The Greek restaurant is situated at the beginning of the Old Town in Hemel Hempstead and is currently rated the number one restaurant in the area according to Trip Advisor. It is run by Yiannis and Andros who provide authentic Greek food to rival any found in their home country. I have been to this restaurant quite a few times over the last few years and have always experienced delicious food and impeccable service. Yiannis always remembers us and makes a big fuss of the children. The restaurant does not cater specifically for children - they do not have high chairs, a children’s menu or changing facilities, but they are happy to accommodate children. We always take our own booster seat and the children typically share a starter and then share our main meals as the portions are very generous.
The restaurant offers a Greek meze at £18.50 per person, as well as a range of other meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. The restaurant also serves a lunchtime menu which is cheaper than the A la carte and includes a pick your own meze.
So how well does The Greek cater for vegetarians?
Compared to other restaurants locally, The Greek caters very well for vegetarians. Where typically there are only 1 or 2 vegetarian choices on a typical restaurant menu, at The Greek, there is a wide range of dishes to choose from. Vegetarian starters include Houmous, Tzatziki, deep fried Feta cheese, Greek salad, Halloumi, Spanhoppitta, Melon, Mushrooms and soup. So as you can see, for starters you are spoilt for choice. I typically tend to go for the Halloumi when I visit, but have also tried the Houmous, Tzatziki, deep fried Fetta Cheese, and Spanhoppitta which are all delicious and freshly made. During this visit, I opted for the creamy mushroom soup which was as described – very creamy and full of mushrooms! The starters are served with baskets of warm pitta bread, which the staff are more than happy to replenish as required.
For main course, I chose the Lasagne Verdi, which is the dish I typically opt for. I have also tried the Vegetarian Crepe during previous visits. Other dishes include a Chickpea Casserole and a Greek Salad. I am not completely sure if the Lasagne was freshly made on the premises, or was pre-prepared and cooked from frozen. The Lasagne tasted fresh and was again as described – layers of vegetables topped with béchamel sauce and cheese. It was served with cubed fried potatoes which were perfect – crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and a generous side salad. The Lasagne was very tasty. The vegetables were well cooked but not too mushy and the béchamel sauce and cheese were generously layered over the pasta and vegetables. The side salad was very colourful and contained a wide variety of salad ingredients which were actually edible, rather than provided for decoration purposes.
At present, a vegetarian choice of meze dishes exists on the lunchtime menu, but to better accommodate vegetarian diners in the evenings, and especially as I eat in this restaurant quite regularly, I would really like to see a vegetarian meze included on the A la carte menu. I love sampling smaller versions of many dishes, and the sharing element of mezes and so would definitely opt for this is it were a menu choice.
In conclusion, this is wonderful restaurant where the food and the service are consistently excellent. As well as the food, what really makes the restaurant is the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff. The owner always remembers us, comes over to chat and makes a fuss of the children. The staff are always very attentive and keen to replenish drinks or clear empty plates. The prices may be slightly higher than other restaurants in the local area, but I believe that the friendly, personalised service makes the higher prices worthwhile. I would always rather pay slightly more for a meal and receive great service than eat in a restaurant where the food is cheap, but the service is shocking. All in all, this is a great restaurant for vegetarian diners to eat at. You will be spoilt for choice and want to return again to sample other dishes on the menu.