Rather than stretching across a greater metropolitan area and taking place over the course of two weeks, Crave focuses on about a six-block span of East Hastings in Burnaby and it lasts just three days (which just ended yesterday). Realistically, it’s just another excuse for me to go out and indulge in some good eating. For our first Crave 2015 experience, we opted for lunch at Cristos Greek Taverna. It’s another one of these restaurants that we’ve been meaning to try for some time, but never really got around to doing it until now.
Located across the street from X-Site Grill & Bistro, Cristos is a traditional Greek restaurant with the usual assortment of Greek dishes. The $15 lunch menu during Crave consisted of coffee or tea, choice of entree, and a dessert. All of the lunch entrees are “served with rice pilaf, roasted lemon potatoes, Greek salad, tzatziki [and] pita bread.”
While I found the food at Saloniki Greek Taverna to be over-seasoned, the entrees at Cristos are perhaps a little too under-seasoned. The lemon potatoes didn’t have much of a lemon flavor to them, the rice pilaf was forgettable and the calamari could have used another punch of seasoning. The breading on the calamari was too light and I was hoping for a little more meat for the souvlaki.
These all may sound like terrible things, but the truth is that lunch at Cristos is hardly horrible; it’s just sadly mediocre and it does nothing to make me go “wow.” I will say that the mix of spices and the consistency of the keftethes patties were spot on.
I get the burning suspicion that these desserts were not made in-house. The custard on the ek-mek was flavorless and the baklava was too dense. It was as if they were purchased from the frozen section of the local supermarket.
Service was reasonably friendly and pricing was fair. Unfortunately, the actual food was just passable at best. Maybe it was because this was just a quiet weekday lunch and they only bring out their best during the bigger dinner rush. And that would be too bad, as any restaurant should aspire to offer its best regardless of the time of day or day of the week.