Restaurant Review: The Mad Greek
Owners: Debbie Beattes and Dean Grivas
Address: 2805 Chichester Avenue, just after the church next to Produce Junction
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11-9 a.m. (Closed Sundays)
Website: www.themadgreekrestaurant.com, and they are on Facebook also
Ambiance: The place is an informal BYOB café, with wait service and 8 tables for 4, as well as outdoor dining under bright red umbrellas in good weather conditions. There is handy off-street parking beside the café. One wall is attractively paneled in wood blocks, with insets of plantings. Happy people kept arriving, bottles of wine tucked under their arms. It’s the kind of place where you talk to fellow diners and ask how their food choice is—you know what I mean, chatty.
Service: The two young female wait staff were charming and attentive, bringing menus and opening our bottle of wine soon after we sat down and taking other non-alcohol drink order from our son. The only improvement I could have asked for would be to have a sharing plate for the dishes we split, the appetizers and desserts.
Experience: The experience was so warm! One of the owners, Dean, came over to say hello, and to further discuss one of the specials our waiters had introduced: braised leg of lamb slices with lemon potato wedges and braised leeks. I decided it was a must-have, though I usually like my lamb medium rare.
But first: another favorite Greek choice, dolmades, which are real grape leaves, filled with dill-seasoned rice and bathed in lemon juice and very good Greek olive oil. Greek flavors are redolent of dill, lemon, olives and olive oil and oregano. There were four on the plate, and they were gone in about a minute.
The lamb dish was luscious and generous! The braised leeks were a good complement. Fellow Cheap Eater Bob ordered pastitsio, which an unfamiliar American might describe as Beefaroni. They would be so wrong! This dish is a bit of heaven, as follows: it is layered ziti pasta, ground beef in a rich tomato-y sauce, and topped with rich and flavorful béchamel sauce seasoned subtly with nutmeg and another mysterious spice. I love to cook, but this is one dish I don’t want to know how to make—because I couldn’t make it as well. Just take me to The Mad Greek for my fix. Our third diner, Jay Pounds, ordered a charred pork gyro (pronounced heero, not gyro). It seems that a lamb gyro is not authentic, but pork and chicken are, with French fried potatoes on top of the meat, along with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a healthy dollop of Tzatziki sauce, which is a yoghurt and thinly sliced or shredded cucumbers, and garlic combo. It is a thing unto itself, often eaten with just pita. But in this case, piled onto the gyro—which arrives wrapped in foil, so you can keep the foil end wrapped up tight and eat from the top. It is messy and delicious and filling.
Dessert: Yes, they have baklava, and we ordered (for $5.00) a giant piece shared between two of us. It was the best baklava I’ve had, with the walnuts not quite a finely ground as they normally are, and the phyllo pastry flaky and oozing honey and butter. It was so rich and satisfying, I was OK with just half of the most delicious pastry in the world. They have several other pastry choices, one of which is a rich custard in phyllo pastry—another favorite.
Menu: The selections are “something for everyone.” They have a huge Greek salad, and a mini Greek salad, which was itself huge and with a generous slab of good feta cheese. One of their items we will try next is Shrimp Santorini served on pasta, and another is Greek-style ribs with lemon and oregano.
In addition to their Greek and Mediterranean selections, they have Italian dishes, American dishes such as Memphis ribs and all-beef hot dogs, and a kids’ menu.
Total Bill: $47.70 plus tip, or $15.90 per person for three excellent and complete meals. The wine was good, too!
Additional Comments: I couldn’t resist the two big water carafes on the counter, one flavored with cut watermelon, and the other with cut pineapple. I had a glass of the watermelon water. Very flavorful.
Reviewed Saturday, June 3, 2018 by Anne Pounds
www.TheCheapEater.com, an affiliate of www.WelcomeNeighborPA.com
Anne & Bob Pounds, the owners of Welcome Neighbor, the new home owner personal visitation, community orientation service and deliverer of special housewarming gifts from sponsoring business owners, enjoy having the best eating out experiences... at the lowest prices, hence thecheapeater.com They love sharing their "finds" here and in their monthly newsletter: the Neighborly News. Enjoy!