Atmosphere: A casual neighborhood favorite.
Price range: From a hamburger at $1.85 to steak at $5.85, with many a dish in between.
Hours: Every day from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Special facilities: Accessible by wheelchair. Booster arrangements for small children. Street parking a possibility in the evening.
Reservations: You might call ahead for a situation report.
Credit Cards: American Express, Amoco Torch Club, Diners Club, Master Charge, Visa.
In the back seat, our 9-year-old daughter and her vivacious companion from yonder block were clucking joyously over the prospect of a Saturday night on the town without their. [WORD ILLEGIBLE] siblings.
They would be in good culinary hands, these two spiffy-spunkies figured, for our announced destination (we don't always release this information en route) was a Greek restaurant - and we've yet to bomb out when all-Hellenic breaks loose.
Though the Greek Village restaurant is just above Dupont Circle on Connecticut Avenue, we didn't even have to circle the field before landing a street space around the corner.
From a canopy's length away you can get a pretty solid ethnic idea of the place; the Greek statues in the window kind of give it away.
So do all the pillars around the friendly room inside, not to mention the deep friezes of heads here and there, the blue tablecloths with warriors running around the edges, the blue-and-white embossed wallpaper or the little Venus de Milo who's stashed an arm's length above the bar.
Immediately this establishment picks up two points on the Family Out scorecard - for not only is it gently humming with people by 8 p.m., but the customers are obviously a pickup team of meal-savvy neighbors, from the little widget in the nearby stroller to the all-generation gathering over in the corner.
In a wink, a waiter slinked through the small maze of tables to jot down our initial requests for soft and not-so-soft drinks. Just as swiftly, there came confirmation from our two young menu-mullers that there was much good to choose from in here.
But if you can possibly bear with us for maybe two paragraphs before we divulge their selections, here's a fast run through the variety of offerings.
For the conservative palate, there's your basic hamburger with fries, for $1.85; or one can move up either to a roast beef deluxe with fries or a souvlaki sandwich for $2.15, or perhaps a helping of moussaka (layers of eggplant with ground beef, cheese and egg) for $2.95 or as a complete dinner for $3.95. At the top of the line is the old faithful New York sirloin steak at $5.85 a la carte.
Complete dinners in the $3.85-to-$4.95 range include salad, soup, dessert and coffee or tea.But check the daily specials, too, for there are entrees in the $2.75-to-$3.55 range.
My wife decided that a good beginning might be an order of stuffed grape leaves, at $1.25. Absolutely right, she reported, ranking them merely as the best ever. I drew a 45-cent portion of chicken noodle soup that had a fine touch of egg and lemon to it.
The girls found joy and sustenance in some solid dinner standbys. Along with the salads and bread that had arrived, our daughter's exuberant chatter-mate had more than enough to handle with her order of two huge pork chops for $3.75. And she was able to bite-swap with our daughter for some selected excerpts from one of the specials, baked lamb with potatoes, for $3.55.
Meanwhile, there was more good news for my wife in the Greek Village combination plate for $4.95 - a grand gathering of moussaka, vine leaves, pastitsio, lamb and rice pilaff. (Coffee and dessert come with this, too).
My choice was yet another of the specials, veal with string beans, for $3.55. Now, you may guess that the veal was good, but string beans can be a bore, right? Not these, for they had been swabbed with a surprisingly good snappy sauce.
More than we can manage, said the girls, although it was remarkable how swiftly they were able to readjust their capacities in time for some baklava for dessert. It was so good, they reported teasingly, that "nobody gets no bites."
Well, the nobodies insisted and prevailed, and the bites complemented their coffees. We wound up topping it off with something rather light: the bill, which for everything totaled $26.14 plus tip.
On the ride home, the pitch from backside was subdued; the groggy contentment of well-stoked youngsters made it soothingly clear that our town now had two more young Greek Villages in its dedicated number.