Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. Let me explain. We got off to a rocky start at Greek Flame Taverna. Recently we attempted to go to Greek Flame Taverna for dinner. We arrived early or early for a Greek restaurant that is. We did not believe we would have a problem getting in but if we did, I assumed we would wait. I should have never assumed. We were greeted. We asked to sit inside the restaurant. Why? It was still very hot and humid out and we wanted to enjoy our meal in the right climate on a May nite in Florida. The hostess came back and said only outside seating was available. Pretty much period take it or leave it but she did not use those exact words. We decided to leave it. The hostess never said sorry. She never said well you could wait for an inside table but it might be 15/30/45/60 minutes or whatever. Her blank stare told us we needed to find another place to satisfy our appetite for the night. So we walked away and she did not bother trying to save us. I was not happy with the communication. But I believe in second chances and I really wanted to try this place. So we went back the following week to give Greek Flame another try. We requested again to sit inside. This was not an issue this time. After sitting down a few minutes our server noticed I was just slightly uncomfortable in my seat due to the folks sitting directly behind my chair. I hate playing bumper chairs in restaurants. Without even asking our server (can we move) she requested we move to a more spacious area. I knew at this point we were not in good hands but we were in great hands. We asked her some basic questions about the wine selections and before we could ask her another question about the wine she suggested she would bring out to us 3 samples (the ones we had questions about) for each of us to taste. Again, without even asking. This server was very proactive in giving great quality service. I told my wife she is so good at what she does she must be part of the ownership team? It turned out that her dad owned the place. This means she has skin in the game. We started with the Saganaki $8 aka Greek flaming cheese. The grilled kefalograviera cheese was finished with Ouzo and fresh squeezed lemon, the fire/flames and squeezed lemons are prepared table side. Very interesting presentation when they serve this dish. The cheese dish was good but it was a little chewy meaning you could not cut the cheese with a fork. Was expecting the fried cheese to be more tender. Before our entrees came out we both had the classic Greek Salad. How can you go into a Greek restaurant and not get the Greek salad? The Greek Salad came with typical chopped iceberg and romaine lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, scallions, kalamata olives, Peperoncini and feta, served with “warm” homemade Greek dressing on the side. Just a very good classic Greek salad. Two thumbs up for sure. My wife had the Garides Sagnaki $18(broiled shrimp). These large tiger shrimp were broiled with Greek herbs, tons of fresh garlic, garlic sauce and feta. I must say, it was a very good tasting Greek shrimp dish that was filled with flavor. I went with a very traditional Greek dish Mousaka $14 (which came with the Greek Salad). Mouska is known as a traditional comfort food dish in Greece. It’s kind of like what lasagna is to the Italians. The Mouska was served with layers of eggplant, potatoes, and Angus ground beef topped with béchamel sauce and parmesan cheese. It came out piping hot, fresh out of the oven just the way I like it. The flavors of the Mousaka were very blended and balanced perfectly. Is it the best Mousaka dish in town, don’t know, but it’s the best I have found, could not find a flaw. The daughter who served us is also the pastry chef. The homemade deserts looked awfully good but we just did not save room for desert. The service was excellent. Ask for the daughter, her husband also works there. Apparently this family business relocated from the East side of town where they were in an old Pizza Hut building for 10 years. It was a tough decision for them to move but I have a feeling they are glad they did. As I said in my opening sentence, everyone deserves a second chance, even restaurants at times. Greek Flame Taverna is located in the Dr. Phillips market place off of Sandlake Rd in South West Orlando. They offer outdoor seating and indoor seating. There is plenty of parking available. Greek Flame Taverna is open Monday-Saturday 11am till last table is served. Sunday 4:30-10pm.
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd
Orlando, Fl 32819
As a side note we do not fry our saganaki cheese. It is grilled which will make it a bit harder to cut with a knife but, because we order a more expensive cheese and it is hand cut from a wheel, we do not want to ‘wash out’ the flavor of the cheese with fry greese. It holds more flavor and is still warm and chewy cheese!
Thanks for coming in and we will see you next time (pastitio is one of my favorites)!