Jul 23, 2014
Tim Lester

Pinoy street food hits streets of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – A smoking Filipino craze is hitting the streets of Los Angeles, appealing to the hungry, the adventurous, and the homesick.

“It’s really good. It’s street food and I miss Filipino food,” said Orange County resident, Grace Mitche.

Donna Jordan from Victorville, California said, “Meron tayo isaw ng manok, Betamax, kwek-kwek, it’s the best”.

Even non-Filipinos tried the food.

“Very unique, very different. I’m Mexican so I eat a lot of like intestines, stuff like that already, I eat Buche, tripas, cabeza, stuff like that,” said Steven Russell.

Temple Seafood Market in Historic Filipinotown began selling Pinoy street food at their corner last year, drawing big weekend crowds for favorites like kwek-kwek, betamax and Adidas.

“Gusto ko mga kababayan nating Pilipino, dito lahat, magkita-kita dito. Dito may nag reunion, may nag birthday, everybody. Manila, Manila,” said Elvira Chan of Temple Seafood Market.

Each stick is a dollar a piece, but many regulars don’t stop at one.

“40 bucks worth, we missed it that’s why,” said Ced De Castro.

Thirty minutes away in the heavily Pinoy populated Panorama City, Chan’s friend Alice Tabalon also decided to double Toto’s Seafood Grill, a typical Filipino “turo-turo” into a “pika-pika” on weekends.

With customers lining up to grab $1 sticks of street eats and huddling around small grills and saucing stations.

“Isaw-isaw talagang Pilipinong-Pilipino,” said Christina De Leon from Los Angeles.

The success at Toto’s has owners now planning for another Filipino food trend that very few restaurants do in Southern California.

“We’re going to have kamayan here next month,” said Tabalon.

It’s not just neighbors enjoying the late night street food. It’s become a tourist attraction with a few Filipino celebrities spotted making trips for the Filipino street food.

Read more from Balitang America.

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Jul 23, 2014
Tim Lester

Street Food Cartel takeover George Square Gardens with foodie feast

When picking up a bite between Fringe shows, there are plenty of unique options.

Lots of little food stalls pop-up across the cobbles and in small spaces sandwiched between venues so it can become a little overwhelming to find somewhere to stop for a bite.

If you’re a fan of street food, you may want to head to George Square Gardens this Fringe, as Street Food Cartel rolls into town with three foodie options.



Street Food Cartel was established by chef Jonathan MacDonald who first launched pop-up eatery Scoop in Glasgow, following work as the head chef for the Formula One team.

This is the third year he will bring food to the Fringe, each year adding a new taste experience into the mix.

2014 Fringe foodie offerings at George Square

pad BKK Thai pavement kitchen was the first venture to open its doors, launching at the popular gardens last week.

The Thai kitchen serves up shredded meat salads, pad thai, Vietnamese baguettes and a special ‘Thai curry of the moment’.

It was certainly a popular spot last year as Lunchquest rated the pop-up four stars.


Pad BKK

From Friday, Scoop will arrive into town serving up platefuls from an American aluminium trailer.

Dishes last year included homemade burgers, BBQ pork sandwiches and chorizo dogs.



But if you’re not feeling as adventurous for an alternative foodie venture, you can grab a slice of the action at So la ti dough.

From this weekend, the van will serve up fresh pizzas from wood-fired ovens throughout the day.



All three ventures will open seven days a week until at least 1am throughout the Festival Fringe.

You can keep up-to-date with the openings and latest menus via the Street Food Cartel Facebook page.

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Jul 23, 2014
Tim Lester

Pho & Co Vietnamese Street Food Coming To 86th Street

pho-co

Bánh mì and beef noodles are on their way to 86th Street, where Pho Co Vietnamese Street Food is slated to open.

Signs went up recently at the 1927 86th Street storefront, and interior renovations were underway when we stopped by last week.

The spot takes over the location of Boat House Seafood Restaurant, which closed late last year or early this year. It looks like Boat House is still alive and kicking in Sunset Park, though, serving up Vietnamese-Cajun fusion seafood dishes.

Pho Co will be a welcome addition to 86th Street’s bustling Asian culinary scene, and one of the few – if not the only – dedicated to Vietnamese sandwiches, salads, noodle dishes and soups.

We’ll keep our eyes on this one as the opening date nears. In the meantime, welcome to the neighborhood, Pho Co.

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Jul 22, 2014
Freddie Kitson

15 Must-Drink Events at St. Louis Craft Beer Week 2014

9013104.jpgFirkin Fest 2013. | Theo Welling

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — no, not Christmas. St. Louis Craft Beer Week begins this Saturday, July 26, and is sponsoring events all over town until August 3. It can be hard to whittle it down to something manageable (more power to you if you’re trying to hit every single one), so we’ve picked the ones we think are can’t-miss.

See also: Your Pick for St. Louis’ Most Underrated Craft Beer Is…

Saturday: B33R and Brats at 33 Wine Bar (1913 Park Avenue; 314-231-9463)

The week kicks off, as usual, at 33 Wine Bar from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s got a great beer list, but this year there will be a special cask of Katy Barrel 15 from 2nd Shift Brewery, which was barrel-aged for two years instead of the normal three months. Enjoy brats from 33 and Mac’s Local Buys. It’s free, but you’ve got to buy your own beer and brats.

Midwest Belgian Beer Festival at the MOTO Museum (3441 Olive Street; 314-533-3091)

Perennial Artisan Ales takes the lead in this celebration of Belgian beer. More than 40 breweries will be serving America’s finest Belgian-style brews. Completely Sauced and chef Brian Moxley will provide food available for purchase. Tickets were rumored to be sold out, but it looks like you can still get them here for $50. Check out the full list of beers here. From 1 to 5 p.m.

Sunday: Huevos con Cerveza Beer Brunch at Milagro Modern Mexican (20 Allen Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-962-4300)

Just when we thought brunch couldn’t get any better, Milagro goes and adds beer. Beermosas start 10 a.m., followed by a four-course Mexican-inspired brunch with pairings from local breweries. Tickets are $50 each, available here.

Sunday Funkday at International Tap House Soulard (1711 South Ninth Street; 314-621-4333
)

Get funky at iTap with unusual and sour beers set to funky jams. This week it’ll be the 4 Hands Pomegranate Prussia, Perennial Anniversari, 2013 Perennial Beersal, Gueze Tilquin, bottles of Love Child, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, HaandBryggeriet Haandbakk and an as-yet-unannounced Schlafly pick. From 1 to 7 p.m. Admission is free and beer is available for purchase.

Monday: Herbst Memorial Symposium at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-241-2337)

This year’s discussion will be about women and craft beer. The panel and moderators haven’t been announced yet, but as Femme Ferment taught us, ladies love beer, too. From 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free, but there’s food and drink for purchase.

Loser Live Action Game Show at the Heavy Anchor (5226 Gravois Avenue; 314-352-5226)

The Heavy Anchor hosts the live action game show every month, but this time it’s a special craft-beer edition. It starts off with trivia and a round of “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” followed by the video game portion, complete with pizza rolls. Then contestants must demonstrate their ability to “draw superheroes into real-life scenarios” and a local sketch group performs a fanfic version of a popular sitcom. Did you get all that? The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.

Tuesday: Between the Barrels at Perennial Artisan Ales (8125 Michigan Avenue; 314-631-7300)

Beer-geek favorite Perennial is tapping some popular brews plus some new releases, including three from brewer Cory King’s Side Project. Look for the 2013 Perennial Anniversaria, Perennial Barrel-aged Sump Kyoto and the 2014 barrel-aged Abraxas, Side Project Blueberry Flanders, plus three new barrel-aged Perennial beers and two more Side Project beers. Tickets for individual pours go on sale at 3 p.m. (there’s a per-person limit this year) and tap times are at 5, 7 and 9 p.m.

Tacos, Beer and Craft Cocktails at Mission Taco Joint (6235 Delmar Boulevard; 314-932-5430)

Femme Ferment and the Tilfords are hosting a night of beer and tacos in the Loop. Enjoy special craft cocktails, 2nd Shift beers and special “pink” tacos. Part of the proceeds from the pink tacos will go to breast cancer research. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free, with food and drink for purchase.

Wednesday: 4 Hands Volume #2 Release at 4 Hands Brewing Company (1220 South Eighth Street; 314-436-1559)

One of many special releases this week, 4 Hands is release the second in its Wood Series. The Wood Series focuses on high-gravity ales aged in American spirit barrels. This one, Volume #2, is a bourbon barrel-aged Old Ale. Volume #2 will be available starting at 3 p.m. on draft and in bottles. Admission is free.

Thursday: Sour Tap Takeover at Hair of the Dog (1212 Washington Avenue; )

Sour beers are hard to find, so Hair of the Dog will have ‘em all lined up for your pleasure. Unfortunately neither Hair of the Dog nor St. Louis Craft Beer Week have announced what beers will be making an appearance, but it’ll be worth a trip downtown regardless. The takeover starts at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Friday: Tap Room Remix at Perennial Artisan Ales (8125 Michigan Avenue; 314-631-7300)

Things are getting crazy at Perennial for the annual tap remix. Enjoy your favorite Perennial brews with a twist. There will be the Woodside with blueberries, lemon zest and brettanomyces, Saison de Radler, the World-Famous Tommel (Double Dry-hopped Hommel), Pecan Pie Imperial Stout, IPA #9 with mango, plus two cocktails made with Perennial. Try the Kyoto White Russian (BA Sump Kyoto, vodka and cream) or the Goserita on the Rocks (Goserita, Triple Sec and tequila). The remix starts at 9 p.m. Admission is free, with food and drink available for purchase.

Saturday: Kegs and Eggs IV @ Quincy Street Bistro (6931 Gravois Avenue; 314-353-1588)

Chef Rick Lewis is back for the fourth edition of Kegs and Eggs, the breakfast where each entree comes with a craft beer. Choose from breakfast poutine with house-made fries, cheese curds, crumbled sausage and stout gravy topped with a sunny-side-up egg; a chicken and biscuit sandwich with a fried egg, Creole mayo and watermelon pickles; a sourdough pancake with smoked peach compote, powdered sugar, whipped cream and a sunny-side-up egg or heirloom tomato bread pudding with a poached egg, herbed hollandaise sauce and a fried green tomato. Breakfast starts at 9 a.m. Admission is free, and entrees start at $12.

Firkin Fest at International Tap House Soulard (1711 South Ninth Street; 314-621-4333)

The fourth annual festival is always a highlight of Craft Beer Week. Local, national and maybe even international cask-aged beers will be tapped every hour beginning at noon. Firkin is the word used to describe a cask, for you neophytes. Admission is free, with food and drink for purchase.

Goose Island Tap Takeover at Three Kings Public House (TK)

Three Kings is hosting several tap takeovers throughout the week, but we recommend this one from our Chicago brethren. Goose Island will feature special brews as well as offering four-ounce samples of Gillian, Halia, Lolita, and Juilet. The takeover starts at 6 p.m. Admission is free, with food and drink for purchase.

Sunday: Schurcipefones Festival at Rooster South Grand (3150 South Grand; 314-447-2247)

This is the craft beer festival to end all craft beer festivals. Close out Craft Beer Week with Schlafly, Charleville, Urban Chestnut, Civil Life, Perennial, 4 Hands, New Belgium, 2nd Shift, Deschutes and Tallgrass. Everybody will be bringing special brews, and your ticket gets you unlimited samples. There will also be games and prizes, a silent auction, food from the Fifth Wheel and more. Proceeds benefit Circus Flora Clowns on Call. From noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 here or $35 at the door.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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Jul 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck provides work experience for Waco youth – Waco Tribune

Mission Waco plans to expand its youth job training program this year after a successful trial run with World Bowl, a food truck that sells ethnic cuisine that was used this summer to teach basic job skills to about 20 students.


The food truck is part of a larger youth job training program that Mission Waco Executive Director Jimmy Dorrell is trying to grow in an effort to provide more work opportunities for urban youth and young adults.

“Job readiness and employment is critical for everyone, and it’s especially a problem for urban teenagers who rarely get to work,” Dorrell said.

The program lasts a month, with Mission Waco employing students to work at various local companies for a total of 60 hours.

It starts with two weeks of classroom time or “soft

skill” training, in which students learn interview techniques, go on field trips to local businesses and learn how to fill out job applications and write résumés.

Students are paid $25 for each week they learn all the required skills.

The second two weeks include on-the-job training, in which students earn their food-handlers licenses and learn cooking and serving skills.

Mission Waco pays students minimum wage to work at companies such as Home Depot, World Cup Cafe and World Bowl to gain work experience.

“What we hope will happen (after) the second phase is that the employer now really likes them,” Dorrell said. “They show up on time, they do a good job, they get along. And then (the employer) will hire them for the rest of the summer.”

To expand the students’ experiences, Dorrell rented a food truck to sit behind World Cup Cafe in June and July. From there, the students and their supervisor, Mission Waco Executive Assistant Travis Cheatham, serve three meals from recipes provided by Mission Waco missionaries in India, Haiti and Mexico. Each recipe can be vegetarian or vegan if requested, Cheatham said. The truck will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday through July.

“So many of these kids should be working and would like to work, but don’t know where to go, don’t have any job skills,” Dorrell said. “So we’re really committed — have been for years, but we really upped the ante when we realized that we’ve got to find more money to help more kids get started.”

Dorrell said Mission Waco’s board of directors allowed him to shift his focus to youth job training after the city of Waco revealed an unemployment gap with youth and young adults within the city.

“One of their glaring realities was that the 16- to 24-year-olds are the most unemployed in our city. That is a travesty because those are your hardest-working years,” he said.

Students involved in the job program are aware of the unique opportunity it affords them.

Gabby Rivera, 15; Kierra Stonum, 16; and Jamisia Stanley, 16, all earned their food handlers’ licenses and hope to work either in a cafe or retail store after they complete the training program.

The girls enjoyed the trips to McLennan Community College, the Coca-Cola plant in Waco and Home Depot, where they learned about the inner workings of each industry.

Stanley said she sees a job as a way to better her life and “have money to take care of my family.”

Cheatham said he enjoys teaching the students basic job skills and noted they enjoy learning in the cafe.

“You’ve got to work hard to get the job done,” Rivera said.

Cheatham said he hopes the students use him as a reference when applying for jobs. They’ve all worked diligently and he would love to brag on their efforts, he said.

Dorrell said he will continue to reach out to local entrepreneurs looking for employees.

“We’re building networks with businesses. We’re out there most weeks saying, ‘Look, give our kids a chance,’ ” Dorrell said.

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Jul 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Derek Jeter & Jerry Stackhouse Help Launch the Luvo Food Truck – Columbus …

Derek Jeter Meets Fans at the Luvo Food Truck Launch

Derek Jeter Jerry Stackhouse meet fans at the Luvo Food Truck launch in NYC’s Columbus Circle. (Photo: CBS Local)

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Jul 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Derek Jeter promotes healthy eating at Luvo food truck in Columbus Circle

Derek Jeter has come a long way from his days of eating junk food, starting with his famous Seattle dinner in 1995, when he shared a burger with his father at an Emerald City McDonald’s following his major league debut.

“When you’re younger, I didn’t really pay much attention to what I was eating. You look at the fitness and health craze going around, I think people are more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies,” Jeter said Monday in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel Tower at Columbus Circle. “We used to send the batboys to the fast food restaurants around the (old Yankee) Stadium and eat right before the games.”

Healthy eating is a mainstay for the 40-year-old captain now, he said, which is why he was intrigued when Luvo food company came calling earlier this year to gauge his interest as a partner. Monday, Jeter braved the summer heat and a throng of fans and tourists to help serve some Luvo treats out of the company’s food truck.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiAndrew Savulich/New York Daily News Derek Jeter serves treats and poses with fans and Luvo CEO Christine Day (l.) in Columbus Circle.

“I was introduced to (Luvo) a while back. If I’m going to be honest with you, when I first heard of it, I was like, ‘C’mon…’ But then once you taste it and get an opportunity to see the nutrition factor, it aligns with everything that I’ve been about, especially with the (Turn 2) Foundation,” said Jeter, referring to his charitable organization for disadvantaged children. “We’re always trying to promote healthy lifestyles.”

Officially, he is a Luvo brand development officer, but with his final season still underway, Jeter said he won’t play too active a role until his final game in pinstripes is in the books. In other words, don’t expect to see the Yankee captain driving the Luvo truck anytime soon.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiAndrew Savulich/New York Daily News Fans try to snap a selfie with the Captain as he makes an appearacne at a Luvo food truck.

“I’ve still gotta play, that’s first and foremost. When I’m finished, I’ll be obviously a lot more hands on depending on what projects I’m doing,” said Jeter. “I really don’t want to have a schedule (after the 2014 season). Things like this I’ll enjoy. But I don’t want to sit down and map out a 9 to 5 job. I want to be able to relax a little bit.”

One of Jeter’s other business ventures — his Jeter Publishing imprint — is already off and running, and one of the executives who works with the Yankee shortstop said Jeter is hardly an absentee publishing mogul.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiAndrew Savulich/New York Daily News Jeter is all smiles while talking about his his off-the-field ventures.

“There’s nothing that escapes his attention,” said Louise Burke, the president of Gallery Books Group, which is partnered with Jeter. “Everything you read and hear about him has been true – he’s a really good partner and we couldn’t be happier.”

The children’s division of Jeter Publishing will release “The Contract” in September, which Burke said is a middle grade series book (for ages 8-12). “It’s based on the real-life occurrence of his signing a contract with his parents that enabled him to play baseball, if he agreed to live his life a certain way,” said Burke. A photo book entitled, “Jeter Unfiltered” will be released after this season, and is a “beautiful commemorative book that looks back on his career,” said Burke.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiAndrew Savulich/ New York Daily News Jeter spends some time with Luvo innovatin officer John Mitchell. 

When his baseball career ends this year is unclear at this point, but Jeter said fans and pundits need to “relax a little bit” before demanding a Cliff Lee addition or counting the Bombers dead for the playoff hunt.

“Where are we in the standings? I think everyone needs to relax a little bit. We have a pretty good team. We can play better,” said Jeter. “I like the position we’re in. If you win your games you’ll be fine.”

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Jul 22, 2014
Tina George

Food Network Premieres New Anthony Anderson Series FOOD FEST NATION …


Food Network Premieres New Anthony Anderson Series FOOD FEST NATION Tonight

Anthony Anderson is on a mission to discover the most flavorful food festivals in the country on the new Primetime series, Food Fest Nation, premiering tonight, July 21st at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network. Tasting everything from classic interpretations of regional fare to surprising twists of favorite foods, Anthony uncovers what is truly at the heart of America – one delicious food festival at a time.

“Viewers got a taste of Anthony Anderson’s true passion for food during his appearances as a judge on Iron Chef America and Chopped,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. “Anthony’s love of food, quick humor, and engaging way with people make him the perfect guide through the quirky and wonderful world of food festivals.”

Over the course of eight half-hour episodes, Anthony visits the most unique food fairs in the nation, sampling local specialties and meeting the characters devoted to the regional cuisine. Along the way, Anthony visits the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach, Fla. and highlights delicious classics such as shrimp tacos, shrimp boil and shrimp jambalaya, as well as innovative shrimp ice cream. In one episode, he attends the Magnolia Blossom Festival World Championship Steak Cook-Off in Magnolia, Ark., where over 4,000 different kinds of mouthwatering ribeye steaks compete to be the best of the best and for a $10,000 prize. Anthony also visits the Long Grove Strawberry Festival, where over 20,000 attendees flock to Long Grove, Ill. for three “berry” special days of enjoying all things strawberry, including Strawberry Ricotta Ravioli and Strawberry Balsamic Chicken. In another episode, he stops by Ribfest Chicago for a world-class rib-eating showdown that draws top competitive eaters from around the globe. Throughout the season, Anthony also gets a taste of the South Carolina Poultry Festival in Batesberg, S.C., the Jambalaya Festival in Gonzalez, La., the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival in Tyron, N.C., as well as the Rockwood Ice Cream Festival in Wilmington, Del.

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Jul 22, 2014
Tim Lester

Sydney’s best Greek street food

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In Athens, everything shuts down about 2pm. Greeks pick up some meat for lunch and head home for a siesta before returning to work at 5pm. I put it to Tsirekas that this is some lifestyle. “I know,” he laughs. “That’s why they’re in all the mess they’re in, man!”

Tsirekas has brought his love of Greek street food to Kefi, a new tavern and souvlaki house next to the Kingsgrove train line. After the hatted Xanthi shut its Westfield doors in March, Tsirekas saw Kefi as a new challenge. “Fine dining is a very confined style of eating where people are only concentrating on their own plate,” Tsirekas says. “The idea of Greek food is that it’s all about sharing. You want to cut into a big piece of braised meat and pass it around the table. I was trying to incorporate some of the street food elements at Xanthi. I had the meats on the spit and I was doing wraps at lunch but it wasn’t popular enough.”

Loukoumades from Kerasma in Newtown.

Loukoumades from Kerasma in Newtown. Photo: Jennifer Soo

In the past six months, Greek street food has risen from the ashes to become one of Sydney’s go-to foodie pleasures.

Kefi

Greek street food is all about the pork. “Pork is the most eaten meat in Greece contrary to what everybody thinks, which is lamb,” Tsirekas says. “Lamb is only eaten on special occasions and holidays.”

The pork at Kefi is flipping amazing. “I’m here at 8am every morning,” Tsirekas says. “Rather than pressed and processed meat we slice our own pork and leave it to marinate for a couple of days in rosemary, sage, garlic and paprika.” Tsirekas marinates all Kefi’s meat differently. Lamb becomes good mates with fresh thyme and oregano, and chicken spends quality time with basil and tarragon. The best part about all these marinades is each meat has a unique flavour and there’s none of those confusing “is it chicken or pork” conversations when you get a takeaway of mixed souvla. It also means Kefi has the best gyros (or souvlaki, see ‘Get your Greek on’ panel, right) in Sydney, hands down.

Kefi Souvlaki Pizza Bar is now open for trade. The menu also features less traditional soft-shell crab wraps and very traditional kokoretsi (lamb offal wrapped in caul fat wrapped in lamb intestines). It’s attached to the Kefi Greek Tavern restaurant, scheduled to open in a fortnight.

1/231 Kingsgrove Rd, Kingsgrove, 02 9554 4442

Kerasma Souvlaki Merchant

Kerasma is located a couple doors up from Newtown station. The logo looks like the cover from an early ’90s fantasy novel and the restaurant smells like a Pizza Hut from the same era.

A farmyard of meats and haloumi rotates over hot coals, waiting to be summoned to a souvlaki plate or pita pocket. The mixed pita is the size, weight, and shape of a football Hercules might use for a park throw around. It comes with pork souvlaki, salad, and sheftalias (herb-heavy Cypriot pork sausages wrapped in caul fat).

These guys have the biggest selection of souvlaki options you’re likely to find in Sydney. Pork, lamb, and chicken head the menu, but a little further down is the likes of snail, liver, tongue, scallop, and loukaniko (another type of Greek sausage, this time flavoured with fennel seeds and orange peel).

Kerasma also has a fantastic range of sweets you can order to go. The loukoumades with honey syrup, cinnamon, and pistachio are ace provided you’ve got 20 minutes to spare while they’re cooked. A bag of shamshi (fried, hand stretched filo pillows filled with semolina custard) is in your hands in half the time. Dusted in icing sugar and rose petals, they resemble miniature Macca’s apple pies dolled up for a night on the town.

2/324A King St, Newtown, 02 9517 2403

Zeus Street Greek

The teams behind Pony Dining Group and Crust Pizza collaborated to open Zeus Street Greek in June.”The community has been loving it, and not just the Greeks” says Kyprianou. “It’s just honest simple food that’s different to anywhere else in the area. Quality fast-food that’s an alternative to Italian and Thai.”

Zeus owners are first-generation Hellenic Australian and beneath the franchise-surface-sheen (further Zeus locations are in the works for Rosebery and Cronulla) there’s integrity to the food. The signature Zeus Pita (they’re called pitas here, not gyros by the way) is a squat little handful filled with lamb shoulder souvla, slaw, smoked eggplant, onion and parsley. A $6.50 side of feta and oregano fries is a worthy decision to accompany that pita.

Zeus also has a killer snail of spanakopita as flaky as it is oily (in a good way) and loukoumades so soft and sweet they make Greek mothers cry. Well, maybe not cry but at least give a thumbs up. “The mums love ‘em,” says Kyprianou. “They come in and pick up six portions at a time. If Greek mums are happy, I’m happy!”

The best part is you can get as sticky with the food as you like thanks to a beautiful white basin to wash your hands in. It’s located just next to the kitchen and saves having to trek to the bathrooms for honey removal. This is an initiative that I have not seen before and I infinitely applaud. Hail Zeus!

1/187-189 Lyons Rd, Drummoyne, 9181 4646

Alpha Foodstore

Damn, this is a sexy deli. I’m a sucker for white marble and there’s plenty of it at Alpha Foodstore (next to Alpha restaurant run by legend of Sydney Greek food, Peter Conistis). I also love shelves stocked with exotic Greek drygoods and pies and there’s plenty of those too.

Granted, pies aren’t the most traditional Greek street food. However, they’re Australian street food if there ever was one and I’m all for the two cultures getting acquainted. Especially when the result is pies of spanakopita, slow cooked lamb, or three cheeses with caramelised onion and mint. The pastry is light and flakey and each pie is just the right size to wolf down on the walk back to the office.

Alpha Foodstore also has a beaut selection of Greek sweets to take away like pistachio cigars, karidopita (walnut cake), and a next-level galaktoboureko which is one of the greatest custard slices you’ll ever eat.

238 Castlereagh St, Sydney, 02 9098 1111

Gyradiko

If you’ve driven down Forest Road in Bexley any time since April, you might have noticed a queue of people snaking down the street. Folks are flocking here en masse to worship at the altar of the gyro.

Gyradiko was the first of these new-wave gyro joints open in Sydney. Each night you’ll find soccer mums, track-suited couples and barking old Greek men lining up for their choice of lamb or pork wrapped up with red onion, tzatziki, tomato and chips. The quality of meat doesn’t hold a candle to its gyro contemporaries, however if you can remove your “unprocessed meat only” hat, you’ll find the gyros here aren’t the worst eat if you happen to be hungry in Bexley.

Take a lead from the regulars and grab your gyro to go. The store has all the ambience of a shopping centre food court and with dirtier floors. The action’s back out on the street to eat your carb-pocket to the tune of Greek music blaring from Gyradiko’s loudspeakers (seriously, you can still hear Zorba plucking a mandolin from two blocks away).

307 Forest Rd, Bexley, 0452 543 202

All Good Things Eatery

Kritharaki of Queensland spanner crab, calamari, dashi, smoked kasari and squid ink skordalia, anyone? Or kurobuta pork neck with Cretan honeycomb, miso, salt and vinegar chicharron and leek ash?

If you think it sounds like there’s a Japanese influence at All Good Things that’s because there is. “We source the best meats NSW has to offer through Feather and Bone and use Japanese methods and ingredients to create a Greek menu,” says head chef and co-owner Phillip Lakis.

Lakis is currently on a research trip in Greece and is set to launch a souvlaki-meets-yakitori menu when returns to Australia in August. The menu will feature things on sticks like stavros peppers with kefalograviera (sheep’s milk cheese) sauce, octopus with ouzo salt, and wagyu tongue with stavros pepper salsa.

I shudder every time I hear the word “fusion” and in the wrong hands this Greek-Japanese crossover could go very awry. However, Lakis was accepted for a stint at Noma (aka the world’s best restaurant) before opening the restaurant and if that’s not a sign of good things I don’t know what is.

Shop 9-11, Mashman Ave, Kingsgrove, 02 7903 0198

GET YOUR GREEK ON

Souvlaki (aka kalamaki): Small pieces of meat, usually on a stick or hand-held in a pita.

Kontosouvli: A short, sword like skewer threaded with larger hunks of meat than a souvlaki.

Souvla: A whole carcass on the spit or simply larger portions of meat.

Gyro: Traditionally a coronary-inducing pita filled with pork, tomato, onion, parsley, tzatziki, chips, and mustard.

Yeero: Same as above but written as such to stop Australians rhyming gyro with biro.

Spanakopita: A spinach and feta pastry. One of those great foods that works equally well for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Loukoumades: Sweet, honey-drenched doughnut of the Gods.

8 comments so far

  • Tried eating at Zeus Drummoyne twice now, pretty disappointing. Both times they had run out of items on the already small menu. Went early in the evening both times at approx 6:45 and 7:30pm so was baffled they could run short of items so early on. Both times what I was served were small portions of meat. The lamb was overcooked and extremely fatty but the pork was delicious. Pretty overpriced for what you get also. Tried it twice, wont go again. Fit out of the shop looked great though but food was a real let down and thats what keeps you coming back. Wish Jimmy Grants would open up a shop in Sydney. Always pay a visit whenever im in Melbourne and thoroughly enjoy it.

    Commenter
    Andrew X
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 22, 2014, 10:59AM

    • The suggestions in the article are all great. However, I must also put in a word for The Yeeros Shop in Marrickville. Prosaic name, I know, but their lamb yeeros with tzatziki is simple, yet wonderful.

      Commenter
      innerwested
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 12:27PM

      • What about The 3 Olives at Newtown??
        Great place … Got to have their melt in your mouth slow cooked lamb … Yum!!

        Commenter
        Greek eater
        Date and time
        July 22, 2014, 12:47PM

        • Can someone tell me if chips in a gyro is traditional or not? I’ve went to Greece about 20 years ago and reckon I ate a thousand of ‘em. Don’t recall having a single chip in any of them. Everyone I get nowadays has chips. I’m not complaining, I eat the chips first and then the gyro. Hopefully its not done for the Aussie palate!

          Commenter
          Loges48
          Location

          Date and time
          July 22, 2014, 1:35PM

          • Sorry champ, but the place you must have gone to and eaten 1000+ yeeros’s somewhat 20 years ago must’ve been the only place in Greece without chips!!

            I’ve eaten at Zeus was very unhappy! Smells of franchise loving type joint. Unhappy with the pita and the meat. Way overpriced!! 3/10 for me. Been to Ella and wasn’t too overjoyed. I believe my meat could have been reheated somewhat on the grill. I saw no meat in the tray, and no one cutting it off the stick. Yet my yeeros after 10 minutes miraculously turned up on my table. I gave it a 4/10. Also have been to Kefi. Worst thing was I waited (like many others) over 40 minutes for my yeeros. But it wasn’t bad!! I gave it a 6/10. Could’ve been better if I are it hot! Obviously beat till last. Gyradiko! No relation here. They have perfected the yeeros, the way it should be. I’ve had a couple of occasions were the meat may have been slightly undercooked when there was bout 80 in the line. I think understandable. But with the same situation as everyone else (no lines, no pressure) I score them 8/10. Easily the best of the lot!!

            Commenter
            Fagana
            Date and time
            July 22, 2014, 3:40PM

        • I am 25 and of Greek heritage and have tried the go-to lamb/pork pita/dish at every place in this list in the past 3 months. Went to Melbourne just last weekend and had one of each lamb and chicken pita at Jimmy Grants. Better than all the above.

          However If I had to choose, Gyradiko is most similar to the true taste of pita in the homeland but hardly the most aesthetically pleasing establishment. Zeus’ pita is just too dry and the meat is almost too clean to be traditional but this is probably why Zeus will succeed – appealing to a wider audience.

          Commenter
          lm89
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          July 22, 2014, 2:00PM

          • Greek food, like all meddetarean food is great, but I would never really go “Greek” for dinner on a saturdy night as this is exactly the type of food that I grew up with and I can easily get by going around to my parents on sunday afternoons for lunch.

            Commenter
            Lizzy
            Location

            Date and time
            July 22, 2014, 3:24PM

            • How about Parea in Kogarah. They have the best souvlaki in Sydney hands down. No wonder why they keep winning awards. The Gyros at Gyradiko is up there but Kefi and Zeus have a lot of work to do.

              Commenter
              Stacko
              Location

              Date and time
              July 22, 2014, 7:14PM

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