Restaurant Diaries: Astoria Shish Kebob House

 

Astoria Shish Kebob House | 390 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON M4K 1P3
Located at the heart of Danforth in Greek Town, Astoria Shish Kebob House is a well-known local favourite. I’ve had many people tell me about the fantastic food and service at Astoria and on Friday night, D and I decided to try it out. Entering the restaurant, we liked the location and seating arrangement. Easy to get to, well-lit and comfortable seating, I was excited to have good Greek food after so long, especially since my favourite Greek restaurant had closed down recently. 

 Once at our table and menus in front of us, I began looking at the bottle of wine on the table and reviewing the menu. Our waiter came over shortly after, he didn’t say a single word about the bottle of wine but offered to take out drinks order. I guess, the wine was just there for decoration or he didn’t know anything about it, so he didn’t try to up sell us into trying it. 

 We ordered my all-time favourite, Saganki, Spanakopita and Hummus to start. 

Let’s start with the Saganaki: it was delicious! But I guess it’s kind of hard to get Saganaki wrong. It’s a slab of cheese, slightly fried, served on a sizzling plate, pour Sambuka on it, light it up, yell “opa” and sprinkle with lemon juice. It was delicious and I had thought the rest of our meal would be the same. 

When the Spanakopita arrived, it looked fresh but lacked any kind of presentation and looked like the two pieces of pastry were just tossed on the plate. Presentation was disappointing and the taste equally so. It was dry, flavourless and stale. 

The hummus looked disturbing. It was thick and chunky. We asked the waiter if it was homemade and he said he’d find out but never mentioned it again. It tasted flavourless. After adding salt and pepper the Spanakopita with it, D finally enjoyed a little bit of his meal. 

When our main course arrived, I was so turned off from the rest of the food that I didn’t even want to try it. However, at $20.99 a plate, I had to try it and hoped it wasn’t like the other two items we just had. 

  The chicken lacked seasoning. After lots of salt, pepper, tzatziki and feta on the side, the chicken tasted good. The rice and potatoes was pretty standard. Nothing exciting but had a slight flavour to them. 

 I was a little annoyed when I got the bill and saw that I was charged for the extra tzatziki. I mean, seriously? For the amount of food we ordered, you’d think they’d include the sauces free.

Needless to say, I will not be revisiting Astoria again. The service was fine. But the food was not worth the price. If this was a restaurant on your list of restaurants to try, I strongly recommend to skip it and save your money. You can find much better elsewhere in the city. 

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