Ban Banura

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Dave’s View:  What just happened?  I think, Banura, the Greek restaurant on Michigan Road, used to prepare Greek dishes that were well made. 

Well, maybe not. 

It’s a Greek restaurant gone bad.  They Americanized their menu and of the half-dozen authentic Greek dishes that are left….well, let’s just say for one of them, it is not on the appetizing side.  But before we get to that.  We started off our meal with Spinakopita.  It is spinach and feta cheese wrapped in Filo dough, but this tasted like Trader Joe’s Spinakopita.  They look the same, they taste the same, it must be Trader Joe’s! 

Now to the entrée.  :  The meal is supposed to be beef and rice wrapped up into grape leaves.  It’s more like skeleton beef fat interlaced between rice rolled up by  grape leaves then microwaved.  Which leads me to another point. The microwave.  Great for popcorn, and the occasional hot dog, but not Greek meals.  Don’t prepare meals two days ahead of time, like Dolmathes, stick it inside a microwave, charge a high price, and expect people to like it.  Especially, don’t have your waiter, who is the nephew of the owner, who is in his last year of college studying to be an accountant and will probably move to Washington, DC, go back inside the kitchen to microwave my Dolmathes(1).  It’s just not right and not pleasant to eat.

Overall, if this place would go back to its roots, concentrate on its Greek food, put some hard work into the meals,  it might have a standing chance.  Until then, ban it and your wallet will thank you.

Food:  2  Service:  5  Ambiance:  2         Overall:  9 out of 30. 

With adult beverages:  $50-$60    Without adult beverages:  $40-$50

(1)  I don’t know this owner.  He just happen to come out and talk to the table behind us.  He talks loud, not my fault. Yes, I have big ears, physically.  By the way, I think this is the first restaurant review footnote in blog history.

Andrea’s View:  I’m not really sure what to say about Banura because I am not really sure what happened to this restaurant.  I felt like I was trapped in an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares”  and that Gordon Ramsey was going to come in and save us.  I have  always thought that the problems in the restaurants featured on that show where somehow exaggerated but apparently they are not.  These things really do happen.  For our appetizers we ordered the spinakopita.  It is a fairly well-known greek dish, it is simply spinach and feta baked in filo dough.  So simple in fact, I have warmed up frozen versions of this dish for parties many times.  The problem, these were exactly like the frozen versions that I have served at parties.  Our entrees came with pita bread and a small greek salad.  The pita was store-bought and then microwaved before serving it to us.  As the overly hot pita cooled it became really tough  and chewy.  The salad was nothing more than iceberg lettuce with one-quarter of a tomato, a slice of green pepper, a tiny bit of feta and then doused with an entire bottle of vinegar.  My entrée was pasticchio.  It was described as seasoned ground beef,  and macaroni with eggs and cheese.  I am not quite sure if the “meat” could be called ground beef and the eggs were the consistency of egg beaters spread on top of the “meat” and noodles.  It also came with a side of rice with canned green beans topped with tomato sauce.  The worst part of the whole thing was that they obviously made this dish two days prior and the put the whole plate in the microwave to heat it up.  My plate was too hot for even the server to touch.  The whole meal was so dried out from the microwave that I ate all the canned beans because they had still retained some of their moisture content.  And because this was not unpleasant enough, we had to eat this miserable meal in virtual silence.  There was no background music playing, the football game on the television was muted and the only thing one heard was the ongoing conversation between the owner and the only other occupied table in the restaurant.  Banura’s website brags about being family owned since 1982,  but just  because you have done something for 29 years doesn’t mean that you do it well.

Banura 1 on Urbanspoon

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2 responses »

  1. Jill and I went before this review posted and we couldn’t agree more. We had bland Saganaki, chicken gyros that had a past-like consistency and no flavor, and a tiny salad drenched in oil. The owner was very nice, and they were very accommodating (we took our 6 month old son), but the only thing we liked was the bottled Greek beer and the baklava.

  2. The original location used pre-made food from wholesalers, then microwaved and served to you. The homemade salad dressing was Kraft restaurant line. Baklava was frozen from Sysco. Not a good place to eat, but people flocked there, guess they weren’t given enough alternative locations for food.

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