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Opa! From Saganaki To Gyros, Parthenon Is Excellent

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OPA! From saganaki to gyros, Parthenon is excellent



With all the subtlety of stampeding
bull elephants, the Crumpet
01 'rough a rousing dinner
at the Pan^_ J^yros. Generally, I try
to sneak around, but with seven Crum-
pets, all bent on talking about food and
restaurants, if there was anybody in the
place who didn't suspect what we were up
to after five minutes, they just weren't
paying attention. Sigh.

Following a brief strategy conference
at Aperitivi over glasses of Orvieto, we
launched '"^^ great hunks of the Parthe-
non m impling with gusto. Almost
every ottering fell under our scrutiny,
and nearly all passed muster.

It was Opa! for real with an order of sa-
ganaki, the flaming cheese appetizer
that's a trademark of Detroit's Greek-
town. No need to go to the Motor City for
excellent Greek fare, however. It's here
in Ann Arbor and the price is rigl^ w^
continued with marinated octopus, '
cately flavored and not at all rubber-band
like, except in appearance

Anchovies, Kalamat it pep-
pers and feta cheese whetted our appe-
tites for the feast to come.

I couldn't resist ordering gyros, my fa-
v.ii'-UeParthen.,;.•" '- r':--: ..^•.•- "smade

iC spot, it i gyros
around. In sandv. icy
beef/lamb blend is . to-
matoes, chopped onion (just cs< 'to
anybody when you go back to U'w unice)
and delicious flat bread, with optional sa-
jeeki, garlic-yogurt sauce. Even in the
dead of winter, the Parthenon's tomatoes
taste real. At dinner it's available in a
mammoth portion as a plate, with or
without accoutrements.

Before I fell into my current gyros rut
— I don't think I've ordered anything else
there for r - I was addicted to the
Parthenon ; pi; utsio, the ultimate mac-

aroni and cheese. Elbow macaroni,
topped with baked egg custard, is sauced
with beef and tomato to excellent effect.

Other traditional Greek dishes, like
mousaka ' -erring eggplant and pota-
toes) a nakopita (spinach and
chee vrapped in filo), are good as
well, s gh the Crumpets who ordered
combination plates were disappointed,
finding 1^'c ''"^'"nable difference be-
tween p: nousaka. One Crum-
pet thought he had been served two of the
same thing. The spinach pie would have
been improved by crisper filo pastry.

An antiquarian Crumnet. considered a
master chef-by his pe* a, allowed as
how the P "-''"'"on's am^.:-» grape leaves
were as r. his own — an assessment
greeted with derision from said peer
group, not because his grape leaves
aren't good, but because ""- -on's
grape leaves, awash in ciem-^c c^o iem-
sauce, are models of their type.

Greek salads are excellent, especially
the Greek village salad with marinated
vegetables, olives and feta cheese. One
village salad seems like plenty for two

diners. (A small regular Greek salad is

I'm also fond of the Athenian steak,
grilled with lemon and herbs, ar

l-otah. n'thorsgh somehow, I pt^ r

Spartan beer edged Aegean brand beer
in an all-Greek taste-off, but the table's
hops beverage of <

Sweet wine lovers wili ium ^yiac- -i. -1-1
rodaphne, a wine that tastes like it's
made from raisins, great with fruit des-

For dessert, we tried one of everything
and seven forks, please. The clear favor-
ite was housem;

honey, a cool, tangy conclusion to our
spicy meal. Rice pudding was good, as
well, but tough f" try made the bak-
lava chewy rat 'n crisp. Galakto
bon ^ • ' ;.--,';,.„,,,,..i,. »,iv-

turcd v.'iUi ^cmoiiiia. AH !')KV>'^." ^" ; is'cfc-
ly with a tiny cup of thick, sweet Greek

The restaurant, indoors and out, is
pleasantan' — ''"s
in the outdiH'i vriic (-iiv waucxtv (nvcitwu'le

HOURS: Monday through Thursday, 11
a.m. until 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday un-
til 11 p.m., Sunday, noon until 10 p.m. Ta-
ble service after 5 p.m.

LIQUOR: Full bar. Creek wine and
beer available.


: Moderate. Dinner for seven,

^nw n.i.i fax, beer and tip; lunch for two,
$8.65 with tax.


with only a short wait, unlike other

glass brightens the cavernous dining
ro.- • " "'' -• • •' • • •"»d-
in .„„.,,.„...> ,„„.- ,^ -.•.. ..;•..:. v'^.se)
add auditory ethnic cues.

Service is usually excellent alt*1"""1' at
one dinner, the waitress pulled p-
pe'""' • -; . ; .^•••' ''IT .-heck.
Th. ...,.is .,- -.,.^,.!.:,„:,,. , . -but
not too personal — in diners' pleasure.
It's a place I eat often, for the food and for
the owner's obvious care.