By Tana Kosiyabong
I have been to Opa! Souvlaki in Yaletown two Tuesdays in a row to take advantage of their Calamari Tuesday’s special. The first time was because I couldn’t resist the promotion. A week later, I found myself back at Opa! again for the second dose of the deep-fried calamari, and of course, to watch a World Cup Soccer match between Brazil and North Korea on their TV.
Opa! Souvlaki is a Greek/Mediterranean fast food franchise originally from Calgary, Alberta. Now the chain has expanded across Canada and the US. According to their website, the word “OPA!” is used in Greek culture to express a feeling of joy, high spirits and happiness. It captures a time of peace with the issues of the day, and a celebration of the warmth of food, drink, family and being with one’s closest companions.
Opa! Souvlaki Yaletown is modernly decorated similar to most fast food franchises. Most seats are at high bars facing either windows or a wall. It’s not the typical greek restaurant as you may see in the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
On both occasions, I chose to order the Calamari with Caesar Salad ($6.49 on Tuesday or $7.99 for the rest of the week). As far as I know, also confirmed by Wikipedia, Caesar salad is not Greek food. It was invented by an Italian-born Mexican chef, Caesar Cardini, for his restaurant in California. However, Opa! Souvlaki also offers Calamari with Greek Salad at the same price. You can also get a side order of deep-fried calamari for $4.49 on Tuesday. Opa! Souvlaki also serves six kinds of souvlaki: salmon, chicken, lamb, pork, gyros, and fava (similar to falafel). They can be served as platters, wraps or salad.
Shortly after, the dish was served with a large pile of deep-fried calamari on one side and caesar salad on the other. The squid were then sprinkled with, perhaps, dry oregano. The fried batter was soft-yet-crispy, but a bit bland. The calamari were tender on the inside. Once I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, they became quite tasty. The chopped red onions complemented the squid flavour really well. I’m glad I chose to add them when the staff asked. The caesar salad was fresh with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. The caesar dressing was creamy but neither garlicky nor anchovy/fishy. Even then I still like to dip those calamari in it.
The most impressive thing about the dish is the big portion of the deep-fried calamari. I finished my salad long before I could finish those squids. For $6.49, it is a good buy. Not so much at $7.99 though.
As you’d know by now, Brazil won the match 2-1. North Korean, however, shouldn’t feel upset with the result. They did a good job playing against a powerhouse, Brazil. Watching a good game while eating good food, it’s definitely time to say “Opa!”
Remaining Budget: $195.71
Budget Spent: -$6.49
Budget Available: $189.22
Opa! Souvlaki Yaletown is located at 412 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC V6B2G3 (T) 604.696.6222
For more information on Opa! Souvlaki, click here
©2010 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.