Saturday, May 20, 2006

European Cafe

We were out house hunting last weekend and came across a great little spot I hadn't been to in a couple of years. If you're ever in the downtown Montgomery area, home to the original Montgomery Inn, the classic Pomodori's of Clifton fame, and Germano's, but are more interested in a lighter, faster meal, this is a stop to put on your list.

"What's European about it?" Peter wondered as we walked in, and even now I'm not really sure I have a good answer. Sure, they claim that Greek-style gyros are their specialty, but other than that the menu isn't all that European-themed. There are plenty of classic lunch favorites to please any palate, from soups (none on Sundays though), sandwiches and salads. We briefly perused the menu and quickly settled on the gyros, both lamb and chicken, since they're just not something you see every day. And because we've been on such a health kick lately, we added on an order of onion rings to share.

Our service was attentive and prompt in the bustling cafe, and the counter was perfect for us to sit and debate the pros and cons of the open houses we'd just attended. Our gyros were delivered to us steaming hot and handily wrapped in foil wrappers for ultimate ease of stuffing our faces. The tangy cucumber yogurt sauce served on the side was the perfect complement to the flavorful meat as we poured it on the soft, fluffy pita bread. It's pretty hard to ruin onion rings, but these were especially light, crispy and golden brown. Delicious with gool old Heinz Ketchup.

I was pretty full after all that, but that didn't stop my sweet tooth from forcing me to order some of the homemade baklava. The single serving consisted of two triangles that were plenty large to share, and the employee who retrieved it from the case for us was kind enough to heat it up before we ate it so that the flaky pastry soaked with honey and nuts absolutely melted in our mouths. In my attempt to feed Peter a bite with my plastic fork, I watched him go at it with such anticipation that he actually bit through one of the plastic tines. Since he didn't spit it out, I'm pretty sure he swallowed it.

The only thing we didn't try was the scary-looking hookah on the counter. What do you do with those things, anyway? Yes, I'm pretty naive as far as those things are concerned, but I'm sure Peter would be happy to supplement my knowledge in that area.

I don't know if we'll be able to come to any resolution on where to buy a house in this lifetime, but I know we'll be back to this great lunch location soon.


The damage: a very reasonable $16 total, including tax and tip, for 2 gyros, onion rings, and soft drinks (that didn't include our $2.95 dessert)

Watch out for: crowds on weekends and closing early (2 pm) on Sundays

Food: 4 out of 5 forks

Romance: 1 out of 5 kisses

European Cafe
9450 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45242
(513) 891-4551

No comments: