Hours: 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; noon to 11:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Price range: $3.95 to $8.95. Most entrees under $6.
Reservations: Not necessary.
Credit cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Diner's Club.
Special facilities: Street parking only; accessible to wheelchairs; booster seats available, but no highchairs.
The fall festivals staged by Greek Orthodox churches are well-known for the quality of their food. People stand in long lines, sometimes in the rain, to sample traditional dishes prepared by smiling Greek mothers according to family recipes.
Stopping at The Greek Village on Connecticut Avenue will get you the same good home-style Greek food at very reasonable prices, and without the wait.
The Greek Village would be a perfect place on a rainy night -- it's cozy, candlelit and pretty, with a blue-and-white Greek motif and fresh flowers. Soft Greek ballads lull the whole family into a relaxed mood and a friendly, efficient staff brings on platters of hearty, savory food just right for cool weather appetites.
There has been a restaurant in that location for eight years, but the present owner-chef took over just last May. He obviously pleases a local clientele of couples and families who were very much at home there the night we visited.
It's easy to see why. The food is delicious, the servings large, the prices very reasonable. A number of entrees cost as little as $4.25. There is no children's menu, but children may split an entree, or sample souvlaki or a club sandwich for $3.95.
The menu offers a pleasing array of appetizers, including taramosalata and tzalziki, two delightful dips worth trying. The first is made with caviar; the second is a combination of yogurt, cucumber and garlic. Several of the usual Greek entrees are offered, as well as both plain and Greek-style broiled meats and seafood. Two or three specials are featured every day.
Our 10-year-old daughters, who already have teen-sized appetites, were not interested in splitting a dinner. One asked for broiled pork chops ($5.25). Her sister, when she heard there was a Greek dish like lasagne, ordered pastitsio ($4.25).
Either dish would have adequately fed two younger children. Amy was very pleased with the two thick pork chops. They had been grilled to a juicy turn and were served with vegetables. The pastitsio was a delicious baked dish of layered macaroni and ground beef, covered with a cheese custard.
We enjoyed all the food at The Greek Village, but the lamb dishes seemed especially good. Our 14-year-old ordered roast lamb ($5.95), one of the specials. It was well-prepared and served in its own juices with potato and rice.
My husband chose another special, lamb with artichokes ($5.25). The meat had been tenderly braised and was served with artichokes in a mildly seasoned sauce.
I ordered the combination plate ($6.25), which included braised lamb kapama. Served in a flavorful, robust tomato sauce, it was delicious. So was everything else in this sampler dish: pastitsio, moussaka and stuffed grape leaves. The moussaka was well-seasoned, with equal proportions of eggplant, meat and cheese custard. Grape leaves, stuffed with a beef-rice mixture and covered with a creamy egg-lemon sauce, were also fine.
Salad and warm crusty rolls accompanied all entrees. The salad, mostly chopped iceberg lettuce, swam in its dressing and was the only weak note in the whole meal.
For dessert there were wonderful homemade Greek specialties: baklava and kataifi (each $1.05). Baklava we all love, but we were unfamiliar with kataifi. Our waitress described it as shredded wheat layered with the same walnut and honey filling as the baklava. It was actually far better than shredded wheat: crunchy, light and delicious, a perfect end to a lovely meal.
Our bill for five, tax and tip included, was $45.95.