EATING NOT EATING: LAUREN HOM
If you weren't hungry before, you will be now. With our members writing reviews of their favorite TV shows, why not add restaurants to the mix? WNW Member #2245 Lauren Hom was, of course, the natural choice to be our resident food critic. Courtesy of her Will Letter for Lunch project, Lauren has become a professional foodie, drawing - and eating - her way through New York City. As an illustrator, Lauren offers her lettering skills to restaurants in exchange for food, producing the stuff of Pinterest dreams. To kick off Eating Not Eating, a series on restaurants that inspire us, Lauren gives us the low-down on a Lower East side Greek spot that has us salivating for spanakopita and souvlaki.
Nestled near the Essex Street Market, Souvlaki GR serves everything Greek from buttery, flaky spanakopita (phyllo dough stuffed with feta and spiced spinach) to glasses of fine liquors you can usually only find on the other side of the world. With it’s white walls, blue windows and doors, and authentic Greek food, Souvlaki GR truly is a little taste of Mykonos in the Lower East Side.
Since I eat mostly vegetarian and decided to pass on the lamb chops I lettered, the kind folks at Souvlaki GR whipped me up a spread of their best Greek veggie options: Kolokithokeftedes (zucchini croquettes with carrots, scallions and mint with a side of tzatziki sauce, a spread of delicious homemade dips: spicy feta, roasted eggplant, and garlic potato), tangy Revidosalata salads with chickpeas, feta, red onions, tomato, and cucumber, and grilled veggie souvlaki pita wraps. Oh, and of course, a glass of white wine. It's not like it was 2pm or anything...
This meal was so tasty and hearty that I almost forgot it didn't have any meat. The zucchini fritters were hot, crispy, and perfect with a dollop of creamy yogurt sauce on top. All of the homemade dips were good, but the standout one was definitely the spicy feta; a tart, rich, and zesty spread that was borderline addicting on top of chewy pita bread. The salad was recommended by the owner herself, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. There had to be at least a cup of chickpeas on top of the salad, making it one of the most satisfying ones I've ever had. And of course, I couldn't leave Souvlaki GR without trying the dish they're named after: souvlaki (anything Greek, grilled, and on a skewer)! I had a mixed vegetable souvlaki inside a pita. Sweet grilled vegetables, crispy french fries, and creamy tzatziki sauce all wrapped up inside of a warm pita? Yes please.
Soulvaki GR: 116 Stanton St, New York, NY. 10am-11pm.