Tag Archives: Greek

Aesop’s Table Cafe

30 Jan

Hubs and I were downtown running a few errands and found ourselves on Mass Ave looking for a place to dine. I had walked by Aesop’s many times, even had plans to dine there with friends once only to cancel. Thought it would be perfect for a casual dinner on Thursday night. We bundled up and headed into the cafe for dinner.

Once we were inside, we were immediately greeted by the host. The restaurant only had one other table dining at the restaurant, so I wasn’t expecting slow service by any means. And fortunately, the service was never delayed from start to finish. We grabbed a seat towards the back of the restaurant and took a look around. It definitely represented a Greek style third space: a place of casual tables and chairs, nothing fancy, but clean and open for business. It was slightly chilly, but I couldn’t help but think how comfortable it would be with warmer weather. Hubs ordered a Dutch beer and I grabbed a glass of Malbec while we reviewed the menu.

We were both quite hungry, so we opted to order an appetizer.Despite being served a basket of warm bread when seated, we opted to order more bread and selected the dipping plate. Warm, crisp and tender slices of pita were served with thick slices of tender french bread. Crusty on the outside, but soft on the inside, the breads were perfect for the trio of dips. We were served hummus (hommous, however you opt to spell), tzatziki, and a sun-dried tomato and feta dip. The hummus was smooth,  a perfect blend of chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. The tzatziki, a cucumber yogurt dip, was heavy in mint. I appreciated how light and refreshing it was compared to the heavier dips. The sun-dried tomato and feta dip was a little dry, but still had good flavor of robust tomatoes and sharp feta. I just wish it was a bit more spreadable and not as dry on the tongue.

For dinner, we each opted for a sandwich. A good idea considering we both ate way more bread than anticipated as a starter. But first, we received a basic salad of romaine, tomatoes, onions, mozzarella and a basic vinaigrette. A clean starter. Nothing special, but I appreciated the lightness of the salad.

Hubs opted for the gyro, which he jazzed up by ordering the ultimate. Essentially, that means added feta and mozzarella cheese to the traditional sandwich. It was a large, thus very messy. It was a combination of pork and lamb, plus an addition of dijon mustard. I took a bite and thought the meat was a little dry (maybe from being broiled for the cheese to melt?), but still had the good traditional flavors of a gyro despite the addition of ingredients.

I opted for the chicken souvlaki, listed as a chicken sandwich. A combination of sauteed peppers and onions were the dominant flavors of the sandwich. But, I didn’t mind that considering the chicken was dry and lacking flavor. There was tzatziki and diced tomatoes on the sandwich as well in the slightly toasted, warm pita. I can’t rave enough about the pita – I just loved the texture and taste. But, due to the dipping plate, I opted to really only eat the chicken and veggies on their own. It was just too much food for me.

Overall, the food was simple like the environment. For about $11, the sandwich and salad were more than enough food. The service was definitely friendly, personable and attentive despite our server also acting as the host. It would be a solid place to lounge with friends, grab a drink and few appetizers over conversation while strolling Mass Ave. Just like the people in the Mediterranean – they know how to relax and Aesop’s environment invites that same philosophy.

Aesop’s Tables Cafe * 600 E. Massachusetts Ave * Downtown Indy, 46204

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Athens on 86th

12 Sep

One of my co-workers was leaving for another opportunity, so we all made our way to her selected restaurant, Athens on 86th, for her going away luncheon.  Having honeymooned in Greece, I love Mediterranean food.  I had eaten at Athens once before, but it was about 4 years ago for lunch.  I had the basic gyro and from what I remember it was good.  But there had to be a reason I hadn’t returned, right?  I was obviously willing to give it another go and anticipated something different from the menu.

I opted to order the vegetarian sampler platter, Taste of Greece “Veggie Style”.  Five different items for me to try – couldn’t get any better.  It began with a salad – a simple garden salad with Greek vinaigrette.  The dressing was simple and sharp in vinegar flavor, the oregano was the really only outstanding herb taste that stood out.  Nothing too special, but I didn’t anticipate it to be.

As for the platter, lots of mixed reviews.  The dolmades (stuffed grape leaf) was awful – too bitter in flavor for me.  I couldn’t even wrap my taste buds around the rice and herb stuffing because all I got was a mushy mouthful of bitterness.  As for the pastichio, it essentially was cold macaroni and cheese.  Large macaroni noodles that were baked in a bechamel cheese sauce, the menu described it has a ‘light bechamel sauce’, but light only applied to the lack of flavor.  It seemed like a casserole that was sat overnight and was served barely warm, if even that.  The ‘Greek style’ potato was undercooked and sharp in vinegar while the green beans seemed canned and slightly heated.  Oh, and there was flavorless rice too.  No need to waste time there.

The spanikopita and tyropita, though different, didn’t show too much difference in flavor.  Tyropita is finger food, a piece of phyllo that has feta cheese and herbs wrapped in it.  The phyllo was crisp, but once again, it was cold so the flavors were muted.  Spanikopita is the same thing, just with spinach.  The spinach tasted dirty, overwhelming any other flavors that could of been.  And lastly, the mousaka.  The saving grace of this platter was the layers of eggplant and thinly sliced potatoes baked in the ‘same’ bechamel sauce that was served with the pastichio.  But clearly, this wasn’t the same sauce as it was warm and oozing between the layers.  Out of everything on the platter, this had to be the only item that was made fresh that day.  I ate that in its entirety while the other items left more to be needed.

The service was unfortunately, slow.  Yes, there were 15 people at the table, but there were only four other tables in the restaurant with 2-4 patrons each.  Our server – we were her only table – so I would assume we were her main focus.  Not only did the food take absolutely too long, three orders were incorrect.  Two were gyro’s – one was completely forgotten and the other was mistaken for a chicken version rather than the classic.  Even after my friend who was forgotten said what she received, she then got the incorrect entree delivered…not once, but twice.  Another mistake was the regular mousaka being delivered when the vegetarian entree was ordered.  My co-worker is a vegetarian and specifically ordered the vegetarian.  To give our server credit, there isn’t anything to differentiate the two on the menu, but just too many mistakes were made over the course of the meal.

It may be another 4 years before I return…

Athens on 86th * 2284 W 86th Street * Indy, 46260 * 317.879.8644

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