Friday, June 27, 2008

Zorba's Cafe: Lovely Atmosphere. Only Eat The Hot Food.

It started with a craving for dolmatas.

Then feta.

Then olives.

I suppose my body was minus its necessary quota of olive oil and garlic. I don't know. Either way I found myself at the outside of a charming blue-and-white painted building: Zorba's Cafe.

The price was right; $4 for appetizers, $6 for entrees. $3 for a glass of wine. The service was a little unexpected; although both the inner dining room and the outdoor terrace were set up like a "real" restaurant (and were quite lovely to look at, delightful to know), the cafe itself was a fast-food place in every sense of the word. To get anything to eat, you had to walk through the dining room to the kitchen, place your order, and watch it handed back to you (instantly) on a cafeteria tray.

Not knowing what was good (and being a little unnerved by the cafeteria trays), I followed my "when in doubt, sampler platter please!" rule.

And this is what I got:

Parts of the meal were great. The falafel was fine, and the hot bean soup thing in the northeast corner was fantastic (internet says it's called fasolia and Zorba's sells it by the bowl). The hummus and tzatziki were also very good, although the hummus had clearly been thinned out a bit.

The salad was a cheap restaurant salad, blah lettuce with feta thrown on the top. No big deal.

The worst parts of the meal were the dolmatas and the spanakopitta. Both of them had that chilled, clammy, "I was cooked three days ago and I've been sitting in a refrigerator ever since" taste.

Would I recommend? Well, the cafe was so cute and the night was so beautiful and the white wine helped smooth everything out, so... yes. I really enjoyed myself at Zorba's, despite the chilly dolmatas.

So when you go, choose judiciously! My guess is you'll do better ordering hot dishes than cold ones.

And sit out on the terrace if you can. The birds will come right up to you and say hello!

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