Sherman's Food Adventures: The Greek Broadway

The Greek Broadway

A long time ago, I dined at Anatoli's in North Van and came away enjoying a delicious and authentic Greek meal.  Well fast forward to the present and the next generation have opened up several locations of The Greek (by Anatoli) within Vancouver.  One of the newest is The Greek Broadway where Heritage Eatery used to be located.  Yes, they are right along the Skytrain construction zone and hence the angled picture of their storefront.  I was invited recently to give the place a try with a few other foodies.

We began with the Dip Taster featuring homous, tzatziki and taramosalata.  First off, the dips were excellent, but more importantly, the grilled pita was the perfect vessel for the dips.  They were fluffy and light with a smoky and crispy char on the outside.  Of the three dips, my favourite was the briny and tangy taramosalata.  So much umaminess in this one as well as the thick creaminess.  Their homous was also very good being smooth, a bit nutty, garlicky and tangy.

Presented in super big rings, the Calamari was not only great to look at, it was one of the better versions I've had of late.  The batter was light and crispy while properly seasoned.  It stayed adhered to each piece and wasn't greasy.  As for the squid itself, the rings were tender despite being in large pieces.  They still retained an appealingly chewiness that gave good mouth-feel.  The side of tzatziki was bright, garlicky and tangy.  I could've eaten this whole dish myself!

Possibly my favourite small share dish was the Vegan Calamari with fried crispy oyster mushrooms served with tahini soy dip.  As evidenced in the picture, the breading on these was aggressively crunchy.  Hence, there was much enjoyment with each bite.  Beyond the breading, the mushrooms were tender and juicy with natural umaminess.  Yes, these were tasty on their own, but the dip provided the necessary nutty saltiness that made an impact.

The hits kept on coming with their version of Spanakopita.  These were larger ones cut into smaller pieces.  Hence, the amount of filling was significant.  You can see in the picture that they were stuffed full of tender spinach and feta cheese.  So much so, it was hard to keep it in with every bite.  Hey I wasn't complaining though as it went well with the super crispy phyllo pastry.  They were extra tasty when dipped into the side of tzatziki.

Now we had the calamari already, but the Grilled Humboldt Squid was equally delicious.  The dish consisted of super tender pieces that were lightly kissed by the grill.  I liked how the squid was easily chewable but still had a slight bite at the end.  As much as the squid was seasoned, the combination of lemon and olive oil added the necessary acidity and adhesion.  To top it all off, literally and figuratively, we found a bright sharpness from the salsa and herbaceousness from the cilantro.

Okay, one of the more under-appreciated dishes in my mind is Saganaki.  For those who don't know, it is a seared piece of mountain sheep cheese that that is pan-fried and finished with some lemon juice.  Typically it is served with bread.  For this one, it was lightly breaded and yes, as you can see, it was stringy with nicely seared edges.  The cheesiness and aromatics of this dish as through the roof.  Of course the lemon helped cut through the heaviness.

Another under-the-radar item we had was the Avgolemono Soup with chicken, rice, kale, carrot, celery, egg and lemon.  Oh wow, this was so hearty, comforting and addictive!  The broth was like a warm blanket giving us a loving hug.  It was sweet, meaty and tangy.  This ensured that it had plenty of depth without being heavy.  The shredded chicken was both plentiful and moist while the rest of the ingredients added their natural sweetness.

Yep, we also had some salads including the Greek Salad and Lentil Salad.  Sure, Greek salads aren't complex, but this one was really good due to the large pieces of fresh cucumber, tomato, onions and peppers.  Beyond, that, the side of feta was much better than it being on the salad in my opinion.  For bonus points, they also have an option for vegan coconut feta.  It was really smooth and creamy!  As for the lentil salad, it was comprised of stewed green lentils, arugula, cherry tomatoes, crispy chickpeas, green onion, feta and lemon soy dressing.   Yeah, this was quite the loaded salad and in many ways, it didn't eat as such.  I thought due to the lentils and chickpeas, it was much more of a meal due to the robust textures and heaviness of the ingredients.  Loved the dressing as it was tangy and salty.

Onto some large meat items, we had a selection of Souvlaki consisting of Chicken Thigh and Tiger Prawn.  Due to the use of dark meat, the chicken was juicy and tender.  Naturally, they had to nail the execution too for that to happen and yep they did!  They were also marinated enough so that there was inherent flavour in addition to the smoky char and natural meatiness.  As for the prawns, they were pretty large and cooked just enough that there was a buttery snap texture.

Before we got to dessert, we ended off the savoury portion of the meal with the Pidakia Platter consisting of 5 flame-grilled lamb chops atop rice with lemon potatoes and seasonal veggies.  This was oh-so-good with beautifully charred lamb chops that were marinated and also cooked to medium.  Succulent and delicious!  Rice was tender with a chew while the potatoes were soft but browned with a good hit of lemon.  Roasted veggies were cooked perfectly.

With dessert, we had the Baklava, Chocolate Mousse and Ekmek.  As much as baklava can be sickingly sweet, this one was fairly balanced.  Loved the many defined layers of phyllo with nuts and sticky sweetness.  My favourite of the 3 was the chocolate mousse as it was super rich and extremely chocolatey.  I would say it trended towards a dark chocolate bitterness rather than being overly sweet.  Lastly, the ekmek was presented in a ramekin rather than looking like a piece of cake.  It turned out to be very creamy and light as opposed to the heavier versions I've had.  It was sweet, but not overly so.  Overall, this meal at The Greek was very impressive on many points.  First of all, the food was almost flawless in execution and it was just damn tasty.  Great share dishes in a modern comfortable dining space.
*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*
The Good:
- Authentic Greek eats that are modernized
- Food was executed expertly
- Nice trendy spot
The Bad:
- Well, not their fault, the Skytrain construction makes it a bit difficult to see and find parking 


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