The Greek Kafé

Jamie Gajewski

After my first dining experience at the Greek Kafé, I returned to the restaurant just two days later. While some may argue that such a speedy return could only be caused by an addictive substance hidden in the food, I went back for two reasons: the food and some strikingly non-Greek artifacts.
After driving past the small cafe located at 2920 Ballard Rd. twice a week for the past four frozen months on my way to and from heroic battles on the ice at the hockey rink across the street, I finally entered the Grecian realm last Thursday, accompanied by Francesca Romero-Siekman, her sister and her adorable 20-month-old niece.
The Greek Kafé offers affordable, tasty and freshly prepared Grecian fare that makes those dreary Appleton spring days dissolve with each bite. While you will still hear the majority of the customers pronouncing the word “gyro” incorrectly, it will not matter after you have touched the warm pita bread or stabbed a fork into a richly dressed salad.
During my first experience, I ordered the falafel plate off the vegetarian menu, while my Spanish-speaking companions enjoyed dishes with marinated chicken. Two days later, I ordered the hummus, which was slightly too zesty, and nibbled off the falafel plate I had recommended to my mother.
While one might expect photos of the Parthenon to be plastered on the walls and Bouzouki music to filter through the restaurant, the Greek Kafé seems to be in a transitional state from its previous life.
During my initial visit to the Greek Kafé, I was greeted by muzak versions of every song I had tried so hard to forget. All the work I had put in to replacing Bee Gees songs lyrics with Arabic verb conjugations was erased in mere seconds.
I’ll admit that the second time I hoped that I had simply hallucinated the non-Conservatory-approved music, or perhaps Todd, who mixes his own muzak when not ringing up customers, had been working. However, the same chilling sounds haunted me.
My mother, being the detective of the family, noticed a mural above the seating area in which several people were harvesting coffee.
As I looked to my right, I tried to decipher a map painted on the wall in which countries such as Costa Rica, Jamaica, India and the Philippines where highlighted among other coffee-producing countries. Greece was ironically cut from the map, which depicted about 80 percent of the entire world.
While the Greek Kafé seems to be having issues transitioning from cafe to Kafé, the dining experience is a delectable one, as long as the diner can transcend the muzak. The Greek Kafé is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.