In my recent extended stay at a hotel we got tired of order in, take out, hotel foods. We longed for a home cooked meal. While doing the laundry I met a fellow neighbour (who was doing the hotel living for 6 months…yikes I should not be complaining about a one week stay. He suggested a Greek place they had recently ordered from, where the food was supposedly great. I sceptically said I would try the restaurant, and when I got back to my suite, like any good neighbour, he left a brightly colourful menu at my door. “Greek X-press” screamed from the brightly colourful brochure.

I thought of another Greek chain that was like another McDonalds only with Greek food, and I paused, only slowly as two teenage girls and a hungry husband groaned in the background about what’s for dinner.

My spirits lifted as I read the menu, Moussaka, gyro, souvlaki, and where I finally said yes this is going to be it…the grilled kalamari dinner for $15.95. They had me at “tender squid grilled to traditional Greek perfection”.

We ordered the grilled kalamari and a gyros dinner with the trimmings and sides. It was not too long before a jovial Greek gentleman showed up with a bag of goodies. He reminded me of one of the uncles in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I just knew that whatever this uncle was bringing was going to be good. I could tell by his expression. This is how it is with authentic food people.

Dinner served, we started with the Greek salad, the gem amongst the iceberg lettuce was the plump, tart, bitter and sweet-all at the same time olives that made my mouth come alive, and the subtle finish of the Greek feta was the perfect mix for the salad.

Then I experienced what was sheer heaven. Tender pieces of perfectly grilled calamari, seasoned with garlic, and flavourful subtle spices, that was out of this world incredible. I could imagine Greece c.1920; this is how “mana” meant it to be. We dipped the perfect al dente vegetables and potatoes into the delicious sauce, followed by the warm plump pita. My husband and I looked at each other with that knowing smile of complete satisfaction while the sauce still dripped down our faces… and said “yep they tapped that, hit it out of the park”.

So good it was we went back for more the next day. This time with my complements and raves about how good it was the day before they included an extra pita and god bless them. Sometimes, (yes it happens) when you return to a restaurant it’s not the same. However not the Greek Xpress Restaurant. Today’s grilled calamari with the extra pita was, I don’t know how to say this, was even better than the day before. Again Noel and I moaned, and delighted in the exquisite flavours of the perfectly grilled calamari and the homemade tzatzike sauce all slathered on the warm pita. Worth the drive way way up on Yonge Street. Exceptional traditional portions, an order for two fed a family of four, all for $35.

The Greek Xpress Restaurant
9631 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill
905 787 0388