Great Food in Old Town Alexandria

Let me preface this review of Taverna Cretekou on King Street in Old Town, Alexandria by saying that I am of Greek descent, so it is pretty near impossible for a Greek restaurant not on the Mediterranean to please me. The ones that have like Molyvos in NYC, and Kellari in DC, and the now closed, George’s in Bethesda, are either totally authentic or upscale with a certain chef’s license on their authenticity. I want to like Taverna Cretekou because the owners are nice people and it is a taste of my childhood and very nearby. I do like the decor, and the fact that they bring in live entertainment on certain nights. On a recent visit, the lamb shank special was the largest I’ve ever seen in a restaurant; tender, falling off the bone and swathed in a very delicious avgolemono sauce. Yasou! Likewise, the combination platter ( moussaka, pastitsio, dolmathes, and spanikopita)was very well prepared and sported some of the same egg-lemon sauce. Yasou! The appetizer Imam Biyaldi was correctly prepared and delicious. Yasou! Taverna Cretekou could impress more if they would not dumb down the rest of their dishes for western tastes, especially the classics like tadziki, taramosalata, the pites, the calamari and others. At least they haven’t fallen into the tomato sauce trap, though. Sigh…..where’s my yiayia when I need her!

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