221 Carrall St, Vancouver BC V6B 2J2
I love Greek food and I have been craving lamb since my birthday (when I thought I was going to get a chop but ordered a shank instead… d’oh). This time around, I was delightfully surprised when my partner asked if he could treat me to a nice dinner out, I happily obliged and picked The Greek because I knew the food was good and there would be lamb chops on the menu. This newer location in Gastown is much younger, hipper, and louder than the more ‘sophisticated’ (read: yuppies) Yaletown location. I can’t decide if I prefer the random DJ spinning rap tracks at a conversation-muffling volume to a demographic of 20 year-old’s looking to party OR a quieter, more pretentious crowd full of fillers, botox, brand-name-clad people sipping rosé and not eating. Either way, I’m there for the food – I also appreciate the rap music too.
Friday night and we started with a couple of drinks in the former Bao Down location, turned Greek. I was craving some red wine and tried their house blend of Cab-Merlot. It was actually quite nice – light, easy to drink, on the fruity size. My partner ordered a watermelon-basil Mojito called Karpouzi (Greek for watermelon). His was very sweet as they used syrup and not fresh watermelon, but it was also really refreshing.
We started with some appies: a little Haloumi cheese and some grilled octopus. I love Haloumi and they do it quite well here, served Caprese-style on some sliced tomato and drizzled with olive oil. I really enjoyed the savoury, saltiness of the cheese with the sweet and freshness from the tomato. The octopus was delicious and one of my favourite things to order at The Greek – it is such a pleasant departure from the typical deep-fried calamari option you would normally get at most Greek joints. I love the grilled char marks on the tentacles and the sea-forward flavour – definitely a must-try! A plate of really tasty, crisp-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside pita accompanied our appies and was perfect to carry both the cheese and octopus!
We decided to share the lamp chop platter for our main and it was more than enough food for the both of us – rice, potatoes, veggies and tzatzik. The sides were all very typically Greek, the rice pilaf was abundant, more than enough for two people. The potatoes had a nice lemony flavour and well-roasted sides. The veggies were a bit oily but tasted great because of that.
Five beautifully grilled chops sat in the middle of a metal serving tray, ready to pick up and gnaw on. These had a really good smoky flavour, cooked medium-rare, and were really well seasoned. I will say, everything was borderline over-seasoned and was quite salty. But I still really enjoyed the food, though I had to finish my wine and chug down some water after.
Overall, I would go back to The Greek again, especially if I’m looking for an elevated Greek food experience, as opposed to the Stepho’s and OPA’s! of Vancouver. Not that there is anything wrong with those $10.95 per plate joints, sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy a really beautiful, well-cooked meal and sing along to some 2000’s rap jams.
- Signature Cocktail, Karpouzi $13
- Anatoli Kokino, Meritage, 9oz $13
- Haloumi Caprese $16
- Octopothi $20
- Pidakia Platter, 5 Lamb Chops w/ Seasonal Vegetables, Potatoes + Rice $45
Beats: Santorini Greece – Rick Ross