My Greek TavernaPosted: 04/02/2012
So my parents had never had Greek food before. This isn’t a coincidence. To be honest, they’re not the most adventurous of eaters, and also, my brother isn’t the biggest fan of Greek food, so we tend to go for other options on family outings–normally sushi or pasta. Well, one day, it happened to be just the three of us at home, so I suggested we try out My Greek Taverna, just a couple minutes’ drive away. I’d read decent reviews of it on UrbanSpoon–also Cindy (who previously accompanied me on my visit to Ebisu) had said it was worth a try.
The restaurant is located on Brunette Avenue–not exactly a street you would know unless you lived in the area like I do? Parking is located behind the building, with an entrance located at the back–yeah…it looked a bit sketchy, so my parents and I trekked up the hill to go in via the main entrance.
We arrived just as the restaurant opened and were seated promptly by the window. It’s a typical Greek restaurant on the inside–lots of plants, with the walls painted with murals depicting Athens and Santorini. There was one table of diners already seated when we arrived, and several more subsequently arrived. Maybe this is a local hotspot, but it was quite busy for a random Tuesday lunch.
We shared the Augolemono Chicken Soup to start. This came out hot and was a bit salty, not that I minded. In general, I find most Greek food to be salty, but I still enjoy it. The soup had a light taste of lemon as it should, and contained a decent amount of chicken, as well as rice. I found the presentation a little lacking, though–but I guess there’s only so much you can do with soup? Maybe a few sprigs of parsley or something would have helped. My mom said she would have preferred more rice…but then again, being Asian…she’s used to having her soups with a whole bowl of rice. It was also quite oily, and not exactly aesthetically pleasing in that way.
My dad chose the Chicken Souvlaki. The portions are huge (as you can see!) and the lunch prices are $11, which is quite reasonable (the souvlaki, rice, Greek salad, potato, tzatziki sauce (my favourite!), as well as pita bread). The chicken was quite juicy and moist and the ingredients of the salad (especially the cucumber) fresh. The one thing I found amiss was the potato, which was oddly spicy. I guess I’m not an expert on Greek food, but I would have preferred a milder taste to the potato–it was too spicy and salty and I ended up leaving most of mine uneaten. The potato was also a little too hard–perhaps it should have been cooked longer? My dad enjoyed his meal though!
My mom had the same, but with Lamb Souvlaki. She wasn’t a huge fan of the rice. The portion size was large, but some of the rice was hard and clumped together. She found the lamb a little tough, but still enjoyable. This was the same price as the chicken souvlaki above, which I thought was a great deal–usually at other Greek restaurants the lamb is a couple dollars more. Despite being a little tough, the lamb was still quite flavourful. We had the same complaints with this as the chicken souvlaki above–the potato was a little hard and again too salty and spicy.
Lastly, I had the Calamari. See how much calamari there is? There was still rice underneath all that fried squid goodness! I found the squid a little too tough for my tastes, though. It wasn’t as tender as I normally like calamari to be, and the batter was a little thick. I couldn’t finish most of this. I had similar complaints about the potato and the rice, though…at least the pita bread (not pictured) was warm and soft as it should be. Also, although I appreciated the huge amount of calamari, I wish they hadn’t piled it on top of the rice. It was a little difficult to get to the rice and salad with all the calamari spilling over it.
My Greek Taverna is definitely a good option for inexpensive Greek food in Coquitlam, especially for the lunch prices. However, the quality of food is a little lacking–I didn’t get the impression that the food was prepared with care. The service was also a little terse. There were two waitresses on duty while we were eating. One was quite friendly, while the other could benefit from a little attitude adjustment…one group of diners wanted to move to a different table, and asked her politely if this were possible. She replied with a, “Just one second please,” in a very clipped and hostile tone. While this unfriendliness wasn’t directed at me, it still left a lasting impression.
Also–cleanliness. When recalling her visit to me, Cindy had told me that the cleanliness was quite lacking. In particular, she said the washrooms were disgusting. I didn’t use the washrooms on this visit, but to me, the cleanliness of a restaurant’s washroom is quite important. After all, if they can’t keep their washroom clean, how clean could their kitchen be? When the waitress brought me water at the beginning of the meal, the cup did appear not too clean.
I’m not sure if I would return here. The food was more than acceptable for the price we paid, but I feel that I would rather pay a little more and receive friendlier service as well as properly washed eating utensils. That being said, most of the clientele is probably attracted by the low prices–hopefully they’ll improve on the service and hygiene factors!
My Greek Taverna
946 Brunette Avenue