Spartan Souvlaki

One of my favorite Greek restaurants is on the periphery of Brooklyn's Chinatown, oddly enough (8th Avenue and 69th Street).  The food is great, the prices are decent, and it's within walking distance of my office.  What more could you ask for!

I've been to Spartan Souvlaki a few times.  Previously, I've had the hamburger and cheese pie (a flaky shell filled with ricotta-like cheese; delicious and creamy).  This time, I had spanakopita and Greek salad.  The Greek salad had large chunks of tomato, slivers of raw red onion, and crumbled feta cheese, all swimming in a pool of olive oil.  For some reason, Spartan Souvlaki does everything big and their side salad portion is enormous, though you won't hear me complain about it. The spanakopita is, similarly, in the shape of a Hot Pocket, with the flaky phyllo dough wrapped around a rectangle of chopped spinach and mild cheese.  The spanakopita is more on the side of "spinachy" instead of "cheesy," but I really enjoyed it and I was glad to have had my servings of vegetables.


Alex had the gyro platter with french fries.  The slices of gyro meat were a tad bit dry, but had a nice crunchy crust and the dryness was remedied by a great tzatziki sauce.  He even made mini souvlakis by spreading tzatziki sauce and layering gyro meat on the pita - delicious!  Salty meat paired with creamy, garlicky yogurt sauce, all on top of warm pita bread (Greek naan...mmm).

Eating at Spartan Souvlaki always reminds me of my adventures in Greece.  When we were abroad, a few girlfriends and I travelled to Patras, Athens, and Glyfada during spring break.  We ran into some interesting situations when we were outside of the touristy parts of Athens.  Being four Chinese women traveling alone, we got lots of stares, although the Greeks were friendly enough once we said a few kalimeras and efharistos.  In Glyfada (a swanky suburb of Athens), we had lunch at a restaurant and ordered souvlakis.  Oddly, they didn't give us any tzatziki sauce and the souvlakis were all incredibly dry. Probably because we were such an unusual sight, the head chef actually came out to see us for himself.  In broken English, he asked how the food was.  We asked for a bit of tzatziki, which he said was not typical in souvlakis. Either way, all was remedied by the free shots of limoncello after the meal.

I just wish at Spartan Souvlaki we could have ended our meal like how Cat Cora ends her Iron Chef America battles: with shots of ouzo.  Opa!