The Boston Phoenix
October 16 - 23, 1997

[Food Reviews]

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El Greco

by Danielle Svetcov

Jimmy Saropoulos and family are finally back from vacation in Greece, and thank goodness. The family ministrations were sorely missed at El Greco, their quintessential Greek diner four blocks from the Lechmere T -- one of the few alternatives to dining-à-la-mall at the nearby CambridgeSide Galleria.

Before customers can even sink into the springy red booths, Jimmy is making his gastronomical pitch. "Best egg lemon soup in town. Superb Greek salad with turkey and feta. Famous for our homemade pita. You want? Steaming fresh pita. You ready? You ready?" The man knows what to plug. The pita is perfect -- thick, chewy, and hot, served on paper plates with a pat of butter. No flourishes necessary. It's so popular that customers ask to have their grilled cheese sandwiches ($2.50) made with it. As a wrapper for tender slices of chicken souvlaki with cucumber tzatziki ($4.75), it's even better (and makes the tortillas enfolding those trendy wraps seem like tissue). It's easy to fill up on the pita, but so much is fresh and homemade here, there's reason to save room. The giant free-form spinach pie oozes with feta and greens ($4.50). French fries arrive perfectly crisp ($1.95). The egg lemon soup is hearty and chock full of fresh turkey slices ($2.50). The Greek salad comes with real kalamata olives and fresh feta ($2.95). Even the rice pudding ($1.25) is the right mix of fluffy and creamy.

El Greco Restaurant, located at 251-255 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, is open Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 492-7232.


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