Restaurants & Bars

Gordon ruined El Greco. Can it be saved from the RIP thread?

slowcoooked | Sep 9, 201104:03 PM     88

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.

El Greco
3016 Guadalupe, Austin, TX

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving

by Kristin Donnelly | The best way to cook a stress-free dinner is to think ahead, which is why we've created this comprehensive...

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie
Food and Cooking

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie

by Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy | When the usual pie lineup feels boring and uninspired for your dessert repertoire, you've got to make...

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package
Food Trends

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package

by Kelsey Butler | Nostalgia is a factor not to be discounted when it comes to food, and these five holiday staples sometimes...

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online

by David Klein | Mail order cookies, cakes, pies, and other sweet treats are better (and more prolific) than ever...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.