2001. Liverpool in the days before the Capital of Culture, before all the budget airlines put us on the map as a tourist destination. The days before Liverpool One and pricey restaurants. Bargain eateries were in abundance, some of them were hidden gems. Back then, I stumbled upon a small, unassuming taverna called Eureka, hidden away at the back of the now defunct Mythos Village. Prices were cheap, coffee was potent and the atmosphere was a little bit of Greece in the rough of Toxteth. Fast forward to 2014 and after too many disappointing Christakis meals and rude staff in Zorbas, it was time to revisit my old haunt from my uni days. It had doubled in size since my last visit over 10 years ago, as had the prices- ouch. However, it still had the ambience and a fabulous menu; I was so happy to see Melitzanosalata! I shared this with some tahini- plus points for dip portion and quality, minus points for charging for bread. Poor service when a restaurant sells dips which obviously require something to dip in and don't include bread with the dip. The dips were rather on the pricy side, especially considering the location of the restaurant, an area that became synonymous with riots in the 1980s so obviously their overheads aren't high. £4.50 for tztaziki, the cheapest, easiest dip to make seemed rather cheeky. The Other Carnivore ordered calamari which were delicious, fresh and good quality but the price was a bit painful. At almost £7 for a starter, I was rapidly budgeting in my head worrying how I'd pay for a taxi home!
Time for the main event- I had dolmades, the carnivores Kleftiko and lamb kebab. All main courses were excellent quality, portions huge and not too expensive- £9 for the veggie meal, between £10 and £14 for the meat. The meat I was told was 'better quality than that processed rubbish in Christakis and was like being in a Greek taverna'- thanks for the input Carnivores! My dolmades were plump, filling and with the right amount of marinated tomato flavour. All mains were served with tomato rice, chunky rough cut potato wedges seasoned with basil and rosemary and a crispy, fresh horiatiki. Best Greek meal I have had outside of Greece in years.
A sneaky shot of the camera-shy Carnivores and their dishes! Wish I would have took a doggy bag for work the next day.
Needless to say, I was too stuffed for dessert so I had a potent REAL coffee at a reasonable £1.50. Although the starters were pricey and the location dire, I wouldn't let this deter me from making Eureka a payday regular. Food was top notch, the staff couldn't have been more helpful and the grittiness of Toxteth is soon forgotten when you enter this little piece of Greek island bliss.
The good: Quality Greek food and massive portions
The bad: Paying for bread with already expensive starters