Christos Greek Restaurant
2632 Nicollet Ave. S.
It’s Sunday, Mid-April and we are off to Christos on Eat Street. It’s a couple miles from our house, it might rain and they have parking a short distance from the front door. I also have a sudden craving for tyropita and falafel. We have been going to Christos since they opened in 1988, although we have gone less in recent years. They are generally rated at the top for Twin Cities Greek restaurants. It’s done up like a Greek Island Taverna, all white with blue trim, with the odd attractive wine bottle placed here or there and a few strategically placed potted plants. Shelves, about two feet down from the ceiling line the walls displaying green plants, wine bottles and cans and boxes of authentic Greek food products.They used to have large Tai plants in the large front window but they have replaced these with smaller, more manageable plants. Its airy and pleasant.
The house comfortably seats around 60 and even when full the acoustics are good, you can have a conversation while eating without raising your voice. The table clothes are white and the staff are dressed in black. In years past, a matronly Greek woman, I assume Mrs. Parpas, greeted us and led us to a table. Today, the male manager looks like someone’s son who doesn’t want to be there and would much rather be renting out golf carts somewhere. Their beer list is bottled and includes the popular industrial brands, a Lagunitas and two Greek brands – Mythos and Fix. The Greek brands cost more because they are Greek but they are even more insipid than the industrial offerings.
Nancy orders Skanokopita – a baked spinach pie with lightly beaten eggs and ricotta cheese wrapped in layers of filo dough and Tyropita – a baked cheese pie with lightly beaten eggs and feta and either ricotta or cottage cheese wrapped in layers of filo dough. Both the Spanikopita and the Tyropita disappoint. The fillings taste and feel like they have been thickened with too much flour and remind me of the kind of homemade flour paste my mother used to make when I was a preschooler. This is the first time here or anywhere else in the Twin Cities we have had Spanikopita or Tyropita this bad and we tell the waitress. She tells the manager and he shrugs his shoulders. Nancy also gets a tabouli salad. The tablouli salad is OK but the mint tastes and looks like it spent the night in the refrigerator. Nancy orders lamb kabobs and they are good. The lamb is medium and the vegetables are cooked perfectly. My falafel are also good but my tabouli is the same quality as Nancy’s. It will take me a long time to forget this forgettable meal.
Christos has received Diners' Choice Awards from open Table in 2017 and 2018. Our dinner was not good but Nancy and I may have hit them on a bad night. We will review the restaurant again after our next visit.