaurants are mostly showy, have a captive audience and pretty soon go downhill.

                  1. re: jeb

                    WOW! I went back again on Wednesday (for lunch this time) and it was better than our first visit, which was also excellent! I went with coworkers and we were very pleased! We shared a few of the small plates to start - mushrooms with lemon sauce, zucchini patties and tzatziki - all good. The mushrooms were my favorite though. :) I had a gyro as my entree and I have to tell you, it was the best gyro platter I've had in the area. Definitely going back soon - we are so thankful that a nice place that's reasonably priced has opened in Wheaton!

                    1. re: wldmshrm77

                      I have also eaten at Taverna Kefi and have a positive experience when I went. I had the Yiouvesti which is the lamb shank. It was phenomenial! So tender I didn't need a knife! The Moussaka is also excellent. My dessert of choice is the Yiaourti me Meli, yougert with honey and walnuts. The portion was huge that I could have made a meal of just that. I will definiately go back to Taverna Kefi.

                2. Tried it today for lunch. I had a new waitress on her first day and she got one of my dishes wrong and was just so devastated by her mistake. At least 5 apologies. I kept on telling her it was no big deal because it wasn't! She was so sweet about it, I hope she doesn't quit over it!

                  All in all I will be back. Very nice addition to Wheaton.

                  The sublime:

                  Taramosalata was perfection. I myself would have put in a little more tarama but the texture was light, fluffy and smooth. Three balls of tarama made for a large serving but I finished all of it.

                  The very good:

                  The Greek sausage on a bed of lentils. The lentils were flavored with dill and lemon and perfectly cooked. The star of the dish. The sausage was split in two and grilled, not as juicy as some I have had but quite good. I wound up eating the two components separately and so got two dishes in one.

                  The Pita was warm from the grill and quite good.

                  The bad:

                  Horitaki salad made with what tasted like store bought tomatoes. Hard crunchy red things with no flavor. The regular bread tasted like it was bought from the same supermarket. So the answer is to not order anything with fresh tomatoes and only eat the pita.

                  The in-between:

                  The wine was served too cold in a too small glass. Next time I will ask for an empty larger glass and just pour my wine in there. It was an OK Moschofilero from a winery I neither recognized nor remembered the name of. Curse you Montgomery alcohol board!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: deangold

                    Had a great lunch there today.

                    Had a nice octopus appetizer with capers, olives, onions . Solid. Avgolemono was excellent. Lamb souvlaki was very good. Had I known they'd use such good lamb, I'd have asked for it for it a touch rarer but no complaints. Came with a nicely grilled tomato and rice.

                    Wanted to go with desert but no room.

                    Great addition to Wheaton.

                    1. re: repete

                      went this past week and think it's a great find. the Greek salad was delicious. I had lamb kebab which was very tasty. The highlight was a trout stuffed with spincach and feta, which my husband and friend ordered. they raved about it. the service was attentive. The atmosphere was pleasant. We'll add it to our list of regular local establishments particularly for a weeknight dinner.