Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mr Greek, Whitby,Ontario

It was one of those days I felt I wanted to eat out, but was not sure where to dine. Eventually, we ended up at the Mr Greek, located within the Entertainment Centrum in Whitby.

As most Canadians know, Mr Greek is a chain, so the menu is pretty standard.

They did not have any Greek beer, so ordered Keith’s Red Amber Ale.

For appetizers, we had Maria’s Dolmades. I love the dishes with grape leaves. The four ‘parcels’ – stuffed with rice, ground beef and herbs – came in a layer of thick egg-lime sauce. The Dolmades were neat without any spills and tasted excellent with the light-sour sauce.

For main, I decided to go for Gyros, instead of my usual pork souvlaki. Whenever I think of gyros, I think of the Doener Kebab. Instead of grilling in an oven, the meat, usually lamb and beef, is slowly grilled in a rotating vertical split. A Turkish acquaintance once told me the meat is welded together with fat. It is crunchy but juicy and crisp.

But the Canadian gyros I have tasted tend to be on the drier side with the meat being too ‘floury’ – it is as if the meat was ground fine and then moulded into a big roll to fit the rotisserie. The Classic Gyro at Mr Greek had just the right amount of salt and spices, but it was still too fine for me. No crunchiness.
I love Greek-style potatoes. I liked the way they bake it for the potatoes to absorb the lime juice, chicken broth and the olive oil. It reminds me of the potato curries I am used to.

And I am also a fan of the Greek-style rice.

As usual with my previous Mr Greek experiences, this was a full, hearty meal.

And I liked the service. Very friendly and accommodating.

At the end of the dinner, the young man who I had assumed was the manager came up to me and asked whether I was from south India. In return for a reply, I wanted to know whether he was from Greece. No, he was half Indian, half Jewish, and owned the place with his brother.

He also briefed me on the global nature of his surname, Choudhry. Once at home, I googled and found out that Wikipedia has no less than 24 different versions of the name, from Choudhry to Cowdrey. The name is shared between Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and both Hindus and Muslims have it.
But I could not figure out which of the 24 versions is the Jewish one.

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