Saturday, November 22, 2008

Effie's Greek Restaurant

I went to Effie’s Greek Restaurant on 11th and Pine on a Tuesday night. I ordered the egg lemon soup to start, and my mom’s friend (who was taking me out) got the calamari. The egg lemon soup was thin and only subtly lemony. I much prefer the thick, intense avgolemono soup I get at the family-owned Greek restaurant in my hometown. Effie’s soup did have chunks of chicken, though, which was an authentic touch. Out of the dishes we ordered, the calamari was the best for what it was: soft and light, and not too crunchy or oily.

I ordered the lamb lemonato for my entrée, which was disappointing. The lamb was fatty and chewy, and when your meal is just chunks of lamb sitting in sauce on a plate, you want the meat to be good. The sauce itself was pretty oily and the flavor was nothing to write home about. My mom’s friend ate lamb souvlaki, which she enjoyed, though I didn’t try it.

My biggest beef with Effie’s wasn’t the food, though. It was freezing cold outside, and the small dining room opens to an outdoor patio. The atmosphere seems nice and quaint at first, but it gets old (and cold) when the waitress keeps coming in and out of the door to the outside…and is leaving it open. The waitress also recited the long list of specials in such a way that I could barely recall any of it—when it gets to be that long, the restaurant should have a specials menu. Twice while the waitress was away the CD that was playing started skipping. My mom’s friend had to get up to switch the track both times.

These may seem like minor complaints taken separately, but when you’re paying $11-$19 for an entrée, you want the service to be good if not flawless. I’m sure on a Friday or Saturday it’s more happening and the atmosphere is less about service. But the mark of a good restaurant is that it’s good all the time and for every customer. I didn’t get that when I went to Effie’s.

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