A new Mediterranean joint on the Avenue


1103 W. 36th St., (410) 812-1519, yoursouvlaki.com

On a recent stroll down the Avenue, we were drawn into the freshly renovated space next to Philly's Best-the tiny storefront that for years was a dingy Chinese takeout restaurant with one or two Formica tables had been overhauled, so brightly lit that it practically glows. IKEA's thumbprints are all over the new Mediterranean joint, which has a handful of small tables to dine at, but which is counter-service only. We got a bifteki pita ($6.75), a salty, oregano-heavy ground beef patty with tzatziki and fries stuffed into the pita. (The places we've seen fries in sandwiches have always been in close proximity to mammoth party schools, and we suspect that accounts somewhat for the high ratio of young people in Souvlaki on our visit.) Though the menu is small here, we were especially tempted by the not-so-cheap sampler of spreads ($14), which included: tirokafteri, a creamy feta cheese concoction; a citrusy but otherwise humdrum hummus; and more of the herbal tzatziki, served with slices of warm, seasoned pita. We didn't eat anything that was addicting here, but looking forward, the Greek fries ($4.50, served with crumbled feta and oregano) would be an ideal drunk snack.

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