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, theres 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 Im 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).
Main dishes get eclectic. Theres 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). Theres 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 Greeks 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).
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 Greeks fat gyros will become a staple for many a hungry college student. Theres 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 dont want to go to Greece theres chicken strips. Mad Greek, 212 S. Main St., Moscow, (208) 883-8221