by Rosy M. Atkin
My friend was late. The city was being deluged by heavy rain.
I sat in a corner of Villa de Souvlaki in N.D.G., looking through the window for a sign of her in those dark, wet streets. The photographs on the wall depicting people sunbathing during Mediterranean vacations seemed to say: “Don’t worry. Indulge yourself.”
At the entrance of family-favourite Villa de Souvlaki are old style gumball machines. The food is affordable and the service is fast.
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All meals and prices are displayed on a large board behind the counter where you place your order. You can see into the kitchen just behind the counter.
Once Aleksandra arrived, we were served garlic bread ($1.25). It made me happy to see my friend thawing out while eating the soft but crisp, buttery-hot bread.
“It’s so fluffy,” she said, giving one of the greatest compliments you can give to bread. It came with tzatziki, made by Tassis, the owner.
We ordered generous portions of spanakopita ($4.75) and taramosalata, available in various sizes and prices. The pastry flakes of the spanakopita fluttered on our tongues. The taramosalata, bright pink, was tart. We were served a salad and fries, with our souvlaki pitas. The homemade tzatziki, authentically yoghurt-y, is what makes the souvlaki special. You can get either pork or chicken souvlaki. The waiter let us know how to tell them apart: the chicken pita has a cucumber in it.
The fries ($2.75), more a hybrid of chips and fries, are round and puffy with waffle incisions.
We were pleased with the generous block of feta perched on our salads.
Fries and salad, considered to be peripheral items in a meal, could work as a vegetarian option at Villa. Mixing and matching of the menu allows one to accommodate any dietary requirement.
If you like dessert, baklava is available. Unfortunately, Aleksandra and I, by this point, were bursting at the seams.
Villa Souvlaki is at 4347 Sherbrooke W. It is wheelchair accessible.