Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Apr 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Munching On The Mediterranean

dining vasilisAt Vasili's, home-style Greek classics continue to fill the house  

The annual Greek Festival from Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church is just around the corner (Sept. 14-16). I thought I'd get an early start on the celebration since home-style Greek food is available year-round at Vasili's.


It was a lunch hour, and familiar blue and white tables, paying homage to a color on the Greek flag, were heavily occupied.

I can make a meal just from the appetizer menu. An oval plate holding dozens of olives ($6.95) began to take a bite out of our appetites. Two browned and flaky folded filo triangles of Baked Tiropita ($2.50) were filled with a comfortingly earthy, smooth spread of feta and cream cheeses with egg. The Keftethakia ($5.50) arrived surrounded by the sweet scent of garlic. Four delicious orbs of finely ground meat sat in a bath of olive oil. Nicely browned on the outside, their herb-rich centers were succulently moist.

The showy Saganaki ($12.95), lightly breaded and fried Kasseri cheese, was brought to the table by owner and Chef Julie White, doused with brandy and set afire. Spreading it on thick slices of sourdough baguette, a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice enhanced its salty richness.

Lunch entrées ($7.50 to $11.95), include kebabs, a feta burger, and both meat and vegetarian casseroles. Dinner entrées run about $5 more.

Souvlaki ($7.95) is otherwise known as a Gyro. When not wrapped in pita bread, it made a beautiful gluten-free salad, with fat chunks of grilled chicken, romaine, tomatoes, and garlickly yogurt-based tzatziki sauce.

A small side of French fries ($3.75) filled an entire dinner-sized plate. The crisp potatoes with creamy interiors were sprinkled with a lovely blend of secret ground herbs, including oregano and thyme. dining vasili

The Souvlaki Plate ($9.95) is served with your choice of marinated chicken breast, pork tenderloin, meatballs or lamb. I chose the latter, and the enormous plate arrived with a mountain of tender roasted meat that absolutely fell apart. (Leftovers made a second full meal plus a luscious avocado sandwich.) It was served with plump grains of plain pilaf rice and an equally huge salad of crisp romaine with a large kalamata olives a slab of feta cheese, slices of meaty tomato, and dressed with a touch of sharp red wine vinegar. Also included were toasted triangles of flatbread sprinkled with dried herbs, and tzatziki. I ordered a side order of Taramosalata dip ($1.75), a smooth base of potato flakes mixed with red caviar, onions, olive oil and lemon juice, which added a salty counterpart to the rich meat.

For dessert there was layered filo Baklava with nuts, chocolate cake, and a three-inch Vanilla Bean Cheesecake ($4.50), which was exceptionally fluffy and rich, and speckled with bits of vanilla seeds.


Vasili's Greek Restaurant, 1501A Mission St., Santa Cruz, 458 -9808. Beer and wine. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Visit vasilisgreekrestaurant.com


♛♛♛ 

There will be a pop-up breakfast ($25) at the Westside Farmers Market at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. Enjoy, among other items, salted caramel sticky buns, sausage roulade, and macerated fresh fruit with sparkling wine and vanilla bean. For more information visit ediblecommunities.com/montereybay/blog/

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments

 

Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management