Maybe it’s a guy thing, but I try to avoid Hamilton Place Mall like Satan avoids a baptism.
There’re just too many cars and too many people – which, then, makes me wonder that it’s just a “me” thing, since there are always lots of guys out that way on the occasions I’ve ventured out.
Either way, I’ve recently found myself thinking about the Greek dolmas, moussaka and baklava that my aunt used to make when I was kid. She wasn’t Greek, but she had just married one, and her mother-in-law insisted that she learn to prepare all her son’s favorite dishes, something she learned well.
My aunt introduced me to Greek cuisine and to the joys of filo dough. Wow, who invented that? Multiple layers of the thinnest sheets of the most heavenly pastry bread imaginable, each sheet coated in butter, wrapped around whatever you want to fill it with, and lightly baked to perfection.
The reminiscence caused me to temporarily forget my disdain for mall traffic and to head straight over to The Acropolis Mediterranean Grill. You know, 2213 Hamilton Place Boulevard, ground zero for Dante’s traffic inferno.
I was careful to plan the excursion for late Saturday afternoon, in between the lunch crowd and the dinner crowd. It turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to reacquaint myself with filo, spinach and Greek olives.
To my pleasant surprise, The Acropolis keeps the lunch menu and lunch prices in play Monday through Saturday until 4 p.m., perfect for someone like me wanting a quiet dining experience at 2 o’clock. There was no wait for a table, and the service was fine.
The entrance is warm, comfortable and inviting, framed by a beautifully laid stone floor and off-white walls that make the environment light and friendly. There’s a bakery case up front so customers can choose from lots of items to take home if they wish.
Once seated, the only dilemma remaining was what to have from their impressive lunch menu. The Acropolis doesn’t serve exclusively Greek dishes, so there are lots of options for someone who doesn’t lean in that direction. For me, however, going Greek was the only option.
Ultimately, I opted for an entrée of Spanikopita, which included a large Greek salad for the extremely reasonable price of $8. My wife chose the Greek Grilled Chicken, which is served over rice, roasted squash and a side of tzatziki (the well-known Greek condiment made from yogurt and cucumber) for $7. She also added an appetizer of Savory Pies, a $5 add-on which consists of two cheese-filled and two spinach-filled pastries wrapped in filo.
It was all delicious. The Spanikopita consists of spinach and feta cheese, delicately seasoned with herbs and sautéed Spanish onions, all wrapped within filo. The lunch serving includes two very large pieces that are sure to fill you up.
The Acropolis has been in business for a long time, and it must be because the food is good and the prices are reasonable. It was such a nice experience that I barely minded the mall traffic on my way out!