Decades of perfecting Greek favorites by Joanne Arvanitis (at the former Theos Taverna & Greek Restaurant) and now daughter Jami Arvanitis, result in scrumptious fare.
Theos Mediterranean Cafe sets the standard for a little place that’s primarily carry out. If your grandmother cooked like this, you might never move out.
In a cute redo of what Ted Arvanitis (owner of the earlier Theos) says was a Sinclair gas station circa 1930 and shuttered for decades, the new Theos provides body fuel: grape leaves, spinach pie, pastitsio (Greek lasagna), salads, gyros, and the mmm-good creamy rice pudding.
RELATED CONTENT: Click to see more of The Blade's restaurant reviews
Gyros: Gone are the days when slabs of pressed meat rotated on electric spits at coney islands. Nevertheless, grilled slices of spiced beef are a nice alternative to a burger, especially packed in pita bread with tomatoes, onions, and tzadtziki cucumber sauce ($5.50 and up).
Chili mac: spaghetti piled with raw onions, kidney beans, a modicum of ground beef, and melted orange cheese (small $4.50). Only critique: Olive oil puddled at the bottom of the plate.
Pastitsio: similar to lasagna, its layers of tubular noodles, ground beef cooked in a red wine/tomato sauce, topped with a light puddinglike Parmesan sauce that could stand on its own as dessert.
Spinach pie: A perfectly done square ($5.50) pairs perfectly with a $3 cup of chicken- egg-lemon-rice soup (use it as gravy) or rice and green beans ($2.50). Grape leaves: plump and loosely packed with meat and rice, flavored with lemon (four for $3.50; 16 for $10.50). Hummus ($4 with veggies and pita) is a bit thicker and more garlicky than what we’re used to; I thinned mine out by squeezing a couple of lemon wedges into it.
Must try is the rich, creamy rice pudding and the deep fried pita-bread chips, samples on the counter (an order’s $1).
The cafe got off to a slow start when it opened in the dead of winter but has picked up steam and sometimes there’s a lunch bubble. About 10 stools line a perimeter counter and two picnic tables are out front where there’s also a soft-serve ice cream window.
■ Kathy’s Confections, at the southern end of Point Place, is tucked behind a strip of stores (an Ace Hardware is in the works). With all the charm of a pencil stub, it’s a half-dozen tables and a little warm-up kitchen at one end of a hall that’s used for a Thursday afternoon farmers’/flea market. Its Facebook page says it grinds fair-trade beans for coffee and espresso, and breakfast and lunch sandwiches ($3) are served all day. One orders at the counter and fetches napkins and plastic utensils. Baked goods made and delivered by the owner are the strong suit, with oversized muffins, pecan rolls, brownies, donuts, and more. The coffee cake was delish, as was a muffin, though a tad dry. Sandwiches, however, appeared to be an afterthought. I had two of the menu’s six and both were subpar. Tuna salad ($6, and chicken salad) was gloppy: more mayonnaissey wet than tuna, straight from a food-service tub. The kitchen was out of the croissant the tuna was to have been poured into, so bread was substituted. Pickle slices were thin and limp.
The Quinn (at $7, the most expensive) has three meats and avocado on a pretzel bun (the kitchen, which was out of pretzel buns, subbed bread). There was an adequate amount of ingredients, but none was very good: avocado — a delight when at its peak — was gray and a bit hard, bacon was thin and from the fridge, and turkey and pastrami were folded skinny slices as if peeled out of lunch-meat packets. So salty were the meats, I had to chase the not-so-mighty Quinn with several glasses of water.
Contact Bill of Fare at email@example.com.
Star ratings are based on comparisons of similar restaurants. The Blade pays for critics' meals.