Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
What better place to eat amazing Greek food than Astoria, aka Greektown because of its large Greek population? That is where I got the opportunity to try Jimbo's, a family restaurant conveniently located a couple of minutes from the train. Their philosophy: cut out the middleman and offer quality food (large portions) at reasonable prices, from fish to meat. They are apparently known for their steaks, but I admit that I wanted to taste some of their Greek recipes.
Our guide that evening was Yianni, whose nickname is Jimbo. With his family, he tried to create a warm place with authentic Greek food made with ingredients imported straight from Greece. For instance, his grandfather has olive trees. So, he regularly sends from there, olives as well as cold pressed olive oil. I started my meal with one of their creations: the ouzo lemonade. I found that pretty refreshing and not too strong. It was served with two maraschino cherries: the game was to catch them with simply using the straws...
We then started our meal with some appetizers. First came the trio of spreads (Kria Pikilia); there was Melitzanosalata (roasted eggplant spread with roasted red peppers, garlic, fresh herbs, and extra virgin olive oil), tzatziki (Yogurt spread with cucumbers, garlic and extra virgin olive oil) and Tirokafteri (spicy feta spread with red pepper and extra virgin olive oil). This was definitely a large portion worth the $13 price.
My favorite was the tzatziki, then the melitzanosalata that had this nice smokey flavor so particular to eggplant. The tirokafteri was good, slightly spicy, but not something I was crazy about. The spreads were served with either bread or pita. We went for the later.
Then, we got the keftedes or Greek meatballs. Small, they were perfect with a bit of tzatziki.
We also tried their Greek salad or Elliniki, made with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, kalamata olives, sardines and feta cheese.
Instead of sardines written on the menu, they put anchovies, that Jodi hates, but that I love. So, I asked them to bring them on the side...
Of course, there was one dish I really wanted to try: the grilled octopus (Oktapodi Scharas) and I was not disappointed. It was tender with a bit of char outside.
The last appetizer was also one I was looking forward to try: the Saganaki (Brandy flamed kefalograviera cheese finished with a touch of lemon). It was sublime and a must have if you like cheese.
We went had out entrées. For Jodi, the vegetarian platter composed of Spanakopita (homemade spinach pie with feta cheese, scallions, and dill baked in phyllo dough), gigantes (giant beans in tomato sauce with extra virgin olive oil, onions, garlic and fresh herbs), and dolmadakia (stuffed grape leaves with rice, fresh herbs, extra virgin olive oil and a touch of lemon). It is in fact a trio of appetizers, but I thought it was a good idea to create one vegetarian plate just in case.
On my side, I got an amazing dish: Arni Youvetsi or baked in tomato sauce, herbs and orzo. It comes in a traditional pot and, when the lid is lifted, you get this fantastic aroma filling your nose. The thick sauce is still bubbling at first as the dish is very hot. The lamb, slow cooked was literally falling off the bone. And that sauce was so good, having a bold flavor enhanced by the delicious taste of the lamb.
Last was dessert. We got the Galaktobouriko that is a baked Greek custard cream in phyllo dough and honey syrup. This homemade dessert was sublime, the cream being delicious and not too sweet.
This was a great dinner and I enjoyed talking to Yianni and get some insight about the restaurant. Jimbo's is the kind of place that is worth the trip and, considering they are next to the train station, it would be sad to miss such a place that serves such a delicious food.
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, pleas feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!