Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Zorba's Cafe Food Review

Beef & Lamb Yero

Zorba the Great!

Leave it to Zorba's Cafe at 1612 20th Street, NW to blow me away not once, but twice within the same meal. What began as one of my typical over-orders (a gyro and a mini pizza for lunch with my brother and dad) turned into one of the best meals I've had all year. P.S. Both their pitta bread and pizza dough might be #1 respectively in the entire area. Yum!

2:00 PM is a great time to visit this normally packed cafe, a block and a half north of Dupont Circle. My family and I had the whole front area (inside the air-conditioned dining room downstairs) to ourselves. The moment you walk in, you can't help but shift into relaxation mode. I've been coming here for years, and few places make you feel as comfortable as Zorba's.

Mini Pizza with Italian Sausage

After taking our good, sweet time in surveying the menu, we placed an order at the front counter/cash register. Despite handling hundreds of customers per day, the cashiers are friendly and patient... more than willing to explain what's what (if necessary.) I ordered a Beef & Lamb Yero (gyro) sans the feta and onions, with Tzatziki (yogurt-cucumber sauce) on the side. A deal at $8.50, but a steal when you consider my brother was picking up the tab! Suddenly flush with cash, I went back and ordered a 7" Mini Pizza with Italian Sausage for the downright inexpensive sum of $5.60! Complimentary water is always available, so I wound up just over six bucks lighter (for two lunches and a drink) at the end of the day. Not too shabby.

It didn't take long to get our orders (Falafel Plate for dad, two orders of DolmĪ¬thes - stuffed grape leaves for Brian) and my scrumptious yero. First the bread... OMG, delicious. Chewy and thick, this pitta isn't going to fall apart whilst eating. Lettuce and tomato were fresh and beautifully colored; while the meat was seasoned perfectly, and crispy in spots. One of the best gyros in the DC Metropolitan area.

About five minutes later, my pizza was ready... and the real party began. As grand as my Yero was, this pizza almost blew it away. The homemade crust (which I initially thought was the same pitta bread used in my sandwich) was without equal... perhaps the best I've had, since the sourdough variety at Schlotzsky's Deli. Covered in fresh, gooey cheese with a vibrant, red tomato sauce, I honestly thought I'd died and gone to Heaven. Great sausage too, but the crust literally stole the show; so much so, that I had to convey my respects to the owner (a great guy named Greg Skenderis.) Surprise, surprise: It's his grandmother's recipe (Why are all grandmothers so awesome?)

Pizza and Yeros are fine, but Zorba's has a month's worth of deliciousness on its extensive menu (wait till you try their soup!) Pick a day (any day, Zorba's is open 11-11:30 Monday through Saturday, 11-10:30 on Sunday) and grab a seat on the outdoor patio, or either floor inside; and prepare to get whisked away to Greece, minus the airfare & hotel.