As a fellow who absolutely adores food and loves to eat, being restricted to a “soft food diet” for the few weeks following a trio of throat surgeries - well, let's just say things got kinda bleak. Sure, I’m a huge fan of ice cream, fro-yo, and gelato; but, after a while, you really start to crave things that cannot be consumed through a straw (and don't melt).
So, when my friend called to take me to lunch, for my first foray back in the land of semi-solid foods, I suggested Elia Authentic Greek Taverna. Why? Because it’s right down the street from my house, and I’d just learned that they were open for lunch. Also, they make an avgolemeno that’ll bring a tear to your eye.
Thought to have evolved from the agristada of Sephardic Jewish cuisine (brought to Greece in the 16th century, by immigrants fleeing from Spain); Avgolemono is a savory soup made with chicken broth, rice, lemon juice, and egg yolk. At Elia, the avgolemono (found on Elia’s menu as Our Homemade Organic Egg and Lemon Chicken Soup) is so full of chicken-y rice goodness, that it’s nearly a stew; and lemme tell you – as the first thing I’d eaten that wasn’t served frozen, each sip was a warm embrace.
My friend opted for the Kolokythakia – pan-fried slices of zucchini, that at Elia they serve in an arrangement not unlike a lotus flower, with a dollop of tzatziki sauce in the center. He raved about ‘em, but I was still too raw to handle crispy, so I had to take his word for it.
We decided to share an order of Roasted Feta. I’m down for cheese, at any temperature, pretty much all the time. But, when it’s a slab of feta, that’s been baked in the oven, with tomatoes, Serrano peppers, and wild oregano... Bring it! Sure enough, we were presented with a skillet of cheese prepared with just the right amount of spice – zesty without being overwhelming.
I’m not trying to pass this off as the culinary event of the century; but I’ve gotta say, if you find yourself in the position of having to analyze everything you eat, for fear of popping your stitches or simply choking on something you'd normally swallow without a second thought, it’s nice to know that there are some delicious options in the Southwest part of town (at prices that will seem absurdly reasonable to any frequent Strip luncher).
And to the trio of gentlemen who had the great foresight to open Elia, in my ‘hood, I say Εβίβα!
ELIA Authentic Greek Taverna
South Durango Drive
Click HERE for info
Get into it!