Address: 311 Wareham Road (Route 6), Marion.
hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-8 p.m. Sunday.
handicap access: Ramp to entrance; bathroom handicap-equipped.
credit cards: Yes.
Phone: (508) 748-2658.
A friend at work recently had stopped into Gourmet Grieko in Marion for supper, and suggested that I check it out. He was particularly enthusiastic about their pizza, but said they also offered Greek and American entrees.
He said the place was kind of a cross between a deli and a pizza restaurant, but did offer table service. So Loring and I decided to stop in on a Wednesday evening.
The restaurant, whose proprietors are Peter, Joyce and Andrew Davidopoulos, has been open since January.
As you enter, there is a deli case on the left wall, with the kitchen behind it. The L-shaped dining area is attractively furnished, with tables sporting flowering potted plants.
Chief among the decorative touches is a handsome series of watercolors depicting Greek village life by Marion artist Charles Parsons. Stop in for a meal if only to admire these artworks.
There's a big screen TV, which wasn't turned on, mounted at the end of the counter, but a little traditional music might give the atmosphere an added lift.
We picked up menus as we entered, and took a table at the back, overlooking a car-detailing service. When we'd had a few minutes to figure out what we wanted, the young woman came from behind the counter to take our order. It seemed like other customers stopped at the counter to order, but they were waiting for takeout. Perhaps a sign over the counter that directs diners to "order here" is needed.
Encouraged by the Web site to bring our own beer or wine, we had arrived with a chilled bottle of pinot grigio, and wine glasses were available on the condiment bar. If you forget, there's a convenient liquor store next door.
We decided to begin with the meze platter ($8.99), which provides a choice of three meze (Mediterranean appetizers) plus three stuffed grape leaves and warm wedges of soft pita bread.
I requested roasted eggplant dip, hummus and tzatsiki (cucumber/yogurt sauce), but our order came with tabbouli instead of the latter. Another possible choice is taramasalata, a fish roe spread.
The white plastic foam plate was generously heaped, and everything was fresh and delicious, except the eggplant, which had a bitter edge. The hummus wasn't overly garlicky, and the grape leaves were stuffed with a vegetarian rice filling. All together, it was a starter to gladden a vegetarian's heart.
We also tried to order prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with asiago cheese ($5.99), but learned they were unavailable that night.
An order of garlic bread consisted of four sections dressed up with garlic butter, herbs and melted cheese, tasty but a little steep, I thought, at $3.79.
For my entree, I considered having the beef and lamb yeero (gyro) sandwich ($6.99), which the menu states is authentically prepared, but instead decided on the Grieko chicken ($10.99).
The menu describes it as charbroiled chicken on a bed of spinach, tomato, feta and herbs. It arrived lacking the feta, so I went up to the counter and got a condiment cup filled with crumbled cheese to sprinkle on top.
The chicken — a full boneless breast — was tender and moist, and nicely seasoned as well. The bed of spinach was raw baby spinach leaves, not cooked as I expected, but very good. From the nice assortment of sides, I chose rice (the typical, but fine, pilaf mix) and tabbouli (a welcome harbinger of summer). Entrees also come with a choice of house or Greek salad, and I was happy to find the latter made with sturdy leaf lettuces, not the ubiquitous iceberg.
My husband was equally pleased with his shrimp saganaki ($14.99), which comprised seven large shrimp, sauteed with olive oil, red onions, garlic, parsley and tomato. It, too, was supposed to contain feta, but the kitchen had apparently left it out.
He had the shrimp over rice, with tabbouli and Greek salad rounding out his entree.
It almost seems a shame to serve such delicious food on foam plates with plastic cutlery, but that's the kind of casual spot Gourmet Grieko is.
An array of commercially made sweets, including carrot cake, tiramisu and a white chocolate/raspberry pyramid were available, but we stayed traditional, sharing a two-piece serving of baklava. It was honey-sweet and spicy, but light on the nut filling.
In order to try Gourmet Grieko's pizza, we got one to go. The Sicilian ($9.99 for a 12-inch) features grilled, marinated chicken with roasted red peppers and mushrooms along with the traditional tomato sauce and cheese. I sampled a slice when we got home, and the moderately thick crust was as good as my office pal had promised. The toppings were generous and of good quality. Definitely a pie to check out.
Gourmet Grieko has an array of interesting pizzas, such as the Greek, topped with hummus, sauce, kalamata olives, roasted garlic, spinach and feta; the Portuguese Hawaiian, with linguica and pineapple; or the sausage and apple with a five-cheese blend.
Youngsters 12 and under can choose from chicken fingers, a burger or macaroni and cheese, served with a small drink and one side, for $3.99.
Since we used the 20 percent discount coupon available on the restaurant's Web site for first-time visitors, our tab came to $40.
I look forward to returning to Gourmet Grieko to try the other Greek specialties like moussaka, pastitsio, souvlaki and that yeero sandwich.
Marion is lucky to have such an intriguing addition to its dining options.
Look for a white building with columns and blue accents (the Greek colors) on the north side of Route 6.
Dine Out's reviewer visits restaurants unannounced and at his or her discretion. The Standard-Times pays for the meals reviewed. The reviews merely reflect one diner's experience. Ratings range from 1 to 5 stars.