I was looking for somewhere to eat last night and used to Urbanspoon to find a Greek restaurant. I decided we should try Passero's on Yates as neither Sheila or I had been there before. The reports on Urbanspoon sounded good.
I had always passed it by because the exterior decor looked tired, this does not mean the food would be bad but I find it is an indication of the relative effort put into the restaurant by the owners. I have been surprised in the past by some places, but in Victoria I have found it is generally a good indication of the quality of the food.
We decided to go because of the good reviews on Urbanspoon, normally the site has been a good guide but this time it let us down.
The inside of the restaurant made the outside look new and spiffy. The large unwieldy and dusty plants made it all look cramped and tired. Sheila noticed a car pine freshener hanging on one of the plants.
The service was very good from the start and led us to have good hopes for the food. What did concern me a bit was that the diners in the restaurant were almost all seniors, this is often the signs of a restaurant that is tired but works for a faithful crowd.
The presentation was heavy handed. It was as if someone coarsely chopped an onion and just dumped it on top. There was way too much of the onion. The whole plate looked like a heap dumped on it.
This is some of the worst kalamari I have ever had. I really have to assume it is because of a mistake with the coating but the onion heap is just wrong
Sheila had the souvlaki wrap. She found it to be just acceptable. The Greek salad was bland as the ingredients were not freshly picked local seasonal tomatoes and cucumbers.
They redemed themselves with the desert. I aksed first what they made on site and what they brought in. They make it all expect for the cheesecake - frankly they should drop the cheesecake because there is no way it can be as good as what they make fresh in the kitchen. Restaurants do themselves a huge disfavour bringing in deserts as this is the last food a diner will have in the restaurant and will strongly colour their experience.
They gave Max his ice cream on the house because he was a good boy. Sheila enjoyed her baklava. I had a bougatsa for the first time and it came to me straight from the oven piping hot. I had never had bougatsa before and I was impressed with what I got.
Overall it was pricey for what we got especially considering the quality of the food. I highly doubt that we will be going back even though the service was some of the best I have seen in this city.
Could I have done better at home? Yes, but the reason I go to Greek restaurants is because many of the things they offer are things that are a pain in the ass for me to prepare at home. I do not have the deep fryer for kalamari and rarely can afford to buy a large piece of lamb to roast.