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California Greek

The Mad Greek (Baker at I-15 and Hwy 127)

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The Mad Greek (Baker at I-15 and Hwy 127)

Carb Lover | Apr 4, 2005 01:25 PM

For those of you heading into the south entrance of Death Valley or on your way to Las Vegas, The Mad Greek will no doubt catch your attention if you stop into Baker at this junction (see link). We spotted it heading into DV, and I made mental note of it so we could time it w/ lunch on the way out.

After subsisting on salami and cheese sandwiches, rice crackers, and just edible buffet food in Pahrump, NV, I was looking forward to our first lunch back in civilization. Was def. better than your average roadside diner and tourist trap; however, it had its limitations and didn't prove to be a true roadside gem in my mind. I would have been just as happy at In-N-Out.

Like any major junction, MG attracted large crowds of traveling families, same sex young groups heading into/back from Vegas, and truckers. Living up to its name, it was quite a madhouse at lunch. Menu and ordering is fast food style at the counter; server brings out tray of orders to your table shortly. Menu is dizzying w/ traditional Greek dishes and phyllo-wrapped savories and sweets, but they also have All American diner fare and a small Mexican menu. Place is rather roomy, so we were able to snag a 4-seater quickly.

Y and I shared a gyro, small triangle of spanakopita, and, of course, their signature strawberry shake. Companions shared a salad w/ fried calamari on top. Our gyro was pretty tasty; meat was juicy and not leathery, pita was pillowy and fresh. Spanakopita was ok but tasted a little stale and didn't have the standout quality that good spinach or feta lends. Shake was probably the best part of the meal--very fresh and creamy, but I yearned for more strawberriness. Calamari tasted good, but salad underneath was an uninspired mess of iceberg.

We had to hunt down some tzatziki sauce and pickled veggies. The tzatziki was very good, but the pickled veggies were all vinegar and pepper w/o any thoughtful balance or complexity. Overall, not bad for a roadside stop, but not cheap at $27 total for not a whole lot of food and hectic service and ambience. Next time, I'd be happy w/ a bag of their housemade pita, tzatziki sauce for dipping, and another shake. Bun Boy and Peggy Sue's 50's Diner on that route also caught my eye...

Link: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/eats/m...

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