Thursday, May 14, 2009

Zorba's Cafe

Warmer weather has finally come to DC and we're trying to take full advantage of it by walking to dinner as often as possible. On one particularly warm evening, we ventured up to Dupont Circle to try Zorba's Cafe. As you may have guessed from the name, Zorba's serves Greek food. After ordering our food at the counter, we sat on the large patio that faces Connecticut Avenue.

I ordered the Chicken Souvlaki Sandwich (marinated chicken breast, charbroiled and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, feta cheese, and tzatziki, served in a pita). For an appetizer we got the Spanakópitta (freshly baked, triangular fillo-dough turn-over with spinach, feta cheese, eggs, sauteed onions, and herbs). I really liked the sandwich. The warm pita bread served as a great wrapper for the tangy chicken and cool tzatziki sauce. As with most pita sandwiches, it was a little on the messy side. Nothing a pile of napkins can't fix.

The Spanakópitta must have been hanging out with Barry Bonds because it was huge! I'm used to tiny little triangles of fillo dough. The flaky crust was buttery and delicious, but overall it was a bit bland (apologies for the poorly lit picture).

B ordered the Yero Plate (marinated beef and lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie served on Greek pita bread, topped with tzatziki, and served with Greek salad and french fries). I thought french fries was an odd addition to the plate but the ones I nibbled on were pretty tasty.

As we dined on the patio we were serenaded by a group of musicians: one with a guitar, one with a violin, and two girls singing. They played mostly Beatles tunes and made for a lively and unique dinner experience.

Second Thoughts from B

I'm really surprised that J didn't like the spanakópitta. She and I tend to have similar tastes but this is one instance where we diverge. Normally, she loves spanakópitta (which is how it ended up as one of the hors d'oeuvres at our wedding) and I'm generally luke warm on it. However, I thought Zorba's offering was as good as I've had. Usually, I find the smaller versions to be dry and flaky, and not much more. However, the spanakópitta-saurus had plenty of filling to counterbalance the crust and make for a nice contrast in texture and flavor rather than just getting lost.

As for my Yero Plate, it reminded me of the first time I had a yero, which was in this funky little alley way in Paris. Needless to say, this is a good memory and favorable comparison. Not shy about flavor, the seasonings explode in your mouth and give your tastebuds a workout. Could the same be said for your digestive system? Perhaps, but this iron cast belly did just fine.

In short, big flavors, a lively atmosphere, and great outdoor seating in the heart of Dupont. Not quite nectar and ambrosia but not too shabby either.
Zorba's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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