Monday, July 9, 2012

Tino's Greek Cafe

Whoops! I almost to forgot to write about this place..... and unfortunately, it was just THAT memorable! About ten days ago, three of us were getting together for lunch, and we needed someplace near Brodie and William Cannon, so Tino's was suggested. It's a little further south at Slaughter, at the northeast corner of the intersection.

There were no printed menus that I could see, just the chalkboard, which I found a bit hard to read. You go to the counter to order, and they serve it up in front of you, cafeteria style. One of my friends had said the gyro meat was good, so I decided to get that as part of the the combo plate. I asked the man working the line which sides were the best, and he shrugs his shoulders and says they're all good. not really helpful. So by looking at the food (shoulda taken a picture), I choose the spanakopita, falafel patty, and meatball; and I had my choice of soup or salad, so I opted for the chicken lemon soup.
The soup wasn't bad, it definitely had some lemon flavor to it, and rather small bits of chicken. Would have probably enjoyed it more if it weren't 100 degrees outside! (But I picked it rather than the salad, because that was iceberg, under ripe tomatoes, and cucumbers, as seen in the plate below on the left.)  The gyro meat is a combination of lamb and beef (I wasn't sure, so I just called them to ask as I sat here writing this up), and was really quite good, especially with their nice, soft, pita bread. (One friend comes here to buy their pita, as opposed to going to Phoenicia Bakery, and I can see why.) The meat was tender and moist, with very good flavor. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the meal. The spanakopita (spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo dough -- the triangle in the lower right of the picture) was decent; not quite crispy enough for my liking, but not as soggy as it could be given that it had been sitting under the heat lights. The falafel patty was totally limp, no crunch to it at all, as you would expect to find, and the meatball really didn't have much taste to it, nor did it's tomato sauce. I tried a bite of my friends' hummus and baba ghanouj, both of which were decent, but nothing to write home about.
It also concerned me that they were storing paint cans next to the soda dispenser. In food safety and sanitation rules, that's a big no-no. Also, the bottled cleaner they were using to wipe down the tables had a very strong chemical odor to it, and while I guess it's good they were being liberal with it's application, one of my friend's is 30+ weeks pregnant, and there was a mother with a newborn at the table next to us. The smell from the cleaner drove us out.

So if you venture over to Tino's, and there are a couple locations around town, go for the gyro meat and pita, but skip the rest. Oh, and maybe get it to go.