As far as I know, there aren't many causal/sit-down Greek joints in the city. They're pretty much a dime-a-dozen in Queens, but in the city you're usually relegated to gyro trucks.
Now, Souvlaki GR started out as a truck and expanded to a gorgeous storefront on the Lower East Side (116 Stanton). And God bless em. I could never get around to their truck, but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be living in their restaurant.
As soon as you walk in, you feel like you're in a sunny Greek plaza. The color scheme is dominated by Mediterranean blues and whites, and it instantly felt like summer. There's even a little newsstand that has Hellenic magazines and candies (but the candies aren't for sale...boo).
But let's get to the food, yes?
The menu is small, but they do it incredibly well. Me and my friend started with the Greek Fries, which have come really highly recommended. I can honestly say, these are probably the best I've ever had: super crisp on the outside, fluffy within, seasoned with salt, pepper, and oregano, and then crowned with pillow-soft feta. Creamy, tangy little crumbs of delight. My friend doesn't even like feta, but was quickly devouring his share. Even without tasting the souvlaki, I would just come here for these fries.
The drink I ordered, the frappe, is a cornerstone of Greek coffee culture. Instant coffee, milk, water, and sugar (to taste), are whipped into an column of foam and served over ice.
Oh, and obviously, we had soulvaki.
Mind you, you could really eat like 3643439782 of these. I got the chicken, and John got the pork. Tender juicy chunks of meat, marinated in spices and lemon juice wrapped up with tomatoes, french fries, fresh tzatziki sauce, and red onion in a warm, buttery pita. Incredible. The flavors were just outta this world, which is really impressive because of the simple ingredients.Warmed pita slathered with butter was one of my favorite snacks when I was little, and this was creating a nostalgia party in my tummy. I know I will definitely be back soon to try everything else, and I hope next time they'll have the loukomades (hot doughnuts with cinnamon and honey).
Get up on this place, guys, before it gets crowded and trendy, and you can't get a seat! Easier and cheaper than getting a flight to Greece, and you don't have to deal with sitting next to a smelly guy on the plane.