Monday, January 12, 2015

Hellas Café

When I go to a silent auction, the first things I always gravitate toward bidding on are restaurant gift certificates. I snatched up the Hellas certificate because it is close to my house and believe it or not, I don’t think I have ever been there. It’s been open forever, but somehow I just haven’t managed to get there.

I love the way they have taken an old school Pizza Hut building and turned it into a Greek restaurant—and other than the dropped ceiling inside, you would never know based on the interior. It’s cute and warm—it has a nice ambience—darkish (hence, the somewhat blurry pics) and with some mellow live music on the evening we were there. Our server was very friendly and other than one mix-up with the kitchen, she was very efficient.

We started with some hummus ($7.25) and Saganaki ($7.65). Both were good. The saganaki was probably the table favorite, my kids also being fans of the show you get when they light the cheese on fire (OPA!). The cheese was nice and melty, as it is after being set on fire, and had a nice kick of lemon from the lemon used to douse the flames. As a side note, they have great pita, grilled perfectly so it’s just slightly crisp on the outside but still soft and warm inside. I think they grill it with a bit of oil, or even butter, because it has a little extra flavor on the outside. It was also good with the hummus, which had a nice flavor—it was a thicker version than many, which isn’t a bad thing—just depends on what you like. You could really taste the garlic though, which makes me happy.

I ordered an appetizer for my main dish—the spanakopita ($7.45). Honestly, this was the only dish that was a little disappointing for me—and this was the dish that took a little longer to get. I think I threw them off, ordering an app for a main. They apologized profusely and offered a free dessert. Anyhow, it was a large piece—like a square piece of pie—instead of the smaller pieces I am accustomed to. Because it didn’t have all the sides and corners of a smaller piece that is wrapped around itself, the phyllo on the outside wasn’t as crispy and crunchy as they sometimes are. The flavor of the spinach and cheese was good; I just missed more of the crunch.

Hubby had the lamb kebab dinner ($20.75) and it was really, really good. Quite possibly the best lamb on a stick I have ever had. You could taste the herby seasoning and the lamb was cooked to order—exactly medium rare, just as hubby asked. It was tender and delicious and not chewy at all. We were both impressed with this meat. The sides were also quite good—they had those roasted Greek potatoes that are cooked with lots of olive oil and garlic and have nice crispy, browned exteriors. The insides practically melted in your mouth. It also came with a small Greek salad that was simple but tasty--a nice acidic vinaigrette with a fair amount of feta. 

Both kids had gyros—one had the kid’s version ($5.75), which comes with fries, the other the adult ($8.65) (pic is the adult portion). They give you a ton of the meat, which you can see being shaved just through the kitchen window. They both really enjoyed it—it was very tender and juicy. My daughter commented it depends on how you like it—some people might like it with more crispy edges. This one is not that type. The toppings, which she asked for on the side, were fairly minimal as far as sides go (one slice of tomato, a sprig of parsley and some chopped red onions), but they gave a nice little cup of tzatziki that was really delicious—one of the brightest and freshest I have tasted. Maybe more lemon than most? In any case, it was possibly the best I’ve had.
We all really enjoyed this place and look forward to going again. (P.S. Kids eat free on Tuesdays.) The people working there were very friendly. I will try something new for dinner next time, but I’m pretty sure hubby will be ordering that lamb. Do you guys eat there? What are your favorite things?

Hellas Café 
8501 Westfield Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Hellas Cafe on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I love Hella's! I disagree about the spanakopita; I think it's lovely. But we are in agreement about the hummus and pita, but I always think they could provide a little more pita.

    Side note: we did eat here once on a Saturday and there was a belly dancer. She was fantastic, but there was a little girl, maybe 8 years old, who was there mimicking her moves around the restaurant as her parents watched with delight. It was very uncomfortable. The parents did not order any food and were clearly there to watch their daughter try to be a belly dancer. And we got the feeling the belly dancer did not want her there but was trying to be nice. Awkward.