Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey 07030
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11-10; Friday-Saturday 11-11; Sunday 1-10pm
Reviewed by: Lisa Costantini
More than two years after Midtown Diner on 6th and Washington caught fire, the NJ-based restaurant, It's Greek To Me, opened their door. And it was just in the nick of time too, as residents of this mile square know, we were starting to run out of dining choices. If you believe that I've got a nail salon to sell you.But before I begin my review I hope you'll allow me this long-overdue tangent, appropriately titled...
Things That Are Greek To Me:
*People who talk loudly into cellphones while in public places. The shiny thing in your hand is not a tin can!! (Yes, I'm talking to you mustached man on the Willow bus! You who felt the need to vent about your first co-ed baby shower where the mother-to-be actually opens every gift in front of you. What a waste of time!) Well, what do you call the page I just reread three times, thanks to you?!?!
*People who don't know how to park. This is not Italy, we don't drive around on scooters and in vehicles that are the size of MatchBox cars so why oh why would someone take up more space than necessary. I understand not wanting to get boxed in, but what I don't understand is when someone parks next to a garage or fire hydrant and they don't back up to the line. It's common courtesy and common sense. If everyone did this maybe we could elect our next mayor based on merit and not on which one promises to create more parking spaces!Okay, I feel better now. Now that I got that off my chest let's move on to the something in my stomach.It's Greek to Me is a chain that started 19 years ago and last added Hoboken to its resume only a few months ago, with number seven about to open in Long Branch. The idea was to offer reliable Greek cuisine that is not only reasonably-priced but as authentic as you can get without boarding a plane. My job was to see if this particular spot lived up to the promise.I decided to visit late one Sunday night with a friend in tow. The restaurant wasn't hard to miss with its bright blue and white awning overhead and tables scattered with customers. My friend and I choose to join them and eat outdoors as well. We were eventually greeted with a waiter who returned moments later with water and answers to our questions about the menu. Still not exactly sure what tzatziki and saganaki were we decided on the traditional Spanakopita a.k.a. spinach pie ($5.50) and Shrimp Saganaki ($9.95) for starters. Eventually, seconds turned into minutes and minutes seemed like hours before a waiter came to drop off our food, only to realize she had the wrong table. So finally our server arrived with our appetizers and ready to take our entrée orders. We went with the Grilled Chicken over Greek Salad ($10.95) and Chicken Gyro Platter ($12.95).Our appetizers were choices well made, with the Saganaki being the better of the two. It consisted of shrimp broiled with saganaki (we later found out it was a type of cheese), fresh tomatoes, and garlic. It was similar to chicken parmesan if the chicken was shrimp. It was so good we slopped up the remaining sauce with the warm pita bread it came served with. The spinach pie, also good but the fillo was a little too flaky and a little too crisp (a.k.a. burnt). We left three quarters of the spinach pie, partly to save room for our entrees and partly because we'd had better.While we waited on our entrees we tried to get our waiter's attention in an effort to get more water, but he was either busy chatting with passerbys he knew or smoking a cigarette around the corner. As a former waitress I know breaks are hard to come by but I also know my livelihood depended on tips, so requesting a refill after sitting with an empty glass for 20 minutes was not the request of a crazy person.Our food finally arrived with our waiter (who was oblivious to ''The Great Water Drought of '05'' as we ended up grabbing a random busboy to help us with our plight). The Greek salad with chicken my friend ordered came topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onion, feta cheese and olives. And my platter came served with Greek fries, grilled sweet pepper and tomatoes, tzatziki, onion, and parsley. Both were good, not that anyone cared to ask, and seemed to hit the spot… that is until we found ourselves hungry again as we waited for our plates to be cleared. When the big moment finally came we used that opportunity to request the Kataifi ($4.25), shredded fillo layered with walnuts and cinnamon and soaked in a light syrup. It turned out to be a hit, placing a close second to the Shrimp Saganaki, and had just enough sugar that by the time we left we had almost completely forgotten about our waiter. Hmm, wonder if he'd had a little Kataifi earlier with his nicotine?? That might explain everything!