It’s Greek to me
My friend Brett’s parents, Judy and Steve, were in town from Oklahoma and asked me for a recommendation on places to eat, so I suggested Opa Cafe. Then I invited myself. When we got there I fessed up that I had never actually been there before. I assured them it would be fine by sharing that 15 years ago, I visited another Greek place, Pirate’s Pizza, then run by the current owner of Opa Café.
When our tattooed server came over, I thought they might leave. Clearly, everything I know about Oklahoma, I learned from a Merle Haggard song. Instead, Steve pulled out his glasses and set to work looking over the menu which offers Greek and Italian choices ranging from mousaka to pizza. Opa Cafe is fairly small and off the beaten path, hiding in a newer complex behind Renown hospital. Inside is casual and comfortable, filled with plants hanging from the ceilings.
We started with some Greek beers called Mythos ($4). I’m not familiar with Greek beers but found Mythos to be light, sweet and refreshing. They had a variety of other beers to chose from as well wine. Due to food allergies, Judy requested to know what was in the Greek dressing. Our server had listed a few ingredients when we heard a female yell from the back. He went to speak to her, returned, and told us the rest was secret. I loved it. Judy confirmed an offensive ingredient wasn’t in the dressing, and we were on our way.
I went with the spanakopita with a Greek salad ($12.95), which arrived on a plate piled high with tzatziki sauce, pita bread, a large salad and a huge square of Spanakopita. The salad was loaded with onions, feta, olives and tomatoes and was perfectly dressed with a tangy dressing. I see why they keep this one a secret. The tzatziki was fresh and creamy and they didn’t skimp on the pita bread. I ate so much of the sides that I barely got into the spanakopita. That’s a shame because the amount I did have was layered with feta cheese and tons of spinach with flaky layers throughout.
Brett had the gyro platter ($12.95), which came with piles of pita bread, tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions along with a huge serving of sliced lamb. I grabbed a bite of meat and found it different than typical gyro meat I’m used to. It was sliced differently, far more tender, and had a strong peppery taste. At some point the owner came out to check on us and told us that he uses a really high grade meat. I hope he keeps it up, because the meat is delicious.
Judy had the muffuletta ($8.95), and I scored a slice of this sandwich, which I was supposed to share with Brett. I “forgot” and ate the entire slice. Hey, a friend is great, but this sandwich is better. Besides, Judy gave birth to him, so I was sure she would give him another slice (she did). Steve went with a Greek salad ($3.95 for the small) and a bowl of minestrone ($4.95) and said he liked both dishes.
Everyone enjoyed the meal. We especially liked speaking to the owner, who shared that he’s of Greek and Italian lineage, so cooking both types of food feels natural. I read somewhere that the real meaning of the phrase “opa!” is more of an “oops!” Well if Opa Cafe means “oops,” then it’s, “Oops! Sorry this combination of food is so amazing.”