Dinner at Effie’s: I Finally Made It!!!

I have a former colleague who has been hounding me for over a year to go to Effie’s (1127 Pine Street, Phila, PA).  Well, I finally got there last night.  My wife and a friend enjoyed a few drinks before at Mixto (other post) and then had a fun and filling dinner at Effie’s.  This also presented an opportunity to bring out some treasures from recent Napa trips.  I’ll focus on the food in this post and the wine will be separate.

To me, Greek = sharing when it comes to food and Effie’s was no different.  We sat in a room which is on the other side of their outside area which is charming into itself and felt like we were in someone’s home.  We started with some appetizers:

  • Saganaki – lightly floured and seared Kasseri cheese: Take a pita, grab some saganaki and you have the best cheese sandwich you can imagine.  What’s not to like about gooey greek cheese?  Just make sure you squeeze the lemon on top before eating; it really wakes up the taste.
  • Spanakopita (2) – spinach, scallion dill, feta, phyllo dough parcel: Hands down the best spanakopita I’ve ever had.  No more wedding/bar mitzvah spanikopita for me.
  • Thessaloniki – tzatziki, hummus, meletzanosalata, olives, feta, dolmades:  I found the hummus a little bland, but outside of that, the meletzanosalata which is an eggplant salad (that makes you forget that you don’t like eggplant unless it’s breaded) was great.

For dinner we all had some type of lamb dish (and I, of course tasted everyone’s, for editorial purposes…):

  • Lamb Souvlaki – grilled cubes of marinated lamb on a skewer served with tzatziki, rice and stewed green beans:  This was mine and the meat was uber-tender and flavorful.  I barely needed the tzatziki, although it was very good.  While I was expecting green beans, it was served with green peas, which were good, just not what I expected.  The rice was a throw in; I think I’ll get the souvlaki sandwich the next time.
  • Paidakia – grilled baby lamb chops, feta basil risotto and greens:  The lamb chops where tender, but slightly overcooked, I wish they were closer to medium-medium rare, but very good no less.  The star of this plate was the risotto which was perfect and had great, fresh herb flavor.
  • Lamb Lemonato – pan seared lamb cubes, roasted potatoes in a lemon wine sauce:  Presented like a stew, this hearty dish had hints, rather than the strong lemon taste throughout.  Very enjoyable.

By the time we finished dinner, we were (over)full, but really enjoyed our time and food at Effie’s.  We will surely return.

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