If you can make it in for happy hour at a Vancouver restaurant, chances are you either don’t run a regular 9-5 job, you like snacking in the late evenings, or you’ve narrowly avoided tripping over yourself so you can order that discounted beer at the last minute. In Yaletown’s marquee Greek restaurant, aptly named The Greek by Anatoli, eats and drinks are all discounted so you can enjoy the finer life and pool your savings for a future visit. Is the happy hour really worth a future visit or should you stick to your food court souvlaki? Read on to find out.
Disclosure: This was a complimentary tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation.
Team Tastic came here for a happy hour (2-5pm on weekdays) and I had a great taste of the following:
- Caesar ($11)
- Keftedes ($6)
- Spanakopita ($6)
- Calamari ($6)
- Dolmanthes ($6)
- House Salad
- “True Greek Pork” Souvlaki ($6)
When your Caesar comes with a piping hot prawn, you know you’re in for a good time. This (double) Caesar had some strong kick to it and the rim was delicious. On Sundays you can get this Caesar for $2 less!
The Keftedes were hefty meatballs that were as savoury as they were satisfying. It’s easy to mess up meatballs as they are often left on heating trays that overcook them, but the meatballs here were still juicy and enticed me to swirl up as much tomato sauce as possible.
The Spanakopita were something out of a fairy tale compared to what I’m used to. These were spreads of spinach, feta, and herbs wrapped in filo and baked. Comparing this to places like Maria’s Taverna or Stepho’s, this spanakopita was much less greasy but still full of gooey spinach flavour and crisp on each chomp.
Calamari is a classic dish that is essential for happy hour. The version here is a no-frills crisp calamari served with tzatziki sauce. Lots of places do calamari well but the star here was the tzatziki sauce as it had a refreshing cucumber flavour and again, not too oily, which was starting to become a theme at The Greek.
The Dolmanthes were the most radical item on the happy hour menu, and definitely something new for most people. Here we had grape vine leaves stuffed with beef and rice, and cooking in avgolemeno (egg lemon) broth. These were a savoury mix that finished with a sharp citrus zing. Dolmanthes are items you’ll generally need to go to a Greek restaurant for, unlike the calamari.
The House Salad wasn’t on the happy hour menu, but came out from the kitchen as a treat. I’m a big fan of capers, crispy kale, and cherry tomatoes. This salad had all of that and even managed to make cucumber slivers an elegant work of art. If this existed on the $6 happy hour menu, it would be a truly creative dish. If you’re looking to order this, try showing the photo below and say Nosh and Nibble sent you. :)
Finally, the “True Greek Pork” Souvlaki. Apparently lamb has been cast as the stereotypical meat for souvlaki, but our sources at The Greek by Anatoli assure us pork is also the way to go. This was a juicy skewer duo of pork served atop some fluffy pita. Pita and skewers, like spanakopita, are found at all levels of Greek dining, but the plate here was low on grease and big on flavour, which is a huge plus for me.
The Greek by Anatoli, like most restaurants in Yaletown, features indoor seating as well as the patio. For this experience, we were on the patio, and we had the comforts of a soft booth and blankets to keep us warm in the 12 degree weather outside. There’s ample seating on the benches and I reckon if people get comfortable, about 40 could dine out here. There’s also an extendable roof that can cover and help keep the heaters circulating on colder evenings.
With this in mind, the vibe is quite relaxed and I image myself sinking lower and lower into the comfy booths, so if you get into food comas like I do, maybe plop your butt on the bench or dine inside.
Service was fantastic at The Greek. The staff came by to check up on us and filled waters a couple of times. Food took no longer than 10 minutes to start coming out, and everything tasted fresh when it arrived. The restaurant wasn’t too crazy busy but who knows if that will change when people start discovering the great value in the $6 happy hour items.
One-liner: Tasty happy hour food at a price you don’t normally get to dine out at in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood
Highlight: “True Greek Pork Souvlaki”
Price per person: $12-20
Would I go back? Yes.