Bus: STM 17, 64, 70, 72, 117, 121, 128, 170, 171, 174, 177, 196, 213, 215, 216, 225, 470, 475, STL 144, 151, 902
Visit: October 11, 2013
Over the last four years, there are two things that have become a large part of my daily life, Ville Saint-Laurent and Greek food. They are two things that I didn’t seek out, but they entered my life and became important parts of it. When you combine both of them, you get a visit to Elounda.
Most of the time, I plan out my visits and I know when I’m going to eat out. On this particular day, it was a pedagogical day and little did I know that I was going out to eat lunch. A couple of colleagues didn’t bring lunch and wanted to go somewhere to eat. I didn’t bring lunch either and I was more than willing to oblige. After hearing that they wanted to go to the normal places, I had the idea to try a place that I’ve been meaning to get to. This is where Elounda comes into play.
Elounda is located on one of the busiest parts of Ville Saint-Laurent. It also has some stiff competition. When you look next door, there’s that other Greek fast food place that was somehow voted best in Montreal in some publication. There is also an Italian restaurant that once housed a restaurant that was featured in the early days of the Burger Search. One of the things I was interested in was seeing how busy things would get.
When we entered the restaurant close to noon, we were the only table in the entire place. This is where I started to have questions. It’s a really nice place and it was nearly empty. It wasn’t until after noon passed by where table after table of customers started making things interesting.
The service was more than acceptable in my opinion. However, in this day and age of linguistic issues, you could tell that there was a large difference in things. I work in a French language school and most of my colleagues speak French. I’m lucky to have a number of colleagues who are also fluent in English. So, with all my meals, we engaged in French. You could see that the server was extremely uncomfortable with us. We didn’t really know why until I realized that they were a whole lot better off in English. None of us in our group had problems with the English language, but I know people who would flip over this type of thing.
Table d’hôte ($24)
For the purpose of our visit, we all ordered from the lunch specials menu. With that, you get a soup, choice of appetizer, main course, and dessert. You could also see that all the other tables were going that route and it was probably the best way to go.
For the opening soup, we were given the choice between a seafood soup and one with beans. The seafood soup included a lot of things that I wouldn’t necessarily touch like octopus. I may be accused of being close-minded, but there’s not enough money on this planet that would get me to even think about trying octopus or squid.
The soup was a nice way to start the meal. The beans weren’t tough or anything like that. I really enjoyed the broth itself. The amount of vegetables that were included was generous.
The next step in the meal was the Greek salad. In recent weeks, I’ve been eating a lot of hybrid Greek salads that included regular lettuce. This particular version includes the more authentic items that you’d expect in a regular Greek salad.
What was really impressive off the bat was the large hunk of feta cheese that was on top of it all. It was the only piece of cheese, which is a bit disappointing. Luckily for me, one of my colleagues didn’t eat feta and I doubled my luck. The salad was really fresh and the quality of each component was really notable.
Chicken and Shrimp
My main course choice was the combination of chicken and shrimp. The dish also includes corn, greens, and a carrot.
One of the things that may leave you scratching your head would be portion sizes. It may seem like there’s a lack of things on the plate, but I’m looking more at quality. The chance to have chicken and shrimp on a plate is really nice. But, if you want to be more confused, you just have to look at the presence of corn.
The chicken was nicely cooked and was typical of the style of restaurant. The pieces of shrimp were large and tasted really nice. The only thing that caused me to stumble a bit was the shell on the shrimp. That’s always one of my Achilles heel and not something I’m really proud of. So, I got a bit messy as I removed the shell of the generously sized shrimp.
For dessert, we were given the choice between a bunch of fruit and loukoumades. This was a no brainer. The thing that shocked me a bit was just how fast they made it out to the table. Normally, loukoumades takes a while. The logical answer is since it’s a lunch special, I guess they knew that this was coming.
The amount of honey was more than ample for the pieces of fried dough. The dough itself was just right. This was the right way to finish things off.
Elounda brands itself as a Mediterranean restaurant. It’s pretty clear that the influences of Greek cuisine are more than present. Our visit here was more than satisfactory and the food more than lived up to our expectations.