Most Greek restaurants have a menu full of standard dishes from gyros to spanakopita. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. If those dishes are good enough for generations of Greeks, they’re good enough for the people that occasionally want to treat themselves to Greek food. If you crave some of those standard Greek dishes, here are some of the best places in the county to visit.
Christakis Greek Cuisine
13011 Newport Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780
It would be really easy to miss Christakis. You don’t necessarily notice it from the road, but if you go here, you’ll find your reward. The menu is filled with the standards you’ll find on just about all Greek menus and the standards are done right. It is possible to get a full meal with just appetizers. The Corfu salad has kalamata olives and perfectly seasoned lamb. If you want a truly delectable appetizer, try the dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). They are tender and savory with just a touch of citrus. You’ll find these gone from your plate before you know it.
28171 Marguerite Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
If you’re in the mood for Greek food but you’re on a budget, Surfin’ Souvlaki is the place to go. This place is located by Saddleback College, serving cash-strapped college students looking for a quick meal. You may not expect authentic Greek food in a shopping center, but you’ll get it. The loukaniko wrap is a an excellent combination of Greek sausage, tomatoes, onion, tzatziki and French fries in a pita, which makes a flavorful and satisfying meal.
2101 E. Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92806
It’s easy to get into a rut with lunch. If you find a spot you like, you’re liable to stay with that. If you need a new lunch (or breakfast) option, try Willy’s Eatery – open until 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. This place has been in business for more than 25 years and features great food at reasonable prices. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here, but the recipe for Willy’s chicken – handed down from generation to generation – is sure to satisfy.
7101 Yorktown Ave., Suite 106
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Part of the charm of Huntington Beach is that it is a pretty casual town. Athens West is a place that fits right in with the easygoing coastal vibe. This is a good place if you’re in the mood for Greek food, but want to keep things light with some excellent vegetarian options including a vegetarian platter with falafel, dolmades, hummus and spanakopita. When you visit Athens West, try the avgolemono (egg and lemon) soup and any dish with calamari.
Kentro Greek Kitchen
100 S. Harbor Blvd., Suite A
Fullerton, CA 92832
Kentro is the place to go if you are looking for a full Greek meal experience from soups and salads to desserts, coffee and wine. Kentro has a broad menu of items that guarantee you will keep going back until you have tried them all. If you’re looking to eat light, try the beet salad with figs. If you’re going to indulge, try the kotopoulo sto fourno – half a chicken with lemon potatoes.
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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.