Super gyro

Brenna Bynum (Brad’s sister) says Opa’s Greek salad is primo.

Brenna Bynum (Brad’s sister) says Opa’s Greek salad is primo.

Photo By David Robert

Opa Deli Subs Expresso

1290 E Plumb Ln.
Reno, NV 89502

(775) 825-5551

Before visiting, I wasn’t even sure what kind of place Opa was. I had heard it mentioned as a pizzeria, a submarine sandwich shop, and a gourmet Italian and Greek restaurant. In truth, it wears all those hats and more (for example, Opa serves a wide variety of espresso drinks).

One might expect the quality to suffer because of the diverse quantity, but, based on my sole visit (where I was only able to sample a fraction of the many tantalizing delights on the menu), quality seems to be maintained at quite a high level.

It’s a cozy place—a little too cozy, actually, to the point of being cramped. Ordering can be difficult because you order at a counter that isn’t visible from the front door. Occasionally someone will step out to direct confused patrons around the corner to the counter. There’s no room between the counter and the seating area, making it impossible to form any sort of reasonable queue. This difficult navigation is increased by the fact that (at least during lunchtime on warm-weather weekends) the restaurant can be very busy.

Thank God there’s outdoor seating, which is quite nice despite a very lackluster location. The fantastic views are of the fabulous Costco parking lot. Enjoy watching soccer moms try to fit huge bulk boxes of cereal into the backseats of their cars. Priceless.

The service is pleasant, though hands-off. When the food is ready, servers bring it out to the table with a smile, but they don’t bring you water or check back up on you. Which is fine. Because the emphasis at Opa isn’t on location or service, but food.

I couldn’t decide between Greek or Italian, so I tried a bit of both, which left me with plenty of food to take home. I went with classic staples: Italian spaghetti with meatballs ($7.95) and a Greek gyro (with lamb, beef, and chicken $5.95).

The server warned me that my spaghetti plate would be hot—a warning I should have heeded. I immediately burned my fingers.

The spaghetti was quite good, an unusual variation of a common dish. Something about the spaghetti reminded me that the restaurant was also a pizzeria. I think it might have been the huge amount of mozzarella cheese. The sauce was rich, heavy with oregano and other spices. I exclaimed “That’s a spicy meatball!” with delight after eating one, much to the embarrassment of my sister, Brenna, my luncheon partner.

I was less impressed with the gyro but still enjoyed it. My sister was deeply enamored with her Greek salad (large $7.25), which she ordered with extra feta cheese. She had nothing but high praise for the salad, which had the nice contrast of fresh, crisp vegetables and the salty hunk of good feta.

The apt motto at Opa is “Food for gods,” both an association of ancient Roman and Greek pantheistic mythology and an indication of the divine quality of the fare. Opa manages to overcome service and location shortcomings because of unusual and tasty food and an extensive menu that includes traditional Greek and Italian dishes, panini sandwiches, salads, soups, subs, espresso and an unusual selection of pizzas. The quality of the food and the varied and intriguing menu encourage repeat visiting. I’ll certainly be going back.