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Restaurants

Folia Grill

Posted by Staff / Reviewed on March 9, 2010 / review policy

Folia Grill TorontoFolia Grill took me away this weekend. Sun, sizzling meat, olives the size of coconuts, and clean crisp beer are the things of summer in Greece, and after popping into Folia Grill, I felt like I'd been taken on a mini cheap eats cruise to the Mediterranean.

Opened last October in the heart of Pape Village, owners George and Eleni Moschopoulis explain that with Folia they're trying to emulate the curbside diners of Greece; social hubs that offer a few signature dishes and do them right. For the husband and wife team this means sourcing veggies from local growers and olive oil from a friend in Tripoli - and making almost everything from scratch.

Located in a newly renovated space with floor-to-ceiling windows and a plasma screen, Folia looks more yoghurt bar than diner, but the menu is classic Greek (biftekia, gyros, souvlaki etc). With just a dozen items, patrons aren't spoiled for choice, but with everything except the NY Steak coming in at under $7.00 it means you can try a bit of everything - which is exactly what my wingman and I decide to do.

20100310_folia_Pork SouvlakiB.jpgMy excitement begins after learning the pork souvlaki sticks ($1.75) are made from pork belly, one of my favorite cuts. When I ask why this isn't mentioned on the menu I'm told some patrons are put off by the less conventional cut. Pity the fools, I'll take two. A plate of olives ($3.00), home-made tzatziki ($1.50), pita (at $0.75, a steal) and some Mythos Lager ($4.00) start things off nicely.

The sun is shining, the beer is cold, and as the starters arrive I'm in the mood to eat. The plate of nefplion olives are plump, proud specimens, imported from the motherland and bathed in a vibrant green olive oil. They have a dense, chewy texture and a bitterness cut by the fruity oil, that I proceed to mop up with the butter dusted, still warm pita. The tzatziki is rich and refreshing without packing too much of a garlic punch. I've barely had time finish dipping when the souvlaki arrives.

20100310_folia_OlivesB.jpg20100310_folia_PitaB.jpgLustily seasoned and served with a slice of the lemon, the twin skewers glisten before me as I cleanse my palate with the lager and dive in. There's something primordial about tearing meat off a stick, and I greedily shear the belly from the blackened skewer, the chewy flesh giving way to the unctuous fatty inner as the charcoal, sea salt and lemon take turns kicking my taste buds around. It's the type of snack you might have in a small village and remember the rest of your life.

Slowing things down my co-taster and I order the village salad ($6.75) and zucchini fries ($3.00). Hand cut slices of zucchini lightly breaded then fried are served piping hot with a side of spiced mayonnaise. I crunch into the finger-sized fry and am greeted with a wonderful whoosh of zucchini. A favorite snack in Greece, I can only hope they take off here as I fight my lunchmate down to the last stick. Best eaten hot, the accompanying mayo isn't necessary as the fries speak for themselves.

20100310_folia_Zucchini FriesB.jpg20100310_folia_Village SaladB.jpgThe salad, made to order, comes topped with a slab of feta sprinkled with oregano. Beneath lie crisp Lebanese cucumbers, red onion, olives from Eleni's grandmother's backyard and tomatoes riper than they ought to be at this time of year. Drizzled with the gutsy olive oil from Tripoli, it's a simple, satisfying affair made with top notch ingredients, and a timely respite from the hearty fare that's been slapping us around.

But I've still to try Folia's signature dish: the Chicken Gyro Pita ($4.00). The predictably large parcel arrives nonchalantly enough, but as I tuck into the gyro I know Foila has saved the best till last. The chicken is juicy, sweet and good enough to be eaten alone, but when teamed with the tomatoes, onions and tzatziki becomes something greater than its parts. It is a meal that tastes of Greece itself: grilled meat, ripe tomatoes and tzatziki. Too much to handle all at once, it demands to be slowly savored.

20100310_folia_Grill 2B.jpgAs the plates are cleared and I finish off the last of the Mythos, my equally stuffed co-diner and I agree we've just had a home-cooked meal, not fast food. And as I notice several regulars popping in for their daily meaty fix, I wonder if George and Eleni aren't well on their way to creating a classic curbside restaurant. So as the weather turns fair set your sails to Folia Grill - you won't get closer to Greece in Toronto at these prices.

Mon - Sat 11am - 10pm, Closed Sundays

Writing and photos by Daniel Kuseta.

Discussion

31 Comments

jlt / March 10, 2010 at 09:25 am
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no address? sounds good!
HUK / March 10, 2010 at 09:31 am
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It's at Pape and O'Connor. Kind of in the sticks but it's easy to get to from Pape Station. Take the 25 or 81 bus, or from Broadview you can take the 8 or 100 bus.

Thanks for this review. I've been meaning to drop in and try it.
dacks / March 10, 2010 at 10:30 am
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Sounds like yet another reason to work up a sweat on the Don Trail - get out of the Valley at Beechwood and you're practically there. Beats the hell out of DQ at Pottery Rd.
Tim replying to a comment from jlt / March 10, 2010 at 11:01 am
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The address, phone, map and other details can be found on the right hand side of the page
Amanda / March 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm
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great review! Looks and sounds awesome!
JEB / March 10, 2010 at 03:15 pm
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I live near Folia and have often wondered if it's a good place. Now I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks for the review!
Anastasia / March 11, 2010 at 01:06 am
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This review certainly did its job in explaining and enticing because I definitely want to check Folia out now. The zucchini fries sound divine!
Anastasia / March 11, 2010 at 01:07 am
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This review certainly did its job to explain and entice because I am itching to get down to Folia now. Those zucchini fries sound divine! Yum.
James / March 11, 2010 at 11:06 am
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Great review, sounds awesome!
Aydin / March 12, 2010 at 10:02 am
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I live less than a block away, and we've been going since they opened. They had a HUGE grand opening where they gave away free food! Gimmicky yes, but it got lots of people in the neighborhood to try their food.
For me, the best item on the menu is the zucchini fries. Pork Souvlaki Pita is what I usually get (if it's too late at night, the chicken can be a bit dry).
That being said, this is REAL gyros, Messini-style. The meat is real meat. It's not a ground, reformed meatloaf on a stick that most "Greek" restaurants serve, but should be ashamed. When it's good, it's GREAT.
Tried the steak - it's a good deal!
We were once there at night before they closed and they threw in a huge take-out package of chicken gyro meat, as they had some leftovers that day - good to know that they don't just reuse it the next day like many other places.
Definitely worth checking out - if you want take-out, call ahead.
TonyB replying to a comment from HUK / March 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm
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It is actually NOT at Pape and O'Connor, that is Filo.

Folia Grill is location at Pape and Gowan, just south of Cosburn on the east side of Pape right on the corner.
Get a dictionary replying to a comment from Aydin / March 13, 2010 at 06:36 pm
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How is giving away food to advertise that you're open and educate potential customers about your wares in any way gimmicky? Clearly, you don't know what the word means.
HUK replying to a comment from TonyB / March 16, 2010 at 09:58 am
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Holy shit. Did I just get schooled by an East Yorker?

Anna / March 17, 2010 at 10:18 am
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Delicious, filling food and friendly service; really worth your money.
Ina / March 18, 2010 at 04:37 pm
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They're zuchinni fries are amazing!
Chris / March 19, 2010 at 11:17 am
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This place is awesome. I've developed an addiction to their chicken gyros. The pita bread is out of this world. I hope this place sticks around to become a fixture of the Pape/Cosburn neighborhood for years to come.
cez / March 20, 2010 at 10:27 pm
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People ... u should try this small but cozy restaurant, their food is amazing, esp the zucchini fries, they are divine!!!! I love their chicken gyros! The owner and staff there are really nice. It is located south-east of Pape and Cosburn, on Pape Avenue.
Sab / March 21, 2010 at 04:29 pm
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They're really friendly people, and they have delicious food. Especially their zucchini fries- they're to die for! Check it out.
Rose / March 21, 2010 at 11:45 pm
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Excellent food and reasonably price. It is our favorite place to eat! Definitely not fast food, more like home cook meal to me. Best place in town to bring the family!

Keep up the good work Eleni and George!
Jess / March 28, 2010 at 07:26 pm
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You need to visit it.
Jim / April 26, 2010 at 01:07 am
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Hands down the best souvlaki this side of the Aegean!
Incredible food at reasonable prices.
Paula / May 6, 2010 at 09:03 pm
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Can't wait to check it out. More East end reviews!!
Lico / May 17, 2010 at 09:15 pm
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I LOVE this place. Never fails to impress. They have really cheap prices too, and the food is so filling and delicious!
Anthony / September 5, 2010 at 04:57 pm
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I had their pork souvlaki pita last night and its by far the best pita ive ever had.

french fries in their pitas??? are you kidding me?!?!?!?!
vilma / December 10, 2010 at 02:41 pm
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sooo addicted with their pork souvlaki pita.........
friendly people and soo sooo delicious... (not to mention CHEAP price)
shlepster / January 4, 2011 at 09:43 pm
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This place is the bomb!!! The chicken gyros is better than anything on the D. Their best item is the ground beef/pork on a pita. Delicious!! I think its new owners as well not sure though
Holly / August 14, 2011 at 05:30 am
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I got hooked on their chicken gyro's recently.. and at less than $5, how on earth can you go wrong?! Love this place.
Amy / September 9, 2011 at 06:58 pm
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We just finished a meal from Folia Grill. We'd heard all the good reviews and wanted to check it out. I was disappointed. We had the pork souvlaki pita and it was VERY fatty, each piece of pork was mostly fat...yuck!
John / December 12, 2012 at 08:06 pm
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Best souvlaki around that's how a souvlaki should taste not the mangie cake style that's traditional pita very gd was impressed
Cam H. / May 24, 2014 at 01:32 am
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People in my house crave the food here. Smetimes the wait feels a little long, but that is the price you pay for freshness. Above average food. The chicken/pita is just so good.
HL / August 17, 2014 at 06:58 pm
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my favorite is gyros pork and chicken they are massive !!! the best on pape ave . A new one called Tzatziki close to pape station is not good at all but they are quite friendly there.

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