Market Grille

So, yeah. Market Grille.

It turns out there’s this very good, but at the same time incredibly boring chain of Greek restaurants here in Vegas. According to Google there are like three of them in town, one up in Summerlin, one in Norftown and one down in Hendo.

I don’t know how to feel about Market Grille. First off, holy shit is it good. Holy shit goddamn. Really. I don’t have words. I didn’t really know what I wanted, because well honestly I don’t have a clue what the hell any of this is here on the menu. I’m from a part of the world to which Greek and Mediterranean is kind of completely alien.

There was this little Greek pizzeria up in Reno called Pirate’s Pizza that served this neat little appetizer plate that consisted of like these little sausages wrapped up in grape leaves and big hunks of feta cheese on bamboo skewers with kalamata olives and so forth, but that’s really the extent of my exposure to Greek cuisine – which is basically the same thing as saying that you rock out with your Mexican out because you’ve been to Taco Bell once.

So perhaps it’s that I went into the place without any preconceptions or expectations that I enjoyed what I had so immensely. Sort of the opposite reaction to the first time I had catfish. I was on a cross-country road trip, we’d stopped in Gatlinburg Tennessee[1] and I decided that you know what, I’d been in The South for a whole month and I ain’t yet tried a lick of fried catfish so I’d better just try it right now.

When the truck stop waitress asked me “how’d y’all like y’catfish?” I gave a short but honest reply: “I don’t know if this was bad catfish or if catfish is bad, but I hated it.” Perhaps it was that my expectations were so high, that everybody I knew said that catfish was an orgasm between the teeth that had me so anticipating it and setting myself up for disappointment when it turned out to be just so goddamned awful that I had to fight my way through the whole dish because I paid ten bucks for it and yes I am that damned cheap.

So, heading into Market Grille, I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t know what to expect, so I just ordered the “trio platter” which had little squares of three of their main entrées on a plate full of salad and rice and accompanied with a half-ounce soufflé cup of hummus and a couple triangles of pita bread.

Each of the three entrée samples were something I’d never experienced before, yet at the same time was hauntingly familiar. This is the sort of place that TV executives new shows to be. “Give me the same, only different!” they’d harp.

Basically what I had here were three little squares of lasagna. But instead of big old chewy flat noodles, I had crispy phyllo. Instead of bland ricotta cheese, there was tart and dry feta. Instead of canned red sauce, I got… well canned red sauce.

Spanakopita, Pastitiso and Mousaka.

And it was good. Really good.

– But –

What’s the deal with how boring the place was? I thought Greek joints were supposed to have dudes with accordions belting out the greatest hits of Yanni while gypsy women in long frilly dresses kick wine glasses against the walls and goats juggle plates on sticks? I was led to believe that these Greek joints were a circus and a show. After all, when you’re paying eight bucks for a gyro sandwich, you’d at least better get a re-enactment of Clash of the Titans in sockpuppet.

Whatever. I liked it. It was a bit expensive, 40$ for two of us. We didn’t even have any wine. But what’s Vegas good for if not wasting money on enjoyment that’s fleeting at best?

[1]in mid jue-lye, I’d just hit town and my throat was dry. So I thought I’d stop and have myself a brew. It was an old saloon on a street of mud, when who did I see a’dealin’ stud? But that dirty mangy son of a bitch what named me (etc etc).

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One Response to “Market Grille”

  1. Gavin Says:

    There’s sadly less plate smashing at Greek restaurants than one would think.

    At all Greek places, the souvlaki must be order however. All good Greek places have souvlakis to die for.

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