Opa, mis amigos!
With America currently in the grips of a spanakopita night fever thanks to Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again currently (probably?) burning up the box-office, the big fat love affair with Greek culture has everyone once again doing the syrtaki from here to Athens, with a well-deserved rest in Norman at the Greek House, 768 S. Jenkins Ave., near Campus Corner.
Staking a claim in Norman’s sultry Mediterranean scene since 1979, I personally have been booking a round-trip ticket to the Greek House since the late 90s, when I wandered in there after an exquisitely woeful date. Finding my way back to the House for the first time in numerous years, however, is like stepping into a time machine of sorts, if the time machine were a Greek restaurant: the same cramped tables and chairs, the same faded Greek tourism posters, the same menu featuring gyros, falafel and hummus, among other classical Grecian fare.
Looking for a light and gentle app to start the evening off right with, I immediately ordered the vegetarian plate ($6.99) and, for old time’s sake, the classic gyros plate ($9.38). As the boys behind the counter got right to work putting my plates together, slathering up the hummus, slicing up the gyro meat and so on, I eased back in my comfortably cramped chair and my comfortably cramped table and let out a winsome sigh. Σπίτι!
A very subtle collection of defiantly lighter, non-meat foodstuffs, the vegetarian plate was a delightfully budget-friendly sampler of some of the best (locally, at least) that the Mediterranean dive has to offer: a small Greek side-salad with a bit of tomato, onion and feta, a trio of crispy-enough falafel, a light scoop of humus and, to taste, a couple of pieces of hot and toasty pita bread. Good enough for a romantic snack for two, but desperately a real meal deal for the immaculately lonely.
On the plus side though, Tzatziki sauce. Remember to ask for an extra cup or two of that creamy, refreshing, tangy magic stuff. Do a shot of it, if you must. I understand.
Still, as good as vegetables (and vegetarians) are—and they are—the gyros plate is beyond an embarrassment of charms and riches. The guys slightly overloaded the paper plate with fresh-cut beef and veal slices from that mouthwatering meat-spit, aided and abetted with customary fresh lettuce, onions and tomato, a nice pile of greasy French fries cooked in gyros oil and, of course, even more pita bread. It’s enough food to last you a few meals—if you’re frugal enough, ese—all for under a tenner.
And when all was said and done and I had had my fill, as I packed my leftovers and was heading out the door of this Parthenon of deliciousness, yes, I saw the fresh baklava on the counter…while the spirit was willing, the stomach was weak. That gyros meat filled me up for days so, you know, maybe next time. Cómpralo ya!