Arkadia House

 

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The picture actually makes the place look a lot nicer.

I’m a huge fan of Greek food. The souvlaki, the gyro, which is really the best case of “I have no idea what’s in there, but I don’t care because it’s so delicious”. And the potatoes, the potatoes alone would have won you over. Few nights ago I was craving for some Greek food and this one place I remembered enjoying some great Greek food a few years back with my parents: Arkadia house.

That is why it saddens me so much after my meal, with the new owners at the helm this place became a mere shadow of what it once was. The decor is still just as out of date but it’s shrouded in a haze of dreary and somber over it instead of joy and warmth. The place was fairly empty because it was late but it felt like a business on it’s last legs and barely clinging to life. You can almost hear the echoing of what probably once was laughter, music and tears now reduced to just tears.

It’s true bad reviews are both fun to read and to write but it really brings me no pleasure to have an experience so bad warning people was the first thing I can think of after the meal. The food was rude, disrespectful. It wasn’t a case of someone who didn’t know what they were doing but felt like someone who knew exactly what they were doing is wrong but just couldn’t find a shred of care. I didn’t feel welcome there. The waiters look like they had their souls sucked out of them, reduced merely to food serving zombies, a sight too often at restaurants that has lost it’s way. The well set tables seemed like the last bastion of any shred of dignity and self-respect that is still left.

Fried calamari has to be on of my favorite dishes. It’s the perfect balance of different textures and in a fun size and shape. However what I was served was far from the perfect balance. The batter was soaked in oil, dripping with fat, greasy and tasted like it’s been fried a second time, and it was bland. Tzatziki was cream cheese, tasted like something out of jar, dense, cakes your mouth, and none of the freshness you expect. It should be returned promptly to whichever aisle it came.

Coming in at 25 dollars for the souvlaki combo with lamb, chicken and beef I expect nothing less than what was described on the menu, “Choice cuts of meat marinated in our specially created blend of natures herbs and spices and grilled to perfection.”

Only one out of my six pieces of meat was edible. I think it was a piece of beef, it’s hard to taste what it was supposed to be as it seem to me they must have cooked all the meat beforehand and then haphazardly tossed into a bin together with little or no regards to flavour contamination. One piece of lamb smelled and tasted like it had been cooked at least 3 or 4 days ago, it stank. The “specially created blend of natures herbs and spices” seem to be conspicuously missing. I mean they can been seen, dotted on the meat like black ants, but somehow fail to contribute to any flavor..

The fresh vegetables was a joke. However I believe these bits of undercooked and underseasoned pieces of plant matter is the key to punishing kids and vegetarians. I’m sure after eating these for a week straight even the staunchest of vegetarians would repent.

Oh the rice, I should tell them when heating up rice in the microwave at least put some water in there so it doesn’t dry out. What I was served was full of grains of rice that are rock hard, over-heated, microwave blasted to oblivion and back. They stuck on my teeth like the bad taste from that lamb. It’s really like going to grandma’s for dinner, except she really hates you and wants you to die.

Just above the entrance to the place it says “Arkadia House, Authentic Greek Cuisine”. I may not be Greek but I don’t have to be to know this is not authentic. Authenticity is not the only ingredient missing in this place. Passion, drive, basic respect for the food, and just any sort of life is all missing. The chef has given up, the place is on life support, but with souvlaki like that I can’t say I’m surprised.