Sunday, November 28, 2010

Classic Greek Fast Food

As far back as the time of antiquity, Greeks have been grilling meat on a stick. The forerunner to the modern day souvlaki these shish kebabs we’re comprised of cubed lamb. 
Loosely translated to mean “Little skewer” souvlaki has evolved to be just about any meat or vegetable skewered and grilled. The food items name being used as a prefix to souvlaki. “Chicken” or “Fish” souvlaki. The most popular modern day incarnation is “Pork” souvlaki.

When Eleni and George Moschopolous started vacationing in Greece they probably had no idea where the journey would take them. Favouring the small neighbourhood, restaurants George and Eleni fell in love with the food. Simple ingredients, treated simply. It’s not rocket science. Let the true flavour of the meats, cheese and veggies shine. Years of travel through the country produced some favourites such as zucchini, olives, beeftekia and of course souvlaki. All of which they’ve brought back to Pape Village in Toronto and to Folia Grill.
Keeping with the feel and philosophy of the little curbside establishments, Folia offers a small menu that is executed extremely well. Just about everything is made in house from ingredients that are locally sourced.
It’s also the kind of place that’s best visited with friends. Items are not expensive and most are perfect for sharing. It only has about 10 seats which makes it cozy with a clean, modern look and open kitchen. The over all feel I got for he place was laid back. Get some food, relax, talk, laugh, eat, enjoy.
My visit was for lunch (early) and it wasn’t crowded but take out orders were starting pile up. I got the feeling that it’s one of the neighbourhood “Go to” spots for a great, quick, inexpensive meal.

The pork belly souvlaki is fabulous. I ordered the double skewer on a pita which is a pair of skewers (obviously) with tzatziki, lettuce, onion and tomato. From previous experience I knew I didn’t like fries on mine so I opted out of those and also from a previous visit here I thought Steve (the cook) was a little heavy handed with the tzatziki. So I asked for light on that. The meat its self is the very same part of the pig from which we get bacon so you know it has to be good. It’s grilled over an open flame. A longer cooking time results in melt in your mouth pork, kept moist with the rendering pork fat and it gets a nice charred exterior.
The beeftekia is even better. Ground pork and beef formed into egg shapes. It too was cooked over the open flame. They were made fresh that morning and are well seasoned with oregano and garlic. Before plating the eggs are bathed in a lemon based sauce which was awesome.
A previous visit saw me enjoying chicken gyro. These gyros are the same style as Messini. The schwarma, al pastor type of layered, seasoned meat. Not the meat loaf on a spit style. It was very tender, very juicy and very tasty. As I mentioned above, I thought there was too much tzatziki on it. That’s really just personal preference and quite frankly, if my tzatiki was as good as Steve’s, I’d load up everything I make with it too.

I had heard nothing but great things about the new (as of 2012) Pork Gyros. Let me tell ya, they’re every bit as good as advertised. They’re simply fantastic. Nicely seasoned and plenty tender. Mixed with the salad here it made for a really great, healthy choice lunch.

Mmmmmm rotating meat.......
You can visit Folia at 1031 Pape Avenue in Toronto, Ontario.

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You can also visit them on the web
Folia Grill on Urbanspoon

Well that’s all from the food court for another day. Hope to see ya soon.

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