It’s All Greek To Me or Like Pulling Pitas
It had been awhile since we ate at the local Greek restaurant, El Greco. I was jonesin’ for some pitas so we went by on a recent Saturday afternoon. One couple was just leaving when we arrived, which left us as only patrons there in the middle of the afternoon.
El Greco has simply fantastic food and the atmosphere has always been relaxing. I do have to comment about their recent remodel. Same building, just moved to other side of it. While the interior is new and lovely, the tables are now much closer together. I don’t understand why they would want less floor space; maybe for the gigantic bar that I have never seen anyone sitting at? I actually got up from my table one evening when the place was packed and accidentally pushed my chair right into a woman squeezing between the tables. Ouch!
The service has always been excellent. You know the kind where you reach for your drink and it has been mysteriously refilled? The owner’s daughter is our favorite server; she is friendly and goes above and beyond to ensure you have a great dining experience. Her and her mother have a cooking show on the local television station on the weekends showing you how to make some of their ethnic specialties. Too bad she wasn’t there this Saturday afternoon.
We were seated and ordered our drinks and some Satziki (cucumber dip) and pitas. This sauce is so good, I could probably just go and have it for a snack sometime. Our favorite dish is the Soutzoukakia; it’s delicious meatballs. They actually took it off of the menu as an entree by itself; this happened about remodel time. However, it is part of the combination platter and the daughter had previously told that we could just order it anyway. We did and the waitress went back to the kitchen to check its availability. She returned and told us that they didn’t have enough available. I looked around at all the empty tables and wondered who they thought might be eating their precious meatballs. I quickly scanned the menu for a replacement item because I really only came here for the meatballs; and the pitas, of course. At this point, I didn’t want to order the combination meal that included the Soutzoukakia; it was the principle of the matter, you have it, I want it, sell it to me, I don‘t care what it costs. We both decided on the Gyro Plate with roasted potatoes. The waitress then tried to steer us towards the lunch Gyro. No, I assured her, I wanted the plate with the all the vegetables, a salad and more pitas included.
We were devouring our wonderful Satziki sauce and pita; until we ran out of pitas halfway through the bowl. We asked the waitress to bring some more pitas. “You want more? They come with your meal,” she replied in a snippy tone, “How many?”
How about you trot your little butt back to the kitchen and just keep bringing me pitas until I say, no, I couldn’t possibly eat one more pita. “Two,” I answered; hoping that was the correct cucumber dip to pita ratio.
She returned with the steaming hot, heaven on a plate, pitas. “Could I have some ice, please?” was my next demand on her time. I left out the part I was thinking; how ice is what defines water as ‘ice water’ and in my humble opinion, actually makes it drinkable.
Next she brought out the salads. Their salads consist of shredded lettuce with an oil dressing accompanied with pitas. I’ve never found these to be all that great, but I did like dipping my warm pitas in the dressing at the bottom of the bowl. Guess what, no pitas. Luckily, I still had a couple of wedges left.
The girl brought out our plates of food. We dove in. “Wait, wait, we didn’t take a picture.” I can’t tell you how many times we don’t think of the blog picture until the meal is halfway consumed. I pulled the camera out of my purse, “Stop eating. Move your fork. Wait, don’t take another bite.” It’s hard to quit eating once you have begun.
The Gyros were fantastic as usual. Even their green beans are exceptional. I ate till I was about to explode. I imagined the rest of my afternoon being spent longing around in my stretchy pants, watching NASCAR, unable to move.
The waitress had missed all the picture commotion as she had retired to the kitchen area in the back of the building. Too bad for the man that came in a short time later. He stood unnoticed at the front counter for about five minutes before he turned around and left.
“I guess they’re not saving those meatballs for him,” I said sarcastically.
Oh, and by the way, we did not get more pitas with our meal. What the heck? Also, we were not even offered dessert. Not that we had room for it or any more pitas; again it was just the principle of the matter at this point.
Usually we order pitas to take home with us. They are fantastic heated up and smeared with peach spread for breakfast. Yum, yum. We didn’t want to put the waitress out any further, so we didn’t even ask for our usual to go order of pitas.
Seriously here, a restaurant should be trying to sell as much product (food) as possible to the consumer (eater). Again, I looked around at all the empty tables. We paid our quite substantial bill and left. I didn’t even look to see what we were charged for; at this point it didn’t really matter. Food 10, service 2.