Thursday, 8 April 2010

Traditional Easter Lunch

Since I moved to the States some 6 years ago almost (wow, time flies!), I never had the chance to have a traditional Easter meal. Easter is pretty huge in Greece, quite more important than Christmas, as the nice spring weather makes for people to leave the city, visit their villages or summer homes and indulge in gratuitous eating and drinking while becoming one with Nature by the sacrificial offer of a lamb or goat on a spit.

Now, living in a two - bedroom apartment with a tiny balcony mostly cluttered with the satellite dish and a small electric grill, there's no way I'd fit either a spit or a lamb, let alone both. However, we have upgraded from living in a city with a minimal Greek population (Pittsburgh) to an area with a substantial Greek population (Chicagoland) which offered the opportunity to get some traditional fare at a restaurant instead.

I had been to Greektown in downtown Chicago a couple of times and there are a lot of restaurants there, next to each other as a matter of fact. However, one of them had an additional location closer to where we live, so we preferred it. We went to Greek Islands in Lombard. They offered a full Easter special menu.

They started with the traditional bread basket and the obligatory red dyed eggs that looked like they were dyed that morning (tsk tsk tsk, everyone knows they ought to have done so on Good Thursday, but something tells me they ran out of those and had to repeat the procedure:

Then there was Mageiritsa soup (lamb entrails and lettuce with herbs and egg-lemon sauce) which was very nicely done. They also brought a salad that I can't call Greek with good conscience as it lacked cucumber and was loaded with roughly chopped lettuce.

Then came the lamb. I ordered the oven roasted lamb with potatoes which was very nice and tender.

Hubby got a lamb kabob with a side of rice which was also very good.

And as if that wasn't enough, we ordered dessert (half of which was boxed and taken home). I got galactoboureko, which is a baked citrus flavored custard topped with soaked phyllo, and hubby got a slice of chocolate mousse cake. I also had a cup of Greek coffee that I hadn't had for quite a while!