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McLean Souvlaki Face-Off: Moby Dick vs. The Greek Taverna

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McLean Souvlaki Face-Off: Moby Dick vs. The Greek Taverna

John Galt | Dec 4, 2003 07:06 PM

It may seem unfair to compare the souvlaki sandwiches of Moby Dick and Greek Taverna. After all, Moby Dick is essentially a Persian restaurant, leaving it at an ethnic disadvantage to Greek Taverna with respect to a traditional Greek dish.

However, Moby Dick's menu boasts of its "famous" souvlaki sandwiches. Located just down the street from Greek Taverna, I think it's plausible to consider that a challenge -- or, at least, a willingness to compete.

Alas, Moby Dick can't hang.

At Moby Dick, the flavor of the lamb is so assertive that it nearly tastes high. This is not lamb for lamb novices. The limp lettuce and tomato don't help. And, even the bread, which wins raves here, didn't wow me. I loved watching it being made by hand, but didn't love eating it. It's too chewy, especially as a wrap for already-chewy lamb. And, it's taste is almost watery. Finally, the cucumber and yogurt sauce is not tzatziki. Rather, it is its uninspired distant cousin. In the sandwich's defense, the sum was somehwat greater than the parts. But, all-in-all, this is not good eats.

At Greek Taverna, the medium rare lamb chunks are only a little chewy, and well-seasoned. The slightly mealy tomatoes are unseasonably flavorful, but not remarkable. The pita bread is good. It is soft, with a the slightest hint of a crunch from grilling, so that it doesn't necessitate tearing at with your teeth. And, the tzatziki really is tzatziki -- bursting with the tangy, zingy flavor one hopes for.

The soup that comes with the sandwich is less successful. It has the gloppy texture and lifeless vegetables found in soup-in-the-can. And, the taste of the tomato broth is only marginally better.

In the bread basket, I found olive bread to dip into infused olive oil for a double dose of deliciousness. Evem if the bread, itself, is too spongy, here are the bold, vibrant flavors that I love about good Greek food.

I'll be back to Greek Taverna. If I return to Moby Dick, I will try one of the Persian daily specials.

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