MOSCOW -- For decades, if you wanted Greek food in Moscow there was one place to go, Mikey’s Gyros. Now Mikey’s has got serious competition, Mad Greek.

Mad Greek opened for lunch and dinner downtown this spring in the building that once housed Pita Pit. The space was gutted to reveal a long narrow hall and a soaring ceiling with a skylight. Greek and American flags adorn the spartan walls. The restaurant is a transplant from Sitka, Alaska, where it was established in 1998. Authentic Greek food is the focus. Portions are generous.

For starters, there’s a variety of dips served with warm pitas: hummus, tzatziki, an olive spread, and skordalia, which is whipped garlic, potato, olive oil and vinegar ($5.99 each). I had the hummus, which was smooth, fresh and topped with salty olives. No one flavor prevailed. It was a far cry from the store-bought packaged brands I’m used to.

Besides dips, other appetizers include homemade spanakopita, spinach pie made with layers of phyllo dough and feta; and dolmades, Greek grape leaves stuffed with a savory rice filling ($7.99 each).

click to enlarge The hummus dip plate
The hummus dip plate

Main dishes get eclectic. There’s a souvlaki (shish kabab) plate of the day made with with marinated chicken, beef or pork skewers and served with french fries, rice pilaf or a Greek salad and pita ($12.95). There’s also top sirloin ($14.99) and fried Alaskan cod ($11.99).

Gyros (yee-ros) are a Greek sandwich staple and my waitress told me pork is the traditional choice of meat, not lamb as many believe. Mad Greek’s gyros come with thin-sliced pork, lamb or beef; pork sausage or marinated chicken. They are all topped with tomato, onion, tzatziki and, inexplicably, fries ($6.99 - $7.99).

click to enlarge Mad Greek gyros come with fries lathered with tzatziki.
Mad Greek gyros come with fries lathered with tzatziki.

Of course, I went authentic. The pork was pleasingly marinated and very tender. There were only a few fries and they were great with the tzatziki. I predict Mad Greek’s fat gyros will become a staple for many a hungry college student. There’s a lot to explore on the menu, which includes salads and a selection for kids that gently introduces Mediterranean flavors ($5.99 each). Among them is Dad, I Want to Go to Greece: rotisserie pork or lamb and beef with fries. If they don’t want to go to Greece there’s chicken strips. Mad Greek, 212 S. Main St., Moscow, (208) 883-8221

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