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Restaurants

Tzatziki

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Reviewed on August 23, 2014 / review policy

tzatziki restaurant torontoTzatziki is a sparkling-new family-run diner on Pape, about 500 metres north of the Danforth. Off the main drag and only in its third week, I'm surprised to find, when I arrive at lunch hour, that the place is really busy. A steady stream of Greek-speaking diners order pita wraps directly from the silver-haired gentlemen at the grill before grabbing seats and letting the waitresses take care of them. Most carry in espressos from Macchiato, the adjacent (they share washrooms) espresso bar from the same owners.

I'm pretty sure we're the only ones not speaking Greek, though the grill guys behind the counter seem happy enough to chat us up. "Do you you know what Greeks are famous for besides gyros?" asks one grill man as he gently shaves meat off the rotisserie spit. "Ouzo?" is my guess. "That too, but also our hospitality."

Tzatziki TorontoI like this guy - I don't catch his name, but I can't help but agree. This is a no-frills kind of diner. It's clad in stainless steel and furnished for utility more than decor, and even still, this place radiates a lot of warmth.

Tzatziki TorontoThe menu covers much of what you'd expect from any Greek diner, and then some. Chicken and pork gyro are on offer, wrapped with chopped vegetables in tzatziki-slathered pita ($6-$7), or on a platter ($11-$14) with a choice of two sides.

Tzatziki TorontoThe pita is puffy, lightly grilled, and despite counting towards my two sides, it's totally worthwhile. Next time I'd skip the fries and opt instead for green beans. Roast potatoes and rice is an option, too, for those who deem it essential - I'm just not one of them, and I'm glad to not have it forced on me. I'd typically leave it to waste anyway.

Tzatziki TorontoThey're generous here with the signature house tzatziki, slathering it over pita or doling it out in big dollops on side plates with the full dinner. It's thick, sharply garlicky and studded with julienned cucumbers.

Tzatziki TorontoThe Greek salad ($7/$9) is built on a bed of pale green lettuce, dressed first in olive oil and oregano, then topped with a colourful mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and kalamata olives. A brick of feta crowns the whole thing, and another liberal application of olive oil and oregano finishes it off.

It's not exactly an authentic dish, but it's still really tasty, and in my defence, I just followed the lead of the locals - none of whom even looked at a menu. Had I studied it before ordering, I woud have discovered that the menu does, in fact, list plenty of traditional dishes.

tzatziki pape torontoRustic Horiatiki village salads ($8/$10) and a full range of hot and cold mezedes are represented - everything from horta (wilted rapini and endive, $6) to tarma (fish roe dip, $5) and saganaki (fried cheese, $11).

Tzatziki TorontoTzatziki opens daily at 11:30am, and the intent (at least for now) is to stay open nightly until 2am if not later. We're not talking weekends only, either - they're planning to serve late-night eats week-round.

Tzatziki TorontoPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

9 Comments

COMWAVESUCKS / August 23, 2014 at 03:04 pm
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Is the 'author' a Vegetarian? Of the 5 paragraphs mentioning food, none described the meat, although the pita bread/sauce, and 'inauthentic' Greek salad got descriptive mention.

I've tried the decent 'Greek' fries from this place but was hoping for a descriptive review before trying something more substantial, I guess I'll just be a Guinea Pig.
astodiaolo / August 23, 2014 at 03:19 pm
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take your iceberg lettuce xoriatiki outta here! stop bastardizing greek food.
S / August 23, 2014 at 06:50 pm
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Is it BlogTO policy to not review meat dishes? The last review I saw was of a place that's known for it's Jerk Chicken (Patois on Dundas)...there was no photo of the meat but there was a photo and a paragraph dedicated to cauliflower.
Greek Foodie / August 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm
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I've been here 5 times already. Super clean, fast service and EXCELLENT Food. This is my new late night Gyro spot. Bye bye Danforth Ave!
JagdFlanker / August 26, 2014 at 10:29 am
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gyro was ok, but Folia Grill still has the area's best gyro hands down
WideAwakeNow / September 20, 2014 at 04:13 am
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Regarding the screaming match and fight between patrons at 3AM Sunday September, 20th, the 911 dispatcher said, "yeah pretty much the whole neighbourhood called it in". Classy...
Rob / September 26, 2014 at 05:18 pm
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I live around the corner and have been here a few times. I like it, and it seems to be doing very well. They were apparently also planning on serving breakfast (at least on the weekends), but given that they have decided to stay open late every night, the owner said that they are still trying to figure out the practicalities of a breakfast shift. I also give them cudos for sprucing up the sidewalk along Aldwych Avenue.
Spiro / October 26, 2014 at 09:31 am
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Be careful eating here, was amazing when they first opened up, but last 2 times I have eaten here I got sick. One time was with a chicken on a pita, the other time with pork on a pita.
Gigi / November 2, 2014 at 07:20 pm
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Went in for lunch today around 3:00 PM and no one came near us. After waiting and being ignored we sat ourselves, got our own menus, decided on what we were going to eat and still no service. The waiter glared at us a few times and then he and the waitress argued about who was going to take our table. That's when we decided to take our business elsewhere. As we left we had to walk around the servers to exit and neither one said a thing.

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