Monday, February 21, 2011

Zorba's Tavern

2230 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130-2617
(215) 978-5990

Gyro's are one of my favorites, but sadly, our fair city is somewhat lacking in that department. Don't get me wrong, there a few gems around, but for the most part, we don't have much. Even though we more than make up for it with other amazing foods, I am still always on the lookout for that special one. Zorba's is up in the Fairmount/Art Museum area (also ON Fairmount Ave), and they offer a traditional Greek menu, with a reasonably priced lunch time sandwich.

The place is about what you would expect from an authentic Greek spot, charming, yet somewhat "seasoned." I started with the cold appetizer combo, a steal at $7. It includes all of their cold dips, and is served with pita bread. This means you get to sample the: Tzatziki (homemade yogurt, garlic, dill and olive oil), Skordalia (garlic, bread, olive oil and vinegar), Hummus (chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, garlic, tahini, and cumin), my personal favorite Kopanisti (feta, olive oil, hot peppers), Tarama (fish caviar, olive oil, lemon, bread and potato), Melitzania (roasted eggplant, peppers, garlic, olive oil, and feta), and a Dolmade (grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs). This was a great starter, and as all of the various spreads had such different flavors, it was fun to discover each one through tasting with the warm, fresh pita bread.

I also obviously went with the gyro, as that was the main reason for my visit. They make their gyro's with the traditional thinly sliced beef and lamb and add lettuce, tomato, red onion, french fries, lettuce and tzatziki. Yes, I know, lettuce twice? The answer, they must, because I felt like I was biting into a pita stuffed with shredded lettuce, accented by a bit of meat and a couple of french fries. The meat was good, as was the pita, but I could not get over the sparseness of the main star. It was ALL lettuce.

If they had an option to go double meat, I would be all over it. And it would bump this sandwich up a couple of notches, but until that point, I will stick with South Street Souvlaki. Unless someone has another suggestion. I am open to them. The service was great, the ingredients fresh and the appetizer combo delicious, but I was definitely let down by the lack of delicious meat.

This would have been me celebrating if they had tripled my meat.

Hello???? Any meat in there??????

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