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Where Have All the Greek Restaurants Gone?

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When I first came to Cambridge in the early '70's, there were quite a few Greek restaurants. There was a really good place on Mass Ave near the Door Store; and there were 2 or 3 places between Harvard and Porter Squares. (one might still be there, white and sky blue exterior, next to Mexican Cuisine (? now?) Back then , my fav neighborhood place was Greek, located downstairs,( across from Rendezvous/Burger King) in Central Sq. It made a real impression on me when the owner told me he was closing his shop and moving back home.

Does anyone remember those spots and do you agree that there are many fewer Greek restnts here now? I can't speak for Boston or Allston, but maybe Greek places have disappeared there too? Do you think maybe Greek restnts went "out of fashion" and have been replaced by Middle Eastern restnts?

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  1. Daddy Jones is a new version Greek restaurant.
    I recall a Greek-run (I think) greasy spoon diner in Davis Sq where the Blue Shirt Cafe is now.

    1. They were in that area because there was more of a Greek population concentration, My friend who was Greek lived there when he was in college for that reason. People moved on and out of the city; from the volume of Greek churches and food festivals in the summer it seems like there still is a substantial population around the region.

      I like the Aegean which has a location in Framingham and one in Watertown. Both are great. The Framingham location is much larger.

      257 Cochituate Road, Route 30
      Framingham, MA

      640 Arsenal St.
      Watertown, MA

      http://www.aegeanrestaurants.com/

      12 Replies
      1. re: latertater

        The aegean has been around awhile, but those who do a CH search will see that i am not the only one who finds the Aegean completely yuck.

        I have tried shish kabob sandwich, gyros, moussaka, spanakopita at Esperia, Desfina, Greek Corner. GC and Desfina have pretty good kabobs but tough meat, and their moussaka is major meh. (I haven't ordered the well-lauded GC roast lamb sandwich because i love lamb but only med rare, not well done.)I think Esperia (thank you kimfair)easily beats the others on moussaka and all the side dishes, and the pork gyro is very tasty.

        pianoboy, did any of these parents move back to Greece? Because of that early experience i had, i always wondered if maybe Greeks missed their homeland more than other ethnic groups, such that it was common for them to make some money in america and then return home.

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          <<"other ethnic groups, such that it was common for them to make some money in america and then return home.">>

          my friend says the same about the Irish...

          1. re: Gastronomos

            And the Brazilians, Columbians and Canadians.

          2. re: opinionatedchef

            Opchef, have you tried Brothers Kouzina in Peabody? We like their spanakopita, green beans, roasted potatoes and greek salad esp with swordfish better than most. Have known others to really like their lamb. Wish we could find veggie versions of moussaka, pastichio... On Sat nites at 10 they pull the shades, put on white linens and have Greek music with a limited meze type menu..

            1. re: chompie

              hi there, she who chomps, good to know about BK;thx. I betcha the woman owner of Esperia would make you a half hotel pan of veg.moussaka if you called her.(I mean, all she has to do is leave out the layer of meat.) It freezes well. We usually have some of her (meat) moussaka in the freezer. Her beschamel is really lovely. ( I guess it's very ungreek of me, but I need tomato sauce on my moussaka, so i buy her 'marinara' to put on it.)

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                good idea..i have thought of asking someone to do that but never did... Does her "marinara" have that nice subtle hint of cinnamon? We get the pasta dishes at BK too, because the sauce is better than most Italian places. . They seem to have a few variations on fhe red sauce.. the one on the string beans with the slight cinnamon touch, the one they use on lamb dishes with an oilier meaty touch, and the pasta sauce with a traditional Italian flavor but more on the mild less acid side...

                1. re: chompie

                  I didn't detect any cinnamon in hers. I understand exactly what you are saying about the 3 diff tomato sauces but i must share w/ you my one funny story about that- and that was the time, years ago, that i talked to a chef about some sauce that differed subtly from dish to dish- and what did he do to make them different,....and he looked at me with puzzlement and told me that they were all the same sauce!! did that throw me for a loop or what?!
                  haHA! (I'm not insinuating anything; just wanted to share a laugh with you.)

            2. re: opinionatedchef

              I get the lamb sammy at GC regularly - it is never well done. Always med rare - of course I make sure to order it so. Try it. You'll like it! :) I am having GC leftovers for lunch today, as a matter of fact. :)

              1. re: Small Plates

                well far out! someone on this thread (or my other Greek thread on Gen'l Topics) declared that Greeks like their lamb well done, so i was assUming (always a big mistake) that's what GC did. Now we'll zip over soon, bec you ad Stripey luuuuuuvs this sdwch!! Thx so much for that clarification.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  just outta curiosity, who, other than the northern French and Francophiles worldwide liked their lamb rare? I have not seen a culture outside of the northern French that served lamb other than well done.

                  http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                  http://frenchfood.about.com/od/maindi...

                  1. re: Gastronomos

                    I cook several legs a year - all to rare, medium rare. All of the family and friends enjoy them.

                    I'm Welsh-American, cooking for a predominately Jewish-American (NYC) family. Nobody I know wants their lamb grey and overcooked.

                    1. re: NE_Wombat

                      "cooking for a predominately Jewish-American (NYC) family."

                      and I supplied links for your amusement.

          3. Greek Corner on Mass Ave is still going strong -- always popular and never had a bad meal there. Love their roasted lamb sandwich.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Boston_Otter

              They do a great fried calamari plate,

              1. re: Boston_Otter

                I love their pastitso!

              2. There was an upscale Greek restaurant in Charlestown near Sorelle and the original Olives that became a Max and Dylan's and now is a Papagayo. Can't remember the name of the place, but it was so good.....the olives and olive oil and feta that came out as soon as you were seated were just amazing. Lots of vegetables and great meat dishes as well. And I loved the chance to taste some different Greek wines.

                I always wondered what happened to it. It was not at all a typical Greek "joint". There is still Steve's on Newbury St and as has been mentioned, Greek Corner near Porter.

                We tried Desfina in East Cambridge only once....years ago...was a bit disappointing. Any recent reports?

                5 Replies
                1. re: Madrid

                  That place was great, the one time I got to eat there. Don't remember the name, but it was quite good. My go-to Greek is still Esperia Grill in Brighton Center, but I miss the old Deli King that used to be at the corner of Harvard and Comm Ave where the McDonald's is now. They had a killer moussaka, and great house made corned beef hash.

                  1. re: kimfair1

                    Just looked it up. It was
                    Meze Estiatorio
                    and then became "Copia" more pan-Med before closing and becoming Max and Dylan's. Perhaps it was a bit ahead of its time. People weren't (and aren't, perhaps) used to spending on high priced Greek entrees. As is my usual, I always went for the meze and small plates and found it wonderful as well as good value. Great view of the Zakim bridge, hard to park. Lots of Freedom Trail walkers going past, unlikely to spend much $$$ on a quick pit stop.

                    1. re: Madrid

                      I believe it was Copia when we went, still excellent, but I could tell that they weren't going to make it, based on the location, and type of food.

                      1. re: kimfair1

                        We only went once & also thought how sad they weren't going to make it.

                      2. re: Madrid

                        Just to be contrary, we ate at Meze once as part of restaurant week and although I well know restaurant week can be hit or miss, we had a truly awful meal. I always assumed that was why it closed.

                        Agree on Greek Corner- really good gyros which you can see being made on an episode Diners Drive ins and Dives if you care to.

                  2. I come from a city with a large Greek population. It had many Greek restaurants and they too have diminished in number. I've asked why. The response has largely been this: most Greek restaurants were run by immigrants who were home cooks, not restaurant people. (They tell me there wasn't a deep restaurant culture in much of Greece, but I don't know about that.) Unlike other cuisines where new generations came in who were from restaurants (and hotels, etc.), there has been relatively less of that from Greece. So the restaurants become less Greek and you find Greek-Americans doing all sorts of food with maybe a nod here and there toward Greek cooking. Last year, I asked the owner of Esperia about Greek food and the chef (the wife) told me Greek food is meant for the home.

                    I have no idea how much of this is true. It would seem to me that any cuisine can carve a niche - like Chinese(ish) food in every strip mall in the South - so the actual number of Greeks in the US shouldn't be the issue.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: lergnom

                      I will chime in with, yes, the Greeks from Greece that came to the US ended up in simple restaurants and take out places.

                      I'm about a 45 min drive from Astoria, NYC, a city with many Greeks.

                      Greek Cuisine is on the rise in the US and abroad.

                      The restaurant culture in Greece is not as high played as in France and Francophile communities around the globe.
                      And I recall a few very casual French restaurants in Paris and the countryside that were nothing but eateries with homestyle food.

                      As for, "the owner of Esperia about Greek food and the chef (the wife) told me Greek food is meant for the home."

                      I understand what she was probably trying to say, but I cannot agree completely. Greek Cuisine, as long as one has a sense of true cookery outside of French centered technique, which is not the be all and end all of food in restaurants or the world, can very easily be adapted to a restaurant. But the large trays of pastichio and mousaka are not that at all.

                      And as with any immigrant community, many come here for a better life for their children. They don't want their kids working 16+ hours a day, 7 days a week in factory restaurants. So they close or sell their restaurants when they retire cause the kids went and got edjumacated.

                      The chefs we see today are not what these immigrants know, at all. Two different worlds. Restaurateurs and such were not doing Greek.

                      They sell to the next wave of immigrants, like in the UK, Middle Easterners.

                      One note to ponder: The Greek food they were able to communicate to the new audience they were introduced to happened to be street food. Souvlaki, Gyro, Spanakopita, etc.
                      We’ve seen in some cities in the US a huge jump from heat and serve commercially made gyro in a commercially made pita with commercially made tzatziki to an “upscale” Greek Cuisine dining scene. Wow. No steps. Just a poor jump to the top. So we saw those original places die instantly and now have more than enough of simple grilled fish places with a frozen and microwaved to order tray of moussaka and pastichio.

                      Ciao!

                      1. re: Gastronomos

                        :nodding: My maternal grandparents ran one of those diners/takeout places when they first established themselves here. 17-18 hours/day, 6 days a week. The only time the family got together was for Sunday dinner at home. I remember my mother telling me the menu was hybrid -- half Greek for their fellow immigrants, but they also offered a lot of "regular" type meals for the Irish folk, which basically translated to "bland".

                        What I always found interesting was that neither of my grandparents wanted to continue the old world traditions once they landed here. My grandmother, in particular, wanted to assimilate so badly that she convinced my grandfather to pay for her to take elocution lessons so she's lose her accent. My grandfather eventually did the same. Neither of them spoke Greek at home and didn't force my mother and her brothers to attend Greek school. By the time my mother graduated from high school -- this was right before WWII, BTW -- the only remnant of her heritage she had besides "the store" was her surname and my grandmother's Sunday dinners.

                        Thankfully she passed down a lot of recipes to my mother, who in turn passed them down to me. My grandmother was illiterate, so my mother had to transcribe how my grandmother made something by following her around with a notebook and pen!

                        1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                          thanks for sharing. great story

                          1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                            thanks for the post. it really puts things in perspective. not everything is as some want it to seem.

                            i myself am raised by a father and mother born and raised in cities, not villages. educated and immigrated to the US already speaking english and worked in professional careers.

                            may i ask you where your grandparents were from?

                            1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                              so interesting. today i asked my hairdresser about this. he grew up in Somville 2nd generation italian. His experience was that all the Italians stayed and many/most of the Greeks returned home after raising the kids to get a good education here. Anyway, that was his experience. I forgot to tell him that one of you said that, in greece, pizza joints are never owned by Greeks.

                              1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                                Thanks for sharing very interesting.

                                My grandparents came here in there 60's from Greece, they passed away in there 80's and never learned english.

                                Im not sure if my grandmother was illiterate but I don't think she wrote greek or english and my white mom had to follow her around to write down the recipes too. My yaya never measured anything. I cup wasn't a cup it was a tea cup and tea spoon was a actual tea spoon. lol Makes it very hard to make her kourabeithe recipe at Christmas as I'm sure my teacup isn't the same as hers.

                          2. I think that the exotic factor may have worn off, but as noted there are still some great places. I still love Farm Grill - very good gyros, and some unusual items like pilaki and octopus. Their galaktoboureko is awesomely outrageous.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: nsenada

                              I hope it was just an anomaly, but I had a really bad gyro from Farm Grill about a week ago. I've had the gyro there at least 30 times over the last decade and this was only the second time that it was not good. But this one was really bad. The lamb/beef was very rubbery and most pieces had huge chunks of fat. I also noticed a new, younger guy running the register and putting the orders together. I was very tempted to politely complain but they were so busy that it wasn't even worth the bother. Plus they aren't generally the friendliest people to begin with.

                              1. re: Gordough

                                I've occasionally gotten a bad one as well, hopefully not a general trend.

                                1. re: nsenada

                                  It's so frustrating because a good one is easily one of my top 10 sandwiches around. But man was my recent one bad. The meat really needs that crispy exterior to make the sandwich what it is. Even my gyro's pita bread wasn't great on my recent trip. It was barely warm and got hard as a rock before I got 1/3 of the way through my sandwich. If/when you go back, please report back.

                            2. I grew up with a number of Greek friends whose parents owned restaurants. They (parents) put in hard hours to make sure their kids went to university and got good careers. When they wanted to retire they weren't disappointed that their children didn't take over the business. They were happy with what they'd accomplished for themselves. I don't know if that's every situation but maybe part of the whole.

                              1. I have a soft spot for Farm Grille and still stop occasionally for a lamb kabob plate on the way home from work. I love that it comes with two sides and a greek salad and pita for around $13. I miss these old kind of places that serve like that.

                                I think Piano Boy hits it below and I have a feeling we will see the same thing with some of the American-Chinese restaurants that have been around for a while. I think the second generation is less interested in going into the business after seeing the hard-work there parents put in plus the fact that these restaurants (which we all love) are really built upon casual value which isn't very sexy to G2.

                                I've never been to Esperia but will have to give it a shot now.

                                1. Oh wow, blast from the past. I think the place between harvard and porter was the Acropolis. There was also one in porter where Kaya used to be. I guess you're right...they used to be trendy. I bet they could be again..its been decades since they vanished.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: phreddo

                                    The Acropolis was the white table cloth place with the formal waiters- i loved that place! Further up Mass Ave was the Averof. It started out in Bay Village where the owner's husband was a cook at an upscale Greek nightclub/restaurant with belly dancers and fancy drinks. He cooked for the Averof and Helen ran it. It was BYOB. In the late 60's they moved to the first Porter Square location in a basement across from the Star and it was still BYOB and home style cooking. Then they got a liquor license and moved further out on Mass Ave to a free standing white building that was once some kind of chain. I think they added belly dancing but by then we had moved out of Cambridge.

                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                      I think it used to be an Arby's. It then became a korean restaurant, Kaya. It recently got demolished. I think a hotel is going to be built there.

                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                        Thank you for remembering the Averof. I've been trying to remember the Acropolis and, and, and…… since I first read this post.

                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                          I totally forgot about the Acropolis! Thanks for the memories! I am Greek and living in Andover. The authentic Greek restauarants are alive and thriving in Lowell, where I grew up: The Athenian Corner and The Olympia Restaurants. I must also mention The Olympos Bakery. I also love Ithaki in Ipswich...I will write a review soon. It is a great restaurant since the renovations. However, for authentic Greek, the Athenian in Lowell wins out. Roobert Irvine could really use a visit, but the food is great!

                                      2. I come from the Chicago area where there is a large Greek population. However, I am now living in Florida. When I lived in the Chicago area, I found that there were two types if Greek restaurants. The first was a traditional, ethnic and authentic (as far as I could tell) restaurant, serving large quantities of lamb and fish cooked in a Greek style, plus dolmades (spiced ground lamb in grape leaves), a sort of Greek lasagne (I have forgotten the name), Greek salads, baklava, galactobouriko, etc.

                                        The second type of Greek restaurant was a cafe, which was very inexpensive, with an incredible number of items on the menu (maybe 75-100 dishes), few of which were Greek. They were just standard American dishes. These cafes always had a Greek section or sprinkled a few Greek dishes throughout the menu. Because the menu was so big, these still accounted for a substantial number of Greek dishes.

                                        An article I read indicated that Greeks had gone into the restaurant industry in droves and that roughly 50% of all restaurants were owned by Greeks, although you rarely knew that this was the case, since many Greeks owned restaurants of other ethnic origins, such as Italian, French, Chinese, etc., in addition to the ubiquitious Greek cafes.

                                        So, I suspect that the Greeks are still in the restaurant industry in large numbers but they are not necessarily serving Greek food. As second and third generation American Greeks have moved up economically, they are probably working behind the scenes, owning restaurants, investing, and generally playing the same kind of financial role that other ethnic groups have played as they have achieved the American Dream.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: gfr1111

                                          My hairdresser is the last word on ethnic groups vis a vis the food world. And Money is a big topic with him. He says that "All (most) of the pizza places in Boston are owned by Greeks," and, if you want to make alot of money in the food business, own a few pizza places (rather than high end restnts.)

                                          As far as i'm concerned Hats Off to anyone in the food business. It is one tough demanding line of work.

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            Being of Greek heritage, I totally agree. Most Greeks that have emigrated to Greece post 1980ish, have opened pizza places and have done very well financially. Personally, I still cook my own Greek food usually, but it is so wonderful to be able to go to Lowell for Moussaka, Pastitchio and Avgolemono Soup! Ironically, good luck finding a pizza place in Greece owned by Greeks :)

                                            1. re: ParisLady

                                              What Greek restaurant(s) do you like in Lowell?

                                              1. re: frond

                                                PL's reqs:
                                                1) http://www.atheniancorner.com/index.htm
                                                2)http://m.newolympia.com/MENU/MobileMe...

                                                1. re: frond

                                                  The Athenian Corner on Market Street is my go to place. It is authentic Greek homestyle food that is very reasonably price. They have been using the same recipes for two generations. And if your in the mood for enteetainment, belly dancer and a Greek bouzouki band on the weekend! OPA!

                                                2. re: ParisLady

                                                  There was a place on Rt135. in Natick, near the Wellesley border, Ice cream/fried food joint that, for years, was the go to place post, sports finals, gaduation, hot summer nights.

                                                  The place had "classic car nights" where people would bring their baby GTO/ Bel Air/ Corvette's and talk while listening to 60's music and eating Cheeseburger Plates delivered with 1/2 pound of fries for 10usd.

                                                  For what it was, it was a classic.

                                                  I believe the place was called "Steve's" (though we just knew it as "the place on 135" ) , it made the owner a TON of money. He finally closed it in the 90's and replaced with an upscale Greek restaurant. It died within a couple of years. Never saw anyone in the place under the age of 70, weak food, weaker service.

                                                  I asked one of the beleagured servers one day, WHY, in god's name, did the owner close a restaurant that basically printed money to open a tablecloth Greek joint that was failing miserably,

                                                  she said, "Its the place he always wanted to have"

                                                  1. re: hyde

                                                    There was a place on Harvard in Brookline whose name I forget. Where Gari is now. The owner was Greek. He'd sit with us sometimes and talk about how he wanted to do a more genuine Greek place. We encouraged him and at some point he did change the name to include his, Nikos, but he never felt the market would accept an actual Greek cafe.

                                                    He might be right. I remember New Taste of Asia's lunch business with that superb chef turning out beef & broccoli for the lunch workers who didn't realize they could get fantastic, real Chinese food. Or maybe who didn't want it.

                                                    1. re: hyde

                                                      I think "the place" you're referring to was "Nicks" back in the day - classic cars nights, good fried food and burgers.

                                                      It "transitioned" into "Nicholas Restaurant" - which never really caught on. We went several times, and the service was horrible, as was the food. It was way, way better as Nicks.

                                                      Nicholas Restaurant as since died, and it's now "transitioned" into Morse Tavern. Exactly the same issues, but now with nachos and wings.

                                              2. Gyro City just opened in the Fenway. Pork gyros atop the menu, a good sign. Zo and Esperia are the only other two places I/ve seen that in Boston (both versions are excellent).

                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                1. Back in the day, a lot of pizzerias were Greek owned. If the name of the place had the word "Brothers" in it, it was probably Greek.

                                                  16 Replies
                                                  1. re: phreddo

                                                    A place being named (Foo) House of Pizza was also a reliable sign that a pizzeria was Greek-owned. Lots of people on this board are fond of Greek-style pizza, but I am not one of them.

                                                    1. re: Allstonian

                                                      what is 'greek style pizza'?

                                                      1. re: daislander

                                                        As compared to traditional Italian-American pizza, Greek-American pizza is baked in an oiled pan, not directly on the floor of the pizza oven. Yeasty, untossed crust of medium thickness. Lots of sauce, not as much cheese. Cheese often a blend of cheddar and mozzarella. I'd estimate at least half the modest pizza places in Greater Boston follow this model.

                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                          Ive never heard or seen cheddar cheese on any pizza other then one made by a white dude. I don't dig it either.

                                                          Cant pizzas only be cooked on the floor of a pizza oven?

                                                          Might be more like a boston thing. Not a greek thing.

                                                          1. re: daislander

                                                            It's a Greek-American thing, not a Greek thing, and it's hardly limited to the Boston area, though it might be more pervasive in New England than in some parts of the country. It's cooked in a (usually) round, shallow pan that rests on the floor of the oven, where Italian-American pizza is baked directly on the floor (traditionally brick, often a stone deck or metal rack, heated by gas, coal, or wood); the oiliness that the crust retains from being cooked in an oiled pan is probably the key differentiator. "Pan pizza" is a not-uncommon synonym for Greek-American pizza.

                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                              ah yes. on the floor but in a pan. yes I agree.

                                                              For me I have only seen pizza actually being cooked on the floor of the oven in the last 3 yrs here (unfortunately)

                                                              Im pretty sure almost every restaurant Italian or Greek owned uses pans. At least where I live.

                                                              I think were going to get into a thick crust/deep dish / thin crust debate here.

                                                              I think Italians like to think all Italians cook pizza in the 'traditional' way but its not the case from what I've seen.

                                                              I didn't think pan pizza is was greek thing. Greeks may use pans but so do Italians and many others who make pizza.

                                                              I think fast food pizza places use conveyors. Still weirded out by the cheddar thing.

                                                              1. re: daislander

                                                                "[I'm] pretty sure almost every restaurant Italian or Greek owned uses pans. At least where I live.]

                                                                I'm a little confused by your comments, but perhaps there are regional differences - where do you live?

                                                              2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                Growing up just north of NYC, "Sicilian" was what you ordered if you wanted what is being called "Greek" here, and regular got you a standard, cooked on the bottom of the oven, non-greased-pan pie. Sometimes Sicilian also got you a square pie, but not always.

                                                                1. re: Parsnipity

                                                                  Yes, what exactly is the difference between Sicilian -- which you'll find at beloved institutions like Umberto and Pinocchio -- and Greek, which so many people hate? Allstonian is fervent in her dislike for Greek pizza, so after 12 years in Boston, I've still never had one!

                                                                  1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                    Greek is greasy, bar pie pizza.

                                                                    Made in a round pan. The crust has a flat edge to it like a cake. The crust is flat and not airy.

                                                                    I like Greek pizza once in awhile.

                                                                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                      #1: The cheese mixture - as Slim noted above, the cheese frequently mixes cheddar with the mozzarella.

                                                                      #2: Although both are pan pizzas, the Sicilian-style crust I'm used to (Galleria Umberto, Pinocchio's) is still a yeasty crust, and Greek-style crust is oilier and has a texture I can only describe as biscuit-y.

                                                                      1. re: Allstonian

                                                                        I also believe (but can't say for sure, as I've only cooked standard pies and greek pies, not sicilian) that the dough is proofed longer? It seems so yeasty and fluffy, anyone shed some light on that?

                                                                2. re: daislander

                                                                  Nope, MC has nailed it here, some of the ovens are even conveyor belt style with no real floor to speak of. I say this as a former pizza boy of Maria's pizza in scituate, which at that time used that very method (conveyor belt oven, greased cast iron pans, pressed, not tossed, dough, and finally, a 2 to 1 mozzarella/cheddar blend)...and you know what? That pie rocked....it tasted deep fried in the best way, it's not like that anymore, the conveyor oven is now a still Blodgett (at least it looked like it the last time I went a few years back on St. paddy's day)

                                                                3. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  Three Star pizza on Gainsborough Street used to use a blend of mozzarella and feta if you asked nicely. I could never love the cheddar thing. Only Greek-style pizza I ever really liked. A slice and a salad was $2.20 which was about all I could afford back in the day. Don't know when they closed. I came back from Montana to find a realtor's office in 1988-ish.

                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                    aw man, montana is such a beautiful state......

                                                            2. re: phreddo

                                                              Still are

                                                            3. There were a couple places on the South Shore that I've enjoyed over the years, but as for Boston, Steve's on Newbury St. satisfies a craving when we're in the mood for Greek food.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Annief123

                                                                MC Slim just reported that Steve's on Newbury is no more .... :-(

                                                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                  I only went to Steve's a few times, but the last time, I vowed, no more. I was sitting at a very cramped table, it was winter, and a woman walked in past my table and dragged her coat through all my food; she was oblivious and maybe under the influence of something or another. The coat was very dirty to judge from the visual. To be fair to her, there wasn't a lot of room to walk, but still.....Before she came in, I found the food very mediocre, at best. But I guess it was worth the low price. I did not finish my meal, and it took a long time to get the check.

                                                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                    I actually kind of liked their gyro, yes there are much better gyro's out there for sure, but for a standard greasy spoon gyro, it would fit the bill. The counter staff were cranks though.

                                                                2. I don't think anyone mentioned Kouzina Estiatorio in Dedham here. We love going there. It's nothing fancy, with only a few tables, and no table service, but Mom, Dad and sons are behind the counter cooking away.

                                                                  My favorite dishes are the keftedes (meatballs), skordalia and saganaki. Lemon potatoes are a good side. I haven't tried the moussaka yet but would like to. Everything there is also seriously cheap.

                                                                  1. How about Desfina's in Cambridge ... love the squid and octopus, plus homey neighborhood feeling.

                                                                    1. I've been for lunch to Taso near the Norwood airport. Very good gyros platter & friendly service. Had decent experience @ Desfina's as well. Spoiled as a former Chicagoan by that city's fabulous Greetown (Greek Islands, Santorino's et al.).

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: carneyvore

                                                                        Sorry but have to strongly disagree. Went to Taso recently and cannot recommend it. I am Greek American and hubby is Greek. The Greek corner in Cambridge is good solid food. I have heard Feisty Greek in Norwood and Kouzina in Dedham are good but haven't been. Ithaki in Ipswich was very nice upscale Greek at least when we went 3 years ago.

                                                                        1. re: Feeble

                                                                          Just went to the Feisty Greek this weekend (had bought a coupon) and it was excellent. The pork gyro plate was huge and tasty, served with a salad and two sides. Good salad and rice, hummus was a little boring but the gyro itself was great. $11.95 for the plate, $7.50 for the roll up. Also hit the new Gyro City on Peterborough St. which didn't seem as good, a bit dry. But the food was plentiful and and the owner was very nice so will give it another shot.

                                                                      2. One favorite that was wonderful for lunch in the Belmont/Watertown area was Andros Diner. Also the greek place just outside of Watertown square... Demos Restaurant. Nice people, good authentic food. No idea if it is still there. Semi-self service...you ordered and they brought it to your table. Also wine service...

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: random amblings

                                                                          Demos is still there. Love the lamb shish kabob plate and the moussaka.

                                                                          1. re: random amblings

                                                                            Andros in Belmont closed in 2011 due to non payment of taxes. I don't know what happened to the location after that.

                                                                            1. re: Madrid

                                                                              The name now is Sweet Peach Diner. Never been, so no idea how the food is..

                                                                          2. Even the restaurants owned by Greeks were awesome. The Paramount in the 80's was a great place and Jimmy's Harborside as well.

                                                                            1. If you feel like a bit of a drive, the Olympia in Lowell serves delicious Greek food.