Gardens of Salonica - recent experiences (MSP)
If you agree that in the recent past (1-2 years ago) GoS has declined in quality, I'm interested to hear (to mangle metaphors) what kind of picture more recent experiences paint--say, the past couple of months. We haven't been for ages due to several disappointments in a row. Have to trek out to that neck of the woods and wanting to make a lunch expedition of the jaunt. Any other suggestions from that neighborhood?
The past Saturday (3/21/09) I was going to go to Brasa but there was a 45min wait @7pm. Although I frequent Red Stag I hadn't been to Gardens of Salonica and have been wanting to try it for a while. I was very pleased with the meal and plan on coming back soon.
My date and I started with the Appetizer combination plate ($8.95) choosing the following:
-FAVA: beans pureed with greek olive oil, seasonings, garnish of onion and lemon (a creamer humus served w/ pita)
-PATZARIA: steamed green top beets in vinaigrette (very tender and flavorful beets. This was my favorite of the trio)
-ANGINARES: artichoke hearts in greek olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, garlic, seasonings (Great seasoning and went well with the Fava dip)
For an entree we shared the VEGETARIAN MOUSAKAS
10.95 meatless variety of mousakas with feta and tomato-wine sauce
This was very tasty and had nice savory and sweetness to it.
We were late to meet a friend and didn't have a chance to try dessert/coffee.
Service was attentive and professional. I will definitely be back.
I have been to GoS for dinner in the past few months, and I would give it a B-. The appetizer dips were good, but the main dishes had some cooking flaws. The fish was overcooked somewhat, and the cabbage rolls were undercooked to the extent that I didn't eat large portions of them because they were very pink.
Yeah, I can't comment on any recent experiences at Garden of Salonica. My visits from a year or two ago were so awful (offensive service and mediocre food) that I haven't been back. There are just too many other good places to try in the Twin Cities.
If I was in the neighborhood looking for good food, I would try:
- Brasa - Casual-but-kinda-expensive (because it's all local/organic ingredients) meat & three place. I love it, especially the shaved cabbage salad and the pulled pork.
- Kramarczuk's - Polish/Ukrainian soul food. I adore the Hungarian sausages and the Szegegy Goulash (with lots of sour cream and horseradish, of course).
- Bombay 2 Deli - Vegetarian Indian delights. I especially love the Samosa Chaat and the yogurt soup (when they have it). In fact, I may need to go here for lunch tomorrow!
- Holy Land Deli - I'm a fan of their huge gyros sandwiches (my favorite in town) with both the yogurt sauce and the tomato-y hot sauce. A cheap sandwich serves two, and the spicy sauce really wakes up your tastebuds. Plus, the house-made garlicy hummos is even better than the addictive version available in local grocery stores and co-ops. If you're a goat fan, they usually have stewed goat in the lunch or dinner buffet.
I just love Gardens baba ghanoush - but I have not dined there in 6 months so I can't comment on any recent decline if any. But if you are in the neighborhood and wanting a great meal - for good meat in a eco-friendly atmosphere, Red Stag is across the street, Brasa (wonderful chicken) and Punch and Pizza Nea (which has been a frequent topic on Chowhound). I was just at Red Stag and tried the Elk Stroganoff and Butternut Squash Ravioli with Duck. Both were excellent entrees, nice portions at reasonable prices. I have not been to Red Stag during lunch yet, but it is open from 11-2am. http://www.redstagsupperclub.com/
If you want to venture out a bit - I would also recommend Emily's Lebanese Deli. I don't think it is open on Monday, but it is great for lunch. 641 University Ave NE, Mpls.; 612.379.4069.
Good luck. Hopefully this helps!