Hounds pardon my diatribe here. El Greco had a bad business model, those of you who have gotten a 17.00 lamb gyro or a 10 dollar bowl of chicken soup know what I'm talking about. But that aside, this was really great greek food. My work crew and I probably dined for lunch there 30-50 times since it opened. Barring maybe a couple foibles a couple times, the food was consistently stellar (at least the dishes we tended to get each time). Our crew went today and were told that Ramsey came in and said the food was too authentic and completely changed the menu, way over cheesed the decor (yep, it's worse), and frankly ruined the food. Now grandmother tells us they're under contract to serve that new slop for some months, and now El Greco is just another crappy non-authentic greek fast food joint in town replete with others just like it. Apparently they were nearing closing as it was and maybe the Ramsey show gave them a little breathing room. We all must be careful what we wish for.
Remember the lemony hummus? Best I've had, and I love lemon. GONE. Now it's like a huge jar of it from some vendor. and it takes like sh@#.
Remember the Avgolemono chicken soup, those fraction of a hair thin strands of chicken swimming in there and that light lemony delicateness and richness?? gone, welcome to cambell's-ville. something more stewy and entirely canned. gross.
Remember the tender seasoned pita? Now it's crispy, dry, overly toasted stale tasting. crap.
Remember the pork you got precious little of but it was so good you may have ordered it often? Gone. No pork to be found at El Greco any longer. Brits think we hate pork or something? moronic.
Son and Grandmother said that Ramsey didn't like any of the food at his tasting. Of course he didn't, isn't that the justification for doing the show????? duh. Said it was too authentic and that americans don't like authentic. What a disingenuous git.
The solution was not to mess with what wasn't broken, the food, and fix the business model in other ways. Make service faster (maybe another one on the line?), add a few more tables, lower all prices by 30% without changing the sizes of entrees, and cut the sides' sizes in half and charge 1.99 or something like that instead of 6-10 bucks (outrageous). I guess actually solving the problems isn't good TV.
Some of you may disagree with my assessment of the food. I'm sure better Greek can be found somewhere, but not in austin. And their grilled lamb chops were always as good as any I've had, anywhere, and I got them or the lamb gyro most every time. I cannot comment on the moussaka, for example. They used the same grilled meat in their lamb gyros, not that processed lamboloney hanging from most other places' gyro turner. That's gone too, now it's more like a stewed lamb brisket sort of deal, much less flavor. sad.
Soon this place could easily close and be the next victim in the RIP thread. Here's to Grandmother and saving her restaurant. I'll have to get her name. She would sometimes give us free soup, and it felt pretty motherly, and the taste.....so so good, and so so gone. insanity. just keep the great food and lower the prices for God's sake. They'll line out the door. We'd visit twice a week instead of once a month.
3016 Guadalupe, Austin, TX