A Taste of Greece
935 Kinderkamack Road, River Edge NJ
Back in April of 2005 one of the first restaurants that I chose to profile during my 2-year stint as NJ Quick Bite writer was A Taste of Greece, a tiny Greek takeout in River Edge. One of the things I liked about this restaurant was its attention to detail and authenticity in its dishes, choosing to buck the “homogenized” Greek restaurant trend found in most Northern NJ Greek eateries with its real Pork Gyro and use of real imported Greek ingredients.
The original owners moved on two years later. One of them, Vasili Mastrokostas, went on to open Vasili’s Taverna in Teaneck. For a brief period A Taste of Greece was ran by the owner’s children and retained most of its original staff, and was recently sold to a new owner, Themis, a young, friendly, service-oriented and health-obsessed marathon runner. Themis took a rather unattractive, small takeout and put some money into the place, adding nice ceramic tile and other positive aesthetic changes, such as new wooden tables and chairs.
Themis has kept much of the restaurant’s original flavor (including its signature pork gyro) and has added more fresh and healthy Mediterranean dishes such as more grilled seafood plates. I actually think the place is a better restaurant now and is more compatible with my current lifestyle, and along with my other favorite Mediterranean options in the local area, such as Joeyness and Bennies, has now become one of my favorite places to eat well and eat healthier.
A Taste Of Greece on Kinderkamack Road in River Edge, Photo April of 2005.
A Taste of Greece’s new owner, Themis. Themis is extremely accommodating to special requests (such as low-carbing the entrees) and is himself a health and fitness nut.
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Themis’s marathon running street creds, which is displayed prominently for all to see.
Here are some of the new healthier-style specials that Themis has introduced since taking over the restaurant.
While the restaurant’s regular menu has remained largely unchanged, he’s also been making a lot of daily specials as well. With a specials menu like this, why bother with the menu?
New tilework and furniture, as well warm Mediterranean colors are a vast improvement to the sterile hole-in-the-wall the place used to look like inside.
The display case still has all the goodies that I’m not allowed to eat anymore.
Pinto Bean Salad with Feta Cheese (2009)
An appetizer of Greek Gigante beans in a tomato sauce with onions and feta cheese.
Greek Lentil Soup with Feta Cheese (2009)
The soups at A Taste of Greece are practically meals in themselves, served in large ceramic crocks. The Avgolegmono soup with chicken and egg really hits the spot on a chilly night.
My vegetable soup with Orzo pasta.
Themis now stocks multi-grain pita bread, baked at the local Toufayan Bakery.
A small plate of grilled Loukanikou sausage, brought in from Astoria, Queens. Similar to a Polish kielbasa, It has a slight orange peel flavor to it.
Rachel went for the swordfish special, prepared in a Mediterranean style.
I went for the stuffed chicken breast with spinach and feta cheese and grilled vegetables. Themis honored my request by giving me extra sauteed spinach and garlic instead of the rice it typically comes with. An excellent dish.
Grilled Salmon and Octopus with Greek Salad (2009)
Stuffed Peppers with Potatoes (2009). I could just about finish one of the peppers for lunch, they are huge.
Kataifi, a popular Greek dessert made from shredded phyllo.
Cracking open the Kataifi.
I finished off the meal with Greek Coffee, a la Splenda. Now you know why all those Greek men have so much hair on their chest.