The Blue Plate Special

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Dave’s View:  Don’t let the title fool you.  The main dishes at Santorini Greek Kitchen in the Fountain Square area in Indianapolis are served on translucent blue plates and they are unbelievably special.

First up was the Santorini Tomato Balls (Pseftokeftedes):  Hey, they are not balls.  More like flatten balls of goodness.  Yes, I’ll say that one more time, flatten balls of goodness.  The balls reminded me of German potato pancakes if you have ever had them.  (If you’re Greek and I offended you with the word “German”, I’m sorry.)   They are moist and have a nice onion, garlic taste to them.  I couldn’t really taste the tomato in them, but it was a nice appetizer.  The only complaint:  Quit making me fat!  This appetizer could easily serve four people.  It is a lot of balls to consume at one time.  You eat three or four of these balls and your belly will be speaking to you, so watch it!

Now comes the special that is contained in our title:  The Falafel.  Never had Falafel?  Neither have I.  My dish came with four “slider-like” shaped  fried chick peas patties placed on top of warm pita.  On top of the chick peas were tomatoes and crumbled feta.  Off to one side was a cup of Tzaziki, which is a cucumber yogurt dip.  The other side was Greek potatoes.  The Falafel was wonderful.  Moist chick peas with a spice that will “wake” you up, but not over powering.  The Tzaziki is light and refreshing and is a great combination to the Falafel.  On the other side of the plate were the Greek potatoes and they were even better than the Falafel.  Nice and tender and they have a “tang” to them that makes you want to eat them forever.  Whatever combination of spices they use on these potatoes, don’t change a thing, they are addictive.   Santorini Greek Kitchen has taken an ordinary potato and made it something spectacular.

The inside of the place is mostly white walls with blue trimmings.  There is a blue neon that stretches across the ceiling and a mural of a church on one wall.  The ceiling tiles have some soot on them and you’ll find out why once you’ve been there. ( Anybody who has been in a Greek Restaurant already know this.)  Never been in an authentic Greek Restaurant?  Just make sure you shave your eyebrows, you’ll thank me later.

If there is such a thing as “Server of the Year in Indianapolis” then Eric, our server would be my choice.  Extremely polite and nice.  He has such a sickening sense of professionalism.  It just oozes out of him.  This man knows what you want before you even open your mouth.  You want another drink, he knows it.  You want to take that home, the box is in his hand.  He’ll ask you for dessert, but he already knows you’re too full, and the check will be presented.  When you settle your bill, he’s not flying around like a vulture waiting to get paid.  You can sit there and drink slowly and take it easy.  The best service I’ve had in Indianapolis so far.

Ambiance:  7  Service:  10  Food:  9.50  Total:  26.50 out of 30.

$50-$60 with adult beverages

Andrea’s View:  I have to say that I have been avoiding Santorini Greek Kitchen for many years now.  I am not sure why.  I think it’s because EVERYONE talks about Santorini’s, and EVERYONE loves Santrorini’s, and I’m not one that goes along with crowd.  I have never read Twilight,  The Hunger Games, or Fifty Shades on Grey.  I have never seen a James Bond movie all the way through, nor do I watch Mad Men or The Walking Dead.  So why on earth would I visit a restaurant that EVERYONE raves about.  One word: Dave.

So we enter the nondescript dining room that is virtually all white with a smattering of blue accents.  White walls, white tablecloths and napkins.  Yes, I get it.  You are trying to emulate the actual island of Santorini.  Fine, it’s just a little too white for my liking.  Our server Eric comes over.  Wait a minute, he is a very pleasant and efficient server.  He retrieves a wine list for us and asks if we have any questions about the menu.  He comes back promptly and takes our order.  Maybe my cynical heart is softening a bit.  Drinks and appetizer comes out quickly.  Wine is excellent, Notrios if I’m not mistaken.  For our appetizer, we ordered the pseftokeftedes or tomato balls.  When they arrive at our table they are not what we expected.  They do not resemble tomatoes or balls.  They are flour disks with vegetables inside and feta on top, served with a side of tzaziki(yogurt sauce).  They are pretty decent, but nothing to rave about.  My cynical heart is hardening a bit.  Eric stops back by to see if we need drink refills.  We do and he delivers.  He even noticed that we were not going to finish all of the tomato balls, so he has them boxed up for us.  The styrofoam box comes back from the kitchen with tomato balls and the date written of the top of the box.  This Eric character is definitely outweighing the ho-hum appetizer thing.  Our entrée arrive, not before I receive a side salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and feta.  The salad was quite good, not too much dressing, and they didn’t skimp of the cheese.  But back to the entrées.  I had ordered the chicken oregano (Kota).  This is a half a chicken, marinated in lemon juice with fresh herbs and then baked.  It is served with Greek potatoes, green beans, and rice.  They whole dish is served on a ginormous blue plate and a big a** knife.  I take up my fork and my big a** knife and dig into the chicken.  Wait a minute, I don’t  need my big a** knife, the chicken literally falls off the bone.  This is one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever tasted.  My potatoes were tender, savory, and buttery, and the green beans were dynamite.  Everything on my big blue plate was amazing.

Okay, I get it now. EVERYONE raves about this restaurant because it deserves to be raved about.  So what if the walls could use a little color, the food , the wine and especially the service is superb.  This is one bandwagon I don’t mind jumping on.

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