The Favourite Greek
360 George St.,
When I started working as the PTBOfoodie for PtboCanada, my goal was to find restaurants that were part of the downtown core and emphasized that fact with carefully cooked food and well prepared dishes. Located at 360 George St, or through the Peterborough Square Mall, The Favourite Greek epitomizes these values and does so with a great balance between fantastic service and fine dining.
Open for lunch and dinner, the menu at the Favourite Greek provides a number of options for patrons while staying true to the Greek palette with dishes featuring lamb, giros, and lots of tzatziki sauce. There are several Greek wines to pair with the food, as well as a dessert menu featuring (in this reviewer's opinion) the only delicacy that should follow up such a culturally accurate meal: baklava!
For an appetizer, I started with the saganaki, a dish that is always presented by the chef because the last step is to pour brandy over the cheese and set it ablaze to sear in the savoury flavours of the kefalotyri cheese. It is served right on the frying pan it's seared in, a sagani, which is where the dish derives its name from.
The Favourite Greek's saganaki was rich and salty, and made for a great appetizer along with pita bread while waiting for our main courses. From the taste of Greece, we chose the pork and chicken souvlaki—each came with a generous helping on Greek salad and potatoes spiced with lemon and thyme. The side dishes alone were excellently prepared, but the star of the plate remained the grilled souvlaki with the housemade family recipe for tzatziki sauce on the side. The service at the restaurant was very quick, with the appetizer coming soon after we ordered and the main course coming just in time for the saganaki to be finished.
The souvlaki was charred just slightly on the outside while remaining moist on the inside and falling right off of the stick. The tzatziki sauce was very well prepared and complimented the souvlaki with a tang that complimented the flavour of the meat perfectly. Overall, the meal was excellently made and came in such generous portions we felt the need to take some of it home.
Also ordered was the lamb pita, which was made with tomatoes, red onions, and more of that delectable tzatziki sauce. The lamb was cooked just like the souvlaki, with the grill sealing in all of the juices and flavours and creating a delicious addition to a classic favourite. The pitas come in eight different ways, from souvlaki style to gyro, so there is a meat for newcomers to Greek cuisine or longtime fans of the food.
There was barely room for it at the end of the meal, but this reviewer wasn't about to leave without having a slice of baklava first. Baklava is a very rich and sweet dessert which is made from layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and honey. Its origin has been claimed by many cultures, with it most likely being attributed to the Ottoman Turks or the Byzantines. In Greece interestingly, it is supposed to be made with 33 layers of pastry for the years of Christ's life. I don't know how many were in the slice I had, but I enjoyed every one of them!
The Favourite Greek is owned and operated by George Vassiliadis, who is also one of the chefs and takes a large part in the kitchen when it comes to preparing meals. After working in the hospitality industry around Peterborough, he followed his dream to open the Favourite Greek, and operates under the mantra of food that is appealing both to the eye and the palette. A gracious host, it is very clear that he takes a great passion in the food he cooks, and in the joy that it brings the people that come to his restaurant.
I've already mentioned that the servings at The Favourite Greek were large, but what is great is that they couple very well with the prices. The souvlaki dinners start at $10.95, and it's possible to go out for a nice dinner with someone for as little as $30 at the Favourite Greek, while still maintaining a sense of fine dining and classy atmosphere.
It really comes as the complete package for a downtown Peterborough who wants to eat well and spend smart.
—reviewed by PtboCanada's food columnist Matt Ferguson
PtboCanada's food reviewer Matthew Ferguson has a passion for food and cooking. Matt's worked at several establishments in town, both cooking and managing in kitchens, and now plans to insight Peterborough to have the same love for food that he does. Follow him on Twitter @PtboFoodie.