Monday, August 9, 2010

Greek House Restaurant

Name: Greek House Restaurant
Location: 623 Main St., Johnson City, NY 13790
Phone: (607) 798-7899
Cuisine: Greek/American
Price: Around $10 per person

The Greek House is yet another place Megan and I have driven by on hundreds of occasions, but until today, we had never bothered to stop in. Strange, considering we live in the area and are fond of Greek cuisine in general. It's located on Main St. in Johnson City in the Westover Plaza across from BAE Systems.

From the outside the restaurant looks very small; inside it is much larger, with a long coffee counter surrounding the kitchen area and probably 20 small tables and booths comprising the seating area. It's a classic Greek diner that serves a mix of Greek and American cuisines, and they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Upon entering we followed the sign's instruction to seat ourselves and found a small booth about halfway into the restaurant. Shortly thereafter, we were handed menus by the waitress. The lunch menu, I would have to admit, was not all that extensive, particularly in Greek options. They had gyros, souvlaki, and spinach pie (spanakopita), but that was about it as far as the Greek choices went. The rest of the menu was comprised of standard American diner fare like club sandwiches, burgers, and fries. By diner standards, I found the Greek House to have a pretty small menu, at least for lunch.

I ordered the spanakopita and a cup of coffee, while Megan went with the souvlaki. Less than ten minutes later, our meals were in front of us.

I thought the spanakopita was pretty good. For those unfamiliar, spanakopita is a spinach pie made with spinach, feta cheese, onions, and various spices enfolded by phyllo dough. It's not something I order very often, but given the limited menu and the fact that it was marked as a "specialty," I decided to give it a go. It was tasty and filling--maybe a little burnt on one of the edges--but I would definitely consider ordering it again. Megan was happy with her souvlaki and thought it was one of the better souvlaki sandwiches she's had of late.

We split a piece of baklava for dessert which was also very good and was a definite highlight of the meal.

Service was a bit of a problem at the Greek House. The waitress was an older lady who might have spoken ten words to us the entire time and was just generally grumpy. I will say that the service was quick, but on the standoffish side. Moreover, she overcharged me on coffee. I drank two cups and the menu stated very clearly that coffee came with one free refill, yet I was charged for two coffees. Not cool, but I'm not about to sit there and haggle over $1.35. So I took it out of her tip, which she frankly did little to deserve anyway. The gentleman who served as cashier was much friendlier and thanked us for coming, so perhaps we just got unlucky with the waitress.

Overall, I was generally pleased with the Greek House and would go again. The ambiance is pleasantly old-fashioned while the food was uniformly solid, albeit unmemorable. Negatives included the cold fish of a waitress we had, and a lunch menu that could use a few additional Greek options. Perhaps the dinner menu is more extensive. I wouldn't call the Greek House among the area's better diners, but it's not bad, and its location is good in the sense that there are few other dining options in the immediate area. I give the Greek House a slight recommendation, with the caveat that Mediterranean Gyro in Vestal is far superior as a Greek dining option for lunch.

Grade: B-

Greek House Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. We often eat at the Greek House. Sam, the owner, is friendly, politically astute, and a good cook. And from Egypt, by the way, so it is truly Mediterranean. Although the breakfasts are good, we usually go for dinner. It's obviously a working class restaurant, it's good inexpensive food. And the best: REAL mashed potatoes.
    PS: I like the waitress. If you were on your feet for 40 years you might be grumpy too!

  2. I was a waitress for many years and was never grumpy to my customers. They were my bread and butter. Grumpy waitress=skimpy tips. Want a good day? Smile and be pleasant to everyone who comes in, even if you would rather be somewhere else. If the job gets you down, it might be time to move on.


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