Birmingham Do Di Yo's
I finally got around to eating at Do Di Yo's (I had to get over my mourning period for Tria market. I won't wait so long to return.
First of all, the place is beautiful. Fancy yet comfortable and I loved the curving bar. Menu has interesting items, at above average-prices but not too high.
I had wanted to sample the tapas, but ordered two hot appetizers off the lunch menu. They also served an interesting bread basket, with a small serving of cured olives, a feta spread and olive oil to accompany.
The sausage trio was good, but not worth the $8.50 for one each of house-made Italian, chorizo and lamb sausages. The sausages were good, and not overly salty. I didn't care for the agrodolce onions (they looked like canned beets, only with a sweet vinegar flavor).
The grilled octopus was very well done, although slightly overcooked in parts. This is understandable since it was 4-5 leg bottoms starting in diameter at about 1 inch and tapering down from there. I wondered if they boiled it first, then finished over a grill. Very well-seasoned (salted), and it was served in this buttery lemon-garlic sauce that went along wonderfully with the smoky, salty octopus.
Their market is small, but interesting. There are some cheeses, but nothing like Tria's old cheese selection.
I kept looking around thinking: This would be a great place for a Chowdown
Why not write it here? I've been 3 times and I really liked it each time. What did you not like about it? I love the feta spread and have been impressed with mostly everything except the gyro. I think the menu is a bit too varied, but I think Sarris knows Mediterranean. Now if you're Greek, you may disagree.
Here you go Dax:
We tried Do Di Yo's for the first time tonight. We were seated at a very small table for two along a wall near the back of the bar area. The setting was a bit cramped. I tried a glass of Do Di Yo's house Chardonnay which was listed under "full-lush wines. My wife ordered a glass of Cuvee Anne-Laure Riesling, also listed under "full-lush". Both wines were flat and weak-bodied.
A plate of ciabatta with green and black olives in (? virgin?...did not taste like EVOO) olive oil and a small scoop of feta spread, garlicky and wonderful, were the high point of the meal for me. We asked for an order of stuffed grape leaves as an appetizer. Twelve dollars for four very loosely wrapped stuffed grape leaves in avgolemono sauce that lacked the expected lemony tartness. The ground beef and rice stuffing was very bland. This was a huge disappointment, particularly at this price point.
I ordered a ground beef version of their Moussaka (there is a vegetarian option, but no lamb version). Again, I found the dish to be incredibly bland. I make a better version of this dish myself. The accompanying green salad was a nice mix of greens. No complaints there. My wife got a Shrimp Tsepi (grilled shrimp in a pita) that were described as jumbo shrimp, but which were in reality "large" shrimp. She noted that the white sauce in the pita tasted a lot more like sour cream than tzatsiki sauce. I tried it and agreed. Little garlickiness, no yogurt tang. The pita (? flatbread) was harder than we're used too,as well.
We shared an order of Greek shortbread cookies for dessert. These were the usual "wedding cookie" shortbread thing with a very heavy dusting of powdered sugar (Don't breathe in while biting!). These were dryer and more crumbly than other versions I've had and preferred (e.g. Mom's, my wife's).
Overall, I hoped for much better. We may revisit for a second try, but can't say we enjoyed our first experience.
It would be a good setup for chowing though the tapas, hot appetizers and cold appetizers, sides and their "slow foods" section. The last part has dolmades, eggplant Iman Baldi (The Iman fainted or swooned), Maybe an entree or two. Actually this sounds better and better.