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Opa! Zorba’s Tavern in Fairmount, Philadelphia

February 22, 2011

Zorba's, located on Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, between 22nd and 23rd streets.

First, let me preface this by saying I love Zorba’s. Meg and I eat there often. We get take-out from there even more often. We wanted to have our rehearsal dinner there, but, since we married in October, just two weeks prior to Halloween, it was right in the midst of the Terror Behind the Walls madness taking place just down the street at Eastern State Penitentiary.

Second, let me mention that I’m going to try to not have photos of toilets at the top of the entries anymore. So there’s that.

Anyway, we decided to venture to Zorba’s in early February to celebrate the birthday of my former co-worker Joe. As I said before, Meg and I love Zorba’s, and we often pass the restaurant as we’re in the neighborhood, and the family that owns and works there are always very nice and friendly.

Zorba's restroom

The men's room at Zorba's, with my meds and testing supplies on top.

After placing our orders, I, as usual, ventured to the restroom to test my blood sugar and take my insulin. Photos of Santorini abound, and the bright color of the walls, as you can see to the left, offer a cheery environ within which to do what I had to do.

Zorba’s is a storefront that’s been converted from two row homes along Fairmount Avenue, and the restrooms appear to be converted closets. They’re tight, but definitely clean (which, as you’ve noticed in a previous post, earns points). Again, a table would be appreciated, as there was room for one.

And now onto the food.

On our recent stop we decided to start with hummus, and, as always, it was super-garlicy and served with the wonderful toasty pita wedges. I’m also a huge fan of the saganaki, a fried rectangle of kasseri cheese served with red onions, and the spicy feta spread which is, surprisingly, spicy feta. Yummy.

For entrees, I tried a special, beef served with orzo and stewed in a red wine sauce (I believe referred to traditionally as a “youvetsi”) and served with the traditional stewed veggies that come with every entree. Not always a fan of carrots, I could eat them all day and night if they were made at Zorba’s. The wine sauce was a little sharp. Not the best thing I’ve ever had, but the beef was fork-tender and delicious.

I can certainly attest to the gyros, the lamb dishes and the two different souvlaki.

Meg, on the other hand, can only attest to the greatness of one dish: the grilled chicken breast. My woman finds her dish and sticks with it, ordering it each and every time we go to Zorba’s. I’d crack some jokes about this, but it really is fantastic. In addition to the stewed veggies, you have your choice of fries (battered and really, really tasty) or potatoes. Lots of starch, but everything’s very tasty.

Joe, a vegetarian, decided to order the shrimp tourkolimano, which is shrimp sauteed in red wine and tomato sauce, with feta cheese,served on a bed of rice. Sounds good, right? Well, maybe it was an off day, because, along with my dish, Joe only said it was “OK.”

Not our best experience, but, as I said, we love this place and will definitely be back (probably soon). The restaurant, on my patented scale, earns an “OK” rating. And to think, a little table would be all that’s necessary to push them to the top and a “Rated A1C” rating.

An order of rice pudding was enjoyed, a bottle of wine was polished off, and a fine evening was enjoyed by all. Below you’ll see my video of the restroom.

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