Saturday, March 27, 2010
Go Greek, a fresh take on fastfood
When we think about healthy food what usually comes to mind are salads, tofu or anything that lacks flavor and seasoning. I admit, I’m not a fan of these types of food. Though, given my extra pounds, I know I should. But there’s a type of food that I adore, the Mediterranean cuisine, blame it on watching travel channels and watching Jamie Oliver. I just love tomatoes, pestos and recently I fell in love with olives and capers, thanks to a lovely puttanesca my husband brought home.
And though Mediterranean cuisine is not that popular in the country, I’m glad to chance upon one inside the Glorietta 4 foodcourt in Makati. Almost hiding in a nook, it looked relatively new with its stark white walls.Peering through their glass window counter, I was amazed by their choices of kebabs, gyros, souvlakis and fresh salads. It was a welcome sight among the greasy-laden food choices surrounding it. Yes, you could almost hear a sigh of relief from people watching their cholesterol and sugar.
Go Greek serves grilled and marinated meat like kebabs, gyros and souvlakis. If you ask me what’s the difference of one to the other, honestly I’m at a loss. They’re all grilled meat to me, the difference I think is how these meat are served, the kebabs are grilled meat served in skewers, similar to our skinless longganisa (local sausage) in shape, while the gyros is similar to our version of shawarma, shaved grilled pieces of meat inside a pita bread with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, with the option of serving it with rice, while the souvlaki is also grilled meat but accompanied with grilled tomatoes and onions that are also on skewers.
And for this lunch, I ordered a chicken souvlaki. I wanted to order the beef souvlaki but I passed, I wanted to try something healthy that time, yeah right and besides I was afraid that the lamb souvlaki might have a weird aftertaste. Anyway, I braced myself to something tasteless but what do you know… I was surprised. The meat impressed only a hint of marinade and I’m guessing fresh juices and some herbs because it didn’t taste overpowering, you know like being soaked overnight in cumin. It tasted light and fresh, just enough seasoning so it wouldn’t taste bland. And that’s commendable, because sometimes it’s hard to figure the balance between cooking something with the right amount of seasoning and serving something that tastes like cardboard. Though I liked the taste, I just find the small portions of the chicken a little disappointing, it seems like there were more tomatoes and onions there than chicken meat.
But other than that, I liked the fresh salad and the roasted potatoes topped with parmesan cheese that accompanied the chicken souvlaki. Yes, I admit, I’m a sucker for side dishes. For me, good meat should have good side dishes, my formula for a satisfying meal. The salad was refreshing and the roasted potatoes provided a little more fullness to the meal. I also ordered their tzatsiki, a yoghurt and cucumber dip squeezed with lime juice on the side. It was comparable to the other tzatsiki I had in other Mediterranean restaurants but I wish it would have been a little colder so that it could have more cooling effect on the palate. And for drinks, I ordered their strawberry shake topped with whipped cream. It was a little sour for my taste but if you’re watching your sugar intake, maybe you wouldn’t mind.
Our lifestyle has changed so much and everything has to be served fast. We can see it in the prevalence of fastfood chains and greasy take-out counters. And this where Go Greek stands out and takes a stand. It gives us an option to taste great-tasting and healthy food without going to expensive and out of the way Mediterranean restaurants, ones that are known to have a selection of healthy food choices. So I hope people will still take notice and go out of their comfort zones and try Go Greek’s kind of food because with the rise of cardiovascular diseases like high blood and diabetes, we need other options other than our neighborly hamburger chains.