Come the Saturday night after Ash Wednesday, I was – finally – willing to entertain the idea of something other than French onion soup for dinner. I found myself with a pretty intense craving for Greek food. I came across a restaurant near my home that looked like it would fit the bill, Redondo Beach Café. What sold me on that eatery was that not only did they serve Greek food, but they served Canadian food – and one dish in particular that was of great interest to me – poutine. After all, I was watching the Vancouver Olympics. Canadian just felt right that night. I had recently read about poutine – fries with gravy and cheese. That can’t be too awful now can it? We’re talking about taste here, not health – obviously. If it makes you feel better – it made me feel a little better – I didn’t eat my entire following order that night. It actually lasted me about 3 meals, although I don’t know if I would call the third serving a “meal,” per se.
I placed my take-out order: an order of poutine and a beef and lamb gyro plate. The poutine came slightly different than it would have in the restaurant – the fries and cheese were kept separate from the gravy. I couldn’t begrudge them for trying to keep my fries from getting too soggy. The cheese was creamy and had a very slight tang to it. The gravy had a very concentrated meaty, gravy flavor. The meat was very flavorful, although it all looked and tasted the same, leading me to believe that maybe beef and lamb had been combined and cooked into some sort of loaf and then sliced. It was very savory and my guess would be there was some combination of parsley, maybe basil, and garlic amongst other flavoring agents. The rice seemed to be pretty standard saffron rice with peas and carrots, and the tzatziki was very tasty and sufficiently garlicky for me. Tomato slices, slices of white onion, and feta topped with oregano, to which I added fresh chopped parsley, accompanied the dish.
I was happy to find a restaurant serving Greek food that wasn’t a fast food joint. A beloved, albeit not spectacularly tasty in all its endeavors, local Greek restaurant closed earlier this year leaving a gap in for Greek food in our general neck of the woods. Redondo Beach Café also advertises itself as a sports café with an emphasis on hockey.