225 King St. W. Toronto
Cost: approx $50 for two
I love Greek Food. Sure, it's just meat and potatoes...but that is precisely why I love it. There is something very comforting about Greek food. How can it go wrong?
At Penelope, it doesn't.
Around the King Street area, dinner options grow sparse the more times you dine out and very quickly the "Il Fornellos" and the "Urbans" of the downtown core give way to our very instinctual and basic needs. Such as meat and potatoes. Such was the case when we remembered Penelope, the only full-out Greek restaurant in the heart of the city. Much like Penelope herself, we exercised patience and loyalty and reserved our hunger pangs (whilst making our way down King street past all the upscale dining venues with their Winterlicious sandwich boards) for the simplest dinner of them all: the chicken souvlaki dinner.
Once there, we were allowed to be picky selective and were seated at a corner round table (even though there were just the two of us).
Our server and the manager (it seemed) were on hand to take our order and offer us drink choices. The manager recommended the Greek beer, Keo, which we thoroughly enjoyed and I highly recommend it (I'm more of a Guinness person myself, but Keo was very refreshing.)
And we already know that there would be one chicken souvlaki dinner (with a side of pita bread...just 'cause) and then to mix things up, an item from their dinner specials that day: swordfish.
Both mains arrived at our table incredibly quickly. My (usual) request for chilli flakes and/or hot sauce (which sually ends up being Tabasco, which I don't really consider hot sauce) was greeted with hearty props from our server who has been working there for 7 years.
As expected, the chicken, rice and potatoes were glorious. The side of veggies bordered on frozen-then-over-cooked-and-greasy and I'd have preferred a side of Greek salad (this reminded me of the time The Healthy Greek didn't have Greek salad !)
The swordfish was surprising good and a huge portion, at that! This time, the Greek salad was in attendance and I couldn't complain.
There were some serious left overs for taking home and an overall feeling of wholesomeness that only Greek food can provide.
It's nice to know that in a city full of restaurants with big attitudes, big plates and tiny, tottering portions, there are restorative places like Penelope. It's true then, for Penelope and for us, patience certainly was a virtue.