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October, 2007

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Mediterranean mmmm... meals
Peter d’Urso
When my friend Jimmy and I walked into Marathon Souvlaki recently, we got a full view of the kitchen and all the delicacies being cooked on the grill. The restaurant had a cozy Mediterranean feel.
With a warm  smile from the hostess, we were lucky enough to be seated right away at a booth for four near the windows.
The menu had a good selection of entrées. We couldn’t resist choosing the saganaki, made of grilled Greek cheese called kefalotiri ($6.95) and grilled lokaniko, Greek sausage ($7.95). Jimmy ordered two gyro pitas ($4.50 each) and I went with two chicken brochettes ($3.95 each). Warm garlic bread arrived along with two cold glasses of water that seemed to refill themselves.
It wasn’t long before the saganaki made its way to the table. It was served with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of parsley. The cheese was fresh off the grill and smelled as good as it tasted. It was the right kind of salty, as all saganaki should be, and melted in our mouths with every forkful.
As soon as we were done with the first course, the lokaniko was served. The sausage looked just as good as the saganaki. It was also served with lemon and decorative pieces of cucumber and tomato. The small cup of mustard it came with was not needed, as the sausage was well seasoned and great on its own.
The two gyro pitas were, as Jimmy put it, “amazing as usual.” Marathon’s combination of tzatziki, pita and gyro is a borderline delicacy for anyone who’s ever had it before. The chicken brochettes were just as delicious. They were beautifully spiced and succulent.
The service at Marathon was absolutely impeccable,  and the atmosphere was welcoming and comfortable. The food adds even more. After all, if Marathon can impress two Greeks who work at a Greek restaurant, it should have no problem winning over even the most particular customer.
Marathon Souvlaki, 5365 Des Jockeys, Montreal, 824 Curé Labelle, Laval, 3938 Notre-Dame, Laval, 3313 des Sources, DDO.

Storing Thanksgiving leftovers
Neglecting to properly store leftovers can be harmful, warns The Food Safety Information Society (FSIS). Just because your fridge looks too full after Thanksgiving dinner doesn't mean you shouldn't put everything away immediately. "If left at room temperature longer than two hours, the food may be contaminated with enough harmful bacteria to cause illness," says Pat Inglis of the FSIS.
Leftover turkey can be refrigerated for three to four days or frozen up to three months if stored properly. The meat should be sliced off the bone and put in the fridge in shallow containers within two hours of coming out of the oven. The stuffing should be spooned out just as the bird is removed from the oven, and can be refrigerated alone for three to four days. Gravy can only be kept in the fridge one or two days.
Once peeled or cut, vegetables, like meat, can also harbor harmful bacteria on their moist surfaces. If served raw, they should be kept chilled, and, if cooked, should be refrigerated within two hours of serving. As for dip, it may be teeming with bacteria even if chilled while served and should simply be thrown out.
FSIS staff reply to more than 3,500 food safety questions from Canadians yearly. Thanksgiving week is one of their busiest times of the year. Contact them at: 1-800-892-8333 or www.foodsafetyline.org.

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