Sunday, July 4, 2010

Acropolis: Our Big, Fat Greek Dinner

You know you're in for a memorable evening when you walk into a restaurant and plates and paper napkins are flying.  Add a belly dancer, a couple of talented Greek musicians and a wait staff dancing Zorba-the-Greek-style around the tables and you've got Acropolis Greek Taverna in Ybor City.

Acropolis has a few restaurants around Tampa, and we have found the food and atmosphere consistent at both the Ybor City and New Tampa locations.  Other Greek food tycoons also must find them noteworthy because tables usually are full at both spots.  Since great friends were in town and they were unfamiliar with Ybor, I thought this would be a convivial place to meet for dinner and to introduce them to the exuberance of Ybor City.

We began our Grecian odyssey with an appetizer sampler platter for all to share.  Recommended by our pleasant server, it featured hummus, feta, eggplant and taramosalata (fish roe) spreads, as well as Greek olives and several dolmades.  A dish of warm pita bread accompanied the platter, providing the ideal vehicle for generous schmears of creamy, salty, garlicky dips. Yum!  Nobody was game for the dolmades but me, and I am not a big fan of stuffed grape leaves, but they were good if you like leaves stuffed with rice and herbs.   Obviously, you can't trust my judgment of them, but believe me when I say the Greek beer, Mythos, was an ice-cold complement to this assortment of Mediterranean flavors.

My entree was shrimp Cyprus, which was a plate of well-seasoned and beautifully charred shrimp threaded onto skewers that also contained grilled tomatoes, onion and mushrooms.  The side dish that seems to accompany every entree I have ever ordered at Acropolis is orzo and roasted vegetables, and tonight was no exception.  The veggies were zucchini and yellow squash.  I enjoyed it but suspect it sat on my plate while my shrimp were cooking because the shrimp were hot and the side was lukewarm.   These things happen. 

It's hard to get Hubmeister to break from the Acropolis salad, and no wonder.  It's an enormous plate of highly seasoned shaved lamb piled high atop tangy Greek potato salad, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, a hefty square of feta cheese, pita and tzatziki.  Unbelievably priced at $10, it could feed a family of four. 

I can't tell you what our friends ordered because my attention was so focused on the goings-on around me.  The shapely belly dancer, whom Hubmeister and our friend, Wish-I-Had-a-Pepcid, seemed to appreciate, was dancing with anyone who hopped out of their chair, and several people did including Ms. "I Got the Music in Me" at the table beside us.

Wish-I-Had-a-Pepcid and the Hubmeister were searching for ones to throw at her (the belly dancer, that is) so dollar bills could join the crashing plates and reams of napkins raining down on our heads.  Actually, the plates they just throw on the floor.  As my old chum - we'll call her Witty L -  wryly observed, "This place isn't exactly green."

All I can say is, "Opa!"

Restaurant Info:
Acropolis Greek Taverna
1833 East 7th Avenue

Acropolis Greek Taverna on Urbanspoon


  1. If you're not a beer drinker with Greek food but would prefer a white wine, try Kretikos. So good!

  2. I want to go to this restaurant.