Updated: Mar 14, 2019
"You don't eat meat? Is ok, I make lamb."
If you are anywhere near me and mention lamb, I will recite this line from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", an iconic yet under-appreciated piece of cinema. While this line implies that Greeks neither accept nor understand vegetarianism, I am here to tell you that is not the case! And I've got a restaurant to prove it!
Saloniki Greek has three locations in Boston; Fenway, Central and as of 2 months ago, Harvard. My office is close to the one in Central I but rarely go because there is always a line out the door and I don't care how creamy your yogurt is, I'm not waiting 45 minutes in line for it!
So when I found out they were opening a 3rd location in Harvard, 5 minutes from my house, I was delighted. I hate lines and waiting in them, but goddamn it do I love Greek food!
This new Saloniki's is bigger than the Fenway and Central locations. I asked the person behind the counter if their menu was different, she smirked at me and said, "A little. It's bigger." Oh, okay. I see you, Harvard-Saloniki.
Pretty decor, cloth napkins, real silverware. Even though you order at the counter and are given a number, this place has enough of a "restaurant vibe" that you could get away with bringing a date here.
If you do pick this place for your next OkCupid date, you're in luck because they have a full bar! Nothing dulls the pain of looking nothing like the pics in your profile quite like a good cocktail.
Big points for pouring Retsina, a weird bitter, pine-y Greek wine I have only seen at one other restaurant. Order this so your date will either think you're a suave connoisseur, or a salty Greek fisherman. Either way, it'll give you something to talk about.
We got a glass of it, even though I never need help finding things to talk about. We also ordered their "Santorini Spritz" because I am a 30 year old white lady so I have a cultural obligation to order anything called a "spritz" that also contains sparkling rose.
There she is, my Santorini Spritz. Let me gaze into your bubbly pinkness and imagine I'm on a yacht in the Mediterranean and not in rainy, gloomy, Cambridge. I loved this and drank it far too quickly.
Speaking of things happening quickly, our food arrived at our table maybe 5 minutes after we sat down. I may have gotten carried away with ordering. I mean, look at this glorious spread!
I am happy to report Salonkiki turns out for vegetarians. Out of the 46 items on their menu, I counted 29 vegetarian or vegan options!! Better yet, they're not all salads! In fact, check out this tasty little Eggplant Stack we started off with!
Bask in it's glory. That's grilled eggplant, feta cheese, tomatoes and olive oil all topped with fresh mint and oregano. Please and thank you!
This was creamy and decadent and oh-so-fresh. And they used the good olive oil! Like, the kind that actually tastes like olives. This plate is now included in my Santorini-Spritz-Mediterranean-yacht fantasy.
Next up, the Despena Plate.
We've got French fries, we've got pita, we've got garlic-yogurt dipping sauce, and we've got zucchini fritters! Oh, and a salad. That was there too.
These kinds of fries are the best kinds of fries. Thick, yet oh-so-crunchy, they are my drug of choice. The zucchini fritters had feta and mint and my only complaint is that there wasn't an endless supply of them.
Let's take a moment and talk about these pitas.
No one told Saloniki that pitas are supposed to be dusty, flavorless bread-pockets, and for the good of humanity, I hope no one ever does. These are some sexy pitas. They are chewy, soft and full of flavor with some naughty little crispy bits from being toasted in a pan.
The only downside to this plate was the rice. If you're going to take up valuable plate space, you need to contribute to the meal and I'm sorry, but the rice was not doing it's part. Give me more fries! Give me more fritters! Or more salad, whatever.
Oh wait what's this?! A waiter popped up and said they were doing "A little customer appreciation" and hit us with these Shishito peppers! Is this entire restaurant hitting on me? Because it's working. These were fucking delicious and need to be added to their menu asap.
Last but not least, the Katarina wrap.
One of Saloniki's vegan offerings! Pomegranate-glazed eggplant, red pepper-sesame sauce, crushed olive tapenade and fries all wrapped up in one of those fine-ass pitas we were talking about earlier.
While I want to support our vegan brethren, I have to say this was the weakest of the offerings. The red pepper sauce made everything a little soggy, and if there was a pomegranate glaze on that eggplant, I couldn't taste it.
- The selection! I ordered an obscene amount of food, and there were still dishes I didn't try!
- This is truly good quality food. I was full to the point of death after this meal, but I didn't feel gross or greasy. No regrets.
- For a place without table service, they charge table service prices. Our bill came to roughly $60 before tip. While that's not like, terrible, that's definitely not a meal you can eat daily.