ALL GREEK TO ME

TAKE THE FAMILY FOR A CUL­TURAL JAUNT, WITH A TASTE OF SEA­SONED ROAST MEATS AND SOME MU­SI­CAL FRI­VOL­ITY

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page -

Pic­ture the fol­low­ing: School hol­i­days, a tribe of rav­en­ous chil­dren who have swept through the kitchen like a plague of lo­custs and two adults with no in­ten­tion of cook­ing din­ner for them (or us). A trip to the near­est fast food chain could be con­sid­ered fea­si­ble, but I am in no mood to com­pro­mise.

With a house full of kids, it has been all about them.

I want good food and a glass of wine, and I want it now.

We will have to play it smart though, or end up spend­ing the equiv­a­lent of a small coun­try’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

Light­bulb mo­ment! Fetta’s Greek Tav­erna for gy­ros.

Any­one who (mis)spent their youth back­pack­ing through Greece knows this is a bal­anced meal for those on a shoe­string bud­get.

We pull up out­side Fetta’s and it’s busy, as you’d ex­pect on a footy grand fi­nal night.

No prob­lem, we’re told. Staff are buzzing about set­ting up new ta­bles as more cus­tomers de­scend.

We can sit in­doors or out­side with the hoi poloi eat­ing from Fetta’s take­away sou­vlaki bar.

We ad­mit we’re only here for the sou­vlaki bar, sus­pect­ing we might not be en­ti­tled to the more re­fined sur­rounds of the restau­rant proper, but no, we’re wel­comed in and a table is found.

I love Fetta’s in­te­rior. With its rus­tic feel, white­washed walls and splashes of vivid Aegean blue, it im­me­di­ately trans­ports the vis­i­tor to their favourite Greek is­land.

Jugs of cold wa­ter are brought forth, a glass of cold Greek rose (called “clas­sic rose”) for me and a Fix beer (a Greek lager from a brew­ery dat­ing back more than 150 years) for him.

We al­most feel sheep­ish en­joy­ing such in­dul­gence while spend­ing no more than $10 per head on food, but hey, when in Greece...

Quickly the gy­ros ar­rive, each like a gi­ant fat cater­pil­lar wrapped in white pa­per.

Gyro is meat cooked and sliced from a ver­ti­cal ro­tis­serie or skew­ered and bar­be­cued, served on pita bread with salad and tzatziki (a sauce of strained yo­gurt mixed with cu­cum­ber, gar­lic, salt, olive oil, wine vine­gar and op­tional dill).

Tonight’s vari­a­tions in­clude Greek sausage, falafel, lamb, chicken or a combo of lamb and chicken.

This pita bread is noth­ing like the pack­aged shop flat­bread. Toasted, it is much more sub­stan­tial, soft and chewy with more “give”.

My gyro has plenty of suc­cu­lent lamb, crunchy salad and oozes that lovely yo­ghurty gar­lic sauce.

It’s a must-do roll your sleeves up and tuck in messy ex­pe­ri­ence. There’s sim­ply no el­e­gant way to en­joy a gyro.

The kids are all qui­etly wolf­ing theirs down with nods of ap­proval. Most have gone for the combo. You could mix and match from the sou­vlaki bar and the a la carte menu, and tonight’s spe­cials beg at­ten­tion for a fu­ture visit, es­pe­cially the lamb slow roasted in lemon, white wine and herbs.

The Zorba’s Feast looks like a ban­quet fit for a Spar­tan army with end­less cour­ses of tra­di­tional dishes fin­ish­ing with cof­fee and dessert for a rea­son­able $35.

We’re in­vited to stay for the belly danc­ing, which, along with plate smash­ing, en­thralls young and old alike.

Ver­dict: Fast, ful­fill­ing food and oblig­ing ser­vice.

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