Sherman's Food Adventures: O'Love Greek Kitchen

O'Love Greek Kitchen

Easily mistakened for "Olive", O'Love Greek Kitchen opened up recently in the old Subway location on Hastings near Zeta and Sushi Town.  Viv already has had lunch there and thought the food was pretty good.  I took that in and made a note to return for dinner.  Well, that didn't happen as things got busy and I totally forgot about it.  I guess taking actual notes rather than mental notes would be more useful!  Finally, with no predetermined restaurant to visit on a weekend night, we didn't have to go far to try out O'Love.

Since it was only a Subway before, the restaurant itself isn't very big, but they make good use of the space.  As for the food, we began with the Hummus and Taramasalata with grilled pita.  Smooth with some chunky bits, the hummus was aromatic due to the garlic while the amount of tang could've been more pronounced.  Loved the creamy richness of the taramasalata as it was blended well.  There was the unmistakable brininess of the roe combined with a balanced amount of saltiness.  Sure, the dips were the star of the show, but in reality, the seared pita was probably just as important.  They were fluffy and warm where they were cut into strips.  Perfect for dipping!  Next, the order of Calamari was rather generous . Furthermore, it was also well-executed with a light and crunchy batter (that was mildly seasoned).  The squid was tender with a bite and the tzatziki was plenty tangy and garlicky.

Onto the mains, my mom had the Roast Lamb Shoulder garbonzo beans and carrots as well as Greek chips.  Normally, I'm more partial to the plain ol' roast lamb with spices and no sauce.  I find the ones with sauce to be too wet and muddled in flavour.  I wouldn't say this one would fit into that category, but at the same time, my personal preference would be something simpler.   With that being said, the lamb was tender and moist with a mix of flavours that ranged from tangy to sweet to aromatic.  Viv chose the Mousaka as her main and it was a good combination of organic beef, eggplant, zuchinni, potato and graviera-beshemel.  Neatly prepared and presented in its own ramekin, the mousaka was utterly delicious.  Nutmeg, cinnamon and the creaminess of the bechemel were the dominant flavours and textures beyond the soften ground beef.  It ate really rich with quite the oil slick at the bottom, but in reality, it wasn't a huge issue.

My son went for the Chicken Souvlaki with spinach risotto and Greek chips.  In fact, my daughter had the exact same dish but as the appetizer version (she can't possibly eat 2 skewers).  These were beautifully grilled with char marks that not only looked legit, they added the necessary smokiness and caramelization.  Although not aggressively seasoned, the souvlaki was still aromatic from the hot grill.  When my dad ordered the Salmon Souvlaki, I was concerned that it would be overcooked (because many places do that).  However, it was absolutely perfect despite not appearing to be. Beyond the grill marks on the outside, the fish was tender, medium-rare and tender on the inside.  Although it was mildly seasoned like the chicken, it was still delicious with natural sweetness and of course the dunk into the side of tzatziki.

For myself, I had the 1/2 Roast Chicken with Greek Chips (in reality, these were fresh cut fries).  Nicely rendered and golden brown (also charred), the skin was well-seasoned where it added plenty of flavour to the chicken.  I found the breast meat to be a little over the line between moist and dry, but it wasn't bad.  Of course the dark meat fared better.  Overall, it was a decent roast chicken.  As much as I loved the fresh cut fries, I was longing for some lemon roasted potatoes.  On the other hand, I know that these fries are classic additions to Gyros, so it wasn't completely out of left field either.  In general, O'Love is a solid neighbourhood restaurant that offers up good food, fair portions and best of all, great service.  We will return.

The Good:
- Solid food
- Personable service
- Fair portions 

The Bad:
- Not the most spacious place
- Loved the fries, but also would like a lemon potato option

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