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taverna cretekou in old town alexandria?

alkapal Jul 29, 2008 06:20 AM

do they have a buffet lunch? it is not on their website, and my recent email inquiry was bounced back because their message limit was exceeded.

how is it as a greek restaurant?

we went to athena pallas, and thought it was pretty good. how does this place compare? the little patio looks inviting -- esp. when the weather gets cooler.

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  1. t
    theoneontheleft RE: alkapal Jul 29, 2008 08:20 PM

    Last time we went (about 2 months ago) they definitely had a buffet.

    Patio is wonderful. Food is pretty good -- nothing too fancy, but definitely tasty, rarely crowded. We *love* the olive oil infused with...something (garlic and cilantro maybe?) that is served with the bread. We could live on that alone!

    1. d
      DCDOLL RE: alkapal Jul 30, 2008 05:06 AM

      not sure about buffet but the food is really and and the patio is quite nice.

      1. pikawicca RE: alkapal Jul 30, 2008 05:20 AM

        Oh my, what a blast from the past! I left NoVA 30 years ago, but prior to that had many enjoyable meals at this place. Don't know what it's like now, but back then it was the best Greek restaurant I'd ever eaten at in the States.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pikawicca
          monavano RE: pikawicca Jul 30, 2008 06:19 AM

          It's still very family owned and operated. Like others have said, the patio in back is just gorgeous. I'm not a Greek food expert, but I think the food is quite good, if simple.
          In fact, I'll probably go as soon as we get a cool evening!

        2. monkeyrotica RE: alkapal Jul 30, 2008 05:49 AM

          I slightly prefer Vaso's Kitchen, but Taverna has some tasty Greek standards. You can't go wrong with any lamb dish. Simple, unpretentious, good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: monkeyrotica
            wldmshrm77 RE: monkeyrotica Jul 30, 2008 06:21 AM

            I can tell you...30 years it go, it was probably the best greek place in town. However, the cooking has been a disappointment for a while now. It's fun on a Thursday night when they have their live music but that's about all. If you are looking for good Greek, try Cava in Gaithersburg, MD, Greek Taverna in Mclean and, most recently, Taverna Kefi in Wheaton, MD - all excellent in my book. Haven't tried Vaso's yet but have heard good things.

          2. m
            Minger RE: alkapal Jul 30, 2008 11:33 AM

            They have a buffet lunch on Sunday. Perhaps even Saturday too. I would call and ask to confirm.

            I haven't been in a few years. The buffet is OK. I think of it as Mediterranean comfort food. Among the items are chicken on skewers, lemon rice soup, beef carving station, and other assorted things I can't quite name right now.

            1. m
              MizYellowRose RE: alkapal Jul 30, 2008 02:41 PM

              While I haven't been to Athena Pallas, I have been to the buffet at Taverna Cretekou. The staff was nice--we even met the owner. There was what appeared to be avgolemono soup at the buffet. My Dad asked the owner, "is the soup avgolemono?" The owner's answer: "yes". So we each got a bowl and it wasn't avgolemono--just bland chicken soup. My Dad then asked the owner why there was no lemon flavor and his answer just about made our jaws drop---he said he used to make it the correct way but the customers complained! The owner shouldn't have caved---he should let people who are unfamiliar with Greek cuisine know what the soup is like. That way if they don't want to order it, they don't have to. When I go out for any ethnic food, I want to experience the real thing (or as close to it as possible). I have no patience with places that dumb down the food.

              4 Replies
              1. re: MizYellowRose
                alkapal RE: MizYellowRose Jul 30, 2008 03:07 PM

                that is sad to hear. what then is the point of going to greek if it ain't greek?

                1. re: alkapal
                  monkeyrotica RE: alkapal Jul 30, 2008 05:04 PM

                  That's like the sushi places that don't put vinegar in the rice because "customers don't like it." What are they doing in a sushi place then?

                  The problem is that too many customers want what they want, not what's authentic. And the customer's always right, unfortunately.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica
                    pleen RE: monkeyrotica Jul 30, 2008 05:39 PM

                    I, too, prefer Vaso's Kitchen to the tourist trap that is taverna cretekou. Vaso runs the kitchen herself and she rules with an iron fist! Their specials are delectable. I also love their calamari...lightly battered, not oily, crunchy on the outside and moist inside. YUM! Their Greek Pizza rocks too! And you MUST save room for dessert! I LOVE the cheese-filled pastry dessert - don't remember what it's called - it's HEAVEN if Vaso has it fresh. Not as good when it's been re-heated, but I'll still take that over anything over at Taverna anyday! They have a few outdoor seats as well...the ambiance is not as nice as Taverna, but the food will more than make up for it!

                2. re: MizYellowRose
                  sweth RE: MizYellowRose Jul 31, 2008 09:21 AM

                  FWIW, Vaso's has a pretty good avgolemono. I personally think it could do w/ a little more tang, but their version is still a perfectly good comfort food after, say, getting caught in one of the monsoons that we get here during the summer--much better than Tav. Cretekou.

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