Wandering around Old Town for a late lunch, we veered from our plan for Italian and tried out the Greek place, Taverna Cretekou, instead. In business since the early 1970s, it's located in an older building that had a funky odor when we entered. The patio outdoors that would be nice if the temperature was not in the 90s and humid. Unfortunately we were too late for the lunch menu which includes lighter entrees including gyros and souvlaki sandwiches. The menu amusing offers plates to break for $5/plate.
We started off with an appetizer sampler for two called Satyrikon ($15.50)
Taramosalata, hummus, white beans with vegetables, feta with anchovies, tzatziki, spanakopita and dolmades. The spanakopita was excellent, although the taramosalata was thicker than other versions. I think I prefer the fluffier and more roe-filled dip from Cava better. A little pita would have been helpful, but we had already eaten most of the bread basket.
My boyfriend thought the top bechamel layer was fluffy. The ground sirloin included some strips of meat that was different than the perception we had from cooking shows, and the eggplant was indistinguishable in flavor. Not his favorite Greek dish.
Calamari salad ($13.95).
In my mind, I had imagined the squid would be grilled or sauteed, not fried. The breading was light and the dressing was bright and refreshing. The tomatoes were ripe and reminded me why I shouldn't eat tomatoes out of season.***
It was an interesting lunch, made more amusing by trying to interpret what our older Greek waiter was saying to us. Taverna Cretekou has fancier trappings than Greek Deli, is not as modern and au courant as Cava, less expensive than the fancy Greek restaurant on K Street and a little below Mourayo in terms of service and food. I'd like to go back for lunchtime to see how their gyro compares to Plaka Grill and the little joint in Baltimore we tried out once.