The Taste of Greece


Over the weekend, my boyfriend, Paul, and I visited the Taste of Greece in downtown Chicago. We were both craving some Mediterranean food, and this was a perfect opportunity for a midday date. Located on Halsted St. in Greek Town and running about 4 blocks, the Taste of Greece was dominated by food stands. Vendors were also selling jewelry and religious items and there were lots of disc jockeys and bands. Find out what we ate, and how the Taste of Greece rated after the jump.

Instead of just settling on the first food stand, Paul and I walked through the entire fest just to make sure we knew exactly what was on sale. Each restaurant stand had 3-4 items, mostly gyros, souvlakia (shish-kabobs) and other common Greek items. But a few had octopus, kalamari and pastitsio. It was tough to make a decision!

Paul absolutely loves gyros, and as much as I tell him to try something else, he always retreats back to his comfort dish. Since the Santorini stand had what we both wanted (gyros and souvlaki), we settled on it.

Gyros is typically made with pork, but the one being sold was chicken. It was a lighter brown color and a little thinner than pork gyros. It came with a piece of bread, onions, tomatoes, tzatziki sauce, rice and potatoes. Paul was a little disappointed that he didn’t get pita bread, but that was his only complaint. The chicken gyros surprised him. It was much better than he thought it would be.

Here are some more delicious gyros recipes:
Gyros Greek Sandwich

I decided to go for the pork souvlaki. The plate came with two kabobs, pita, onions, tomatoes, tzatziki, rice and potatoes. Both plates costs about $8, but there was a ton of food so it was really worth it.

Too bad my pork wasn’t as good as the gyros though. It was way too chewy for my taste, and I choked on one of the pieces and almost caused a scene. Talk about embarrassing. The rice and potatoes were super tasty though, and so it made up for the pork.

I’d much rather have this Greek-Style Pork Chops recipe. Pair it with rice and potatoes: Oven Roast Greek Potatoes and Mediterranean Rice Pilaf.

After we pigged out on our meals, we took another stroll down the fest. We definitely wanted to have some saganaki, and Athena Restaurant was selling it. Paul and I split a piece, and even though it was fresh, it was very salty. Don’t get me wrong, I know that saganaki is supposed to salty, but this was just over the top. I wasn’t impressed at all.

We then played a few games, lost some money and grabbed a frappe to cool ourselves off. It was extremely hot at the fest, and I forgot to bring a hair-tie! I drink my frappe with a little bit of milk, and Paul drank his with a ridiculous amount of milk and sugar! Way too much if you ask me!

Refreshing frappe recipes:
Coffee Frappe
5th Avenue Frappe

Overall, I didn’t think the food at the Taste of Greece was that good. But my expectations may have been too high. I eat Greek food all the time, so I should have expected that it wouldn’t be something over-the-top amazing. Paul, on the other hand, enjoyed everything!

Here are some more delicious Greek recipes:
Greek-Style Beef Stew
Greek Steak Pitas
Greek Tomatoes

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  • 5 Star Foodie

    I’m sorry that this place wasn’t quite up to your expectations. We are eating lots of Greek food right now and will have to check out the links all the recipes in your post.

  • menu cafe

    OK, it’s small. And noisy. But you’re here for the food, not the ambiance, and the food is great! The owner/chef is a young fellow, recently here from Greece.

  • john hios

    Your title TASTE OF GREECE is a direct copyright in infringement.
    you coped my book TASTE OF GREECE printed in three languages 2004.

    I find this is an act of piracy.

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