By Lori Bosworth
After a day spent swimming at a local pool, my friend and I had worked up an appetite and developed a craving for chicken souvlaki. Having recently moved to Leslieville, I was eager to try one of the souvlaki restaurants located a five minute drive north on the Danforth. We did a quick Google search and found a souvlaki restaurant close by at Danforth and Pape Avenues.
Asteria Souvlaki Place is about six stores east of Pape Avenue on the south side of Danforth Avenue. We approached the informal restaurant, looked at their menu posted out front and peered inside. While the reasonable prices intrigued us, the dark interior was a bit of a turn-off. Nevertheless, we were starving and Asteria Souvlaki Place had received several good reviews so we decided to try it. We entered the restaurant and to our surprise, discovered a cute little patio at the back of the restaurant, not at all visible from the front. And better yet, no one was there. Perfect.
Chicken souvlaki was what we came for so there was no sense perusing the menu. My friend ordered the large size Chicken Souvlaki dinner ($11.99) and, due to some dietary restrictions, requested several modifications. I ordered the small size Chicken Souvlaki dinner ($8.99). As the dinners came with pita or garlic bread, we decided to order both.
The garlic bread was nothing exceptional. As you can see, the bread is made from toasted sesame seed buns; however, the fresh garlic spread across the inside of the bun made these ordinary morsels pretty addictive. The pita is the real star. It is served hot and is light and crispy. Don’t eat it all when it arrives; save some for your chicken souvlaki.
My friend requested plain cucumbers instead of the Greek salad that it usually served with the Chicken Souvlaki dinner. She also requested to have an olive oil dressing served on the side. As you can see, this regular size dinner is a huge portion and she ended up taking half of it home for leftovers.
My “small” Chicken Souvlaki dinner was ample. The lettuce and tomatoes in the Greek salad were fresh and were accompanied by a pleasant feta cheese. I’ve definitely had better, more creative Greek salads, but this salad sufficed. I opted for French fries instead of boiled potatoes. They tasted okay although I suspect they were frozen. I did, however, love the chicken souvlaki. It is mildly spiced and the chicken is cooked fresh, not spiraling on a skewer for hours. The chicken was succulent and tasted great with the fresh, homemade Tzatziki sauce.
If you’re looking for a perfect Chicken Souvlaki in Greektown, definitely stop by Asteria Souvlaki Place at 679 Danforth Avenue. The restaurant is humbler than some of the fancier restaurants a few blocks west, but the food and value is bang on.