Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Best of Crete

Let me break out of my taco-ness for another restaurant review. And one you might not think of often.

I had to get my hairs cut today before heading out to NYC for the weekend, so I food-courted it to save time. Went togo so I could get back to the office and run several searches. Borrowed five minutes of smoke-break time to type this.

Best of Crete's between Taco Bell (see, even this s^$# has tacos in it) and Graziano's (for now). The owner's real deal, I seem to recall a conversation with him where he said mom was still in the small kitchen in the back.

You have your standard Greek (Creten) items on the menu including gyro on pita with lettuce, tomato, and yogurt sauce; moussaka with it's potato and eggplant layers drowned in bechamel; and pastitsio with ground beef, elbow pasta, and that same rich, stirred for nine hours bechamel sauce baked on top.

Sides come in rice, green bean, mashed potato, and Greek salad flavors if you get 'the meal' as opposed to just the sandwich (gyro) or a small/large (the moussaka/pastitsio). There are spanikopita and cheese trianlges, baklava and shredded pastry. Also roast chicken or meatloaf most days too.

The $8 "Taste of Crete" combo includes gyro and chicken over rice with two other sides and grilled pita. Maybe next time.

Smalls/Larges are in the $4-6 range; Dinners (with two sides) are in the $6-8 range.

The gyro is a stand-by of mine and is a serviceable sandwich/wrap/pita. They neither skimp nor bury you in the gyro meat, and it's sliced off the rotisserie and grilled on the flat top to order.

Today I went pastitsio (because I've been talking about making it for two weeks now) with beans and rice.

Beans are long-cooked with tomato, onion, and a bit of celery. They're soft and tasty, and undersalted a tad. Not a crisis since you can just pour your own, but I do enjoy when I'm not required to season a damn thing because it's already been done for me.

The rice is a mix of long-grain white and brown rice that actually has texture and chew to it. A plus. It's been buttered the tiniest bit. Tip from this guy (two thumbs pointing here), pour the juice from the beans over the rice. Gonzo.

The pastitsio was an almost-perfect treat. Somewhere around a 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3 in. brick of the stuff in my togo container. THICK bechamel that was creamy and had the mildest creamy flavor when sampled on its own poured over noodles that were probably cooked a minute too long before being added to the pan for layering on top of seasoned ground beef. This one was seasoned just right, and getting a bite of all three layers was pretty easy given the heft and clinging power of the bechamel.

No pics this time. I'll try to get some when I eat there next. But today I was starving (read: forgot to wake up after the 7th snooze so as to allow time for food before work) and I got the food togo, so pictures would have been underwhelming to say the least.t

If you're in the mall and are tired of everything else, this is your best bet. The home-cooked food is damn tasty at Best of Crete, and it's a local guy making his family's recipes at good prices.

You want the 45-person Steak Escape line? Go for it.

Best of Crete on Urbanspoon


Bethie said...

Best of Crete has long been my favorite food court fare. Did you know the owner played football for both Marshall and WVU? (I'm sure you did; I'm just informing the masses here) I just hope they don't get the Graziano's treatment.

Carey said...

I <3 Best of Crete! It's my favorite eatery in the mall!!!!

Unknown said...

Best of Crete is a great low-carb choice, too. As long as you avoid the baklava and the spanikopitas. boo hoo - they look amazing!

wvapoker said...

I'm a fan of the BOC too. The mom was working the register when I was there a week or two ago. She said it was the first restuarant she ever opened. She never had run a restuarnat before but she knew she could do it. I like their gyros. I get the deluxe that comes with rice and a small greek salad.