Thanks for the suggestions where to eat supper near Old St. Pat's, but I couldn't resist the siren song of Greektown. Posts last summer about Greek Island's improvement caused me to give it another try. I began with the cold spread sampler, a fair-sized portion of tzatziki with slightly smaller portions of taramosalata and melitzanosalata. The tzatziki was the best of the three; its garlic almost burnt going down. I was pleased that the taramosalata had not been overly whipped and had some substance to it, but the flavor wasn't very strong. I couldn't find any eggplant taste in the melitzanosalata. It alternately tasted to me of picalilli and the tinned Underwood Deviled Ham of my youth. I followed Rene G's tip and had the entree of octopus kikkonisto, a good portion of calamari-like arms and big chunks that looked like portabello mushrooms sliced vertically in an almost-bronze tomato sauce. Fresh lemon woke up the flavor. Of the sides, the rice was tops, followed by a potato half that, unlike my last trip to Greek Islands on Halsted, wasn't overcooked to the toughness of the tongue of my leather shoe, and green beans.
The meal was good enough to get me back, so on the way out I asked one of the hosts on what day stuffed squid is the special. Greek Islands-Halsted quit serving stuffed squid several months ago, he said. (Interestingly, he didn't know if the Lombard branch still serves it.) I made a face, and another host said, "I feel the same way" and encouraged me to write a note to the owner, Gus, and put it in the suggestion box. Done. Here's an opportunity for 'hounds to see if Greek Islands listens to the demos.
Later I stopped at Artopolis. I bought bread for home, and the staff had no problem cutting a few slices for me to eat right there with my tea. I want to like Artopolis' breads, but the round Lavain sourdough didn't bowl me over, nor did the long loaf of Kalamata olive bread. No problem with the prices, though: $1.95 for the sourdough and $3.25 for the olive.
Stuffed calimari is listed as one of Artopolis' rotating specials. The server said it's offered every Tuesday. Has anyone had it? Is it like Greek Islands' was, several large cylinders of squid stuffed with rice and minced squid?
Please forgive the misspelling of the Greek dishes.
Finally, I noticed a Krispy Kreme and Starbucks on W. Van Buren east of Wells, across from the Metra station. Is this where Burrito Buggy, a pizza-by-the-slice place, and a fried shrimp joint were? Have they disappeared? Note that Boni Vino east of the station is now advertising slices.
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