Written by Sanford Begley
I love Greek food and have been searching for a good Greek restaurant locally for a long time. This wasn’t it. I spotted the Greek Isles Restaurant in a strip mall in Liberty Township, Ohio last night as we were leaving a performance. Since we were hungry and heading out to find a restaurant this seemed like a gift.
If it was a gift it was from someone who didn’t know us very well. The place looked nice at first glance, well decorated with a row of nice booths along the wall and a selection of tables. The booths were all filed except one, the tables empty. We asked whether it was seat yourselves and the person behind the counter was more interested in taking our carryout order. When he found out that we wished to dine in we were given two styrofoam coffee cups (we wanted soda) and a couple of laminated menus similar to what you would get from a carryout.
The selections looked good on the menu, though pizza on a menu for a Greek restaurant seemed a bit odd. The prices were closer to a good restaurant than a carryout. and you had to place your order at the counter, though they did deliver to the table.
The first item we received was an appetizer I had never heard of, Tiropita. Its description was delicious, phyllo dough with a three cheese filling. It came on a styrofoam saucer which it had melted into. The outside was blackened, whether from the dirty grill or being overdone is debatable. Effectively it was tasteless. (Cedar’s note: it tasted like burnt filo dough. Yuck)
When we received the salad with the odd name I can’t remember we had mixed feelings. It came heaped in a small stoneware bowl, the portion size was fine but, too much for the bowl and no salad plates to move any of it into. making eating it neatly difficult. The vegetables were nice and fresh, though the tomato was slightly under ripe. The pieces were also too large for a salad, chunks of bell pepper ¾ of an inch wide and 3 inches long, long strips of onion, the other vegetables were chopped into pieces the size of a shooter marble. This was a traditional cucumber and tomato salad from the eastern Mediterranean and with the problems noted above was quite good. The dressing on the other hand left much to be desired, olive oil with a little vinegar and no authority. I expect some spices for such a dressing, this had little or none. (Cedar’s note: and three kalamata olives on the top of the feta. So generous /sarc off)
The Dolmades were the highlight of the meal. The were served on a rectangular ceramic tray with a small dish of Tashiki sauce and pita triangles. They looked good, the tzatziki sauce was excellent and the pita was , well pita. I am not fond of Dolmades but the wife is, she says these were excellent, strongly flavored with lemon and mint and very fresh. (Cedar’s note: I must learn how to make my own, they’re expensive in the restaurants)
When the souvlaki was served it came in paper trays similar to that you get at Long John Silvers. Well Souvlaki might not be the right word, grilled pork chunks would be a better description. The spicing was mild, the tzatziki sauce dominated the flavor. If you have had real souvlaki you know it is a highly spiced meat on a skewer dish. The carbon crumbles from the dirty grill compounded this problem, actually turning the creamy cucumber sauce a nasty gray color.
All in all the place was too expensive for a carry out, with serious food issues. The food was ok if it hadn’t been named for things it barely resembled, and if they cleaned the grill occasionally. Final Verdict? We won’t embarrass them by entering their doors again.