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Copper Kettle Restaurant Review

Category : Greek

Copper Kettle Restaurant - view from outsideCopper Kettle Restaurant is located about a mile due south of downtown Fort Lauderdale, off of South Andrews Ave.

There are a handful of metered parking spots located right in front for easy access, however there is a large free parking lot located directly behind the building, so parking is never an issue.

The restaurant itself is located in an older building directly across from Broward General Medical Center.  When inside, you won’t exactly be wowed by high end Florida trendy decoration, in fact, it’s very much a throwback to the old diners that exist in nearly every state.  Old chandeliers and booth seating are about the only things to look at.

The service staff, clerks and cooks are familiar faces every time you visit and are friendly and courteous.

They do have a full bar and a tremendous amount of seating.  I have a feeling this is used more on evenings and weekends.  Usually when I visit around lunch time, getting a seat is quick and easy.  The restaurant is quite literally a stealth Greek diner.  I say stealth because you would have no idea they have a large Mediterranean menu unless you came in and looked at the menu.  Additionally, they also have a nice variety of American cuisines.

Todd reviews the Gyro Platter special:

Copper Kettle Restaurant - Gyro Platter with Greek SaladNormally I order a Gyro sandwich when I go out to a Greek restaurant.  I was in the mood to try their Greek salad though, so I inquired how to get both.  The waitress kindly explained to me that the Gyro Platter is essentially a Greek salad with gyro meat and a pita on the side (as well as tzatziki sauce).  Normally this dish is $9.99, but most days of the week they make this a special for $7.99.  Today was one of those days.

Service was very fast and I had my meal in under 5 minutes.  Everything was made fresh to order and was piping hot.  There are three things that make a gyro successful in my opinion.  First and foremost is the gyro meat.  I am happy to say that the meat is the preferred version where it is broiled on a vertical skewer.  This is what makes a gyro great.  Secondly you need a good tzatziki sauce… they have a good greek yogurt that is fresh and zingy that compliments the gyro meat.  Lastly is the pita.  The pita unfortunetly is a little dry and it takes away to some degree the overall experience.  They do warm it prior to delivering it to your table which is great, but its just a little stiff and seems a little stale which I hate to say, because otherwise it would be quite a perfect gyro.

The greek salad was good with no real weakness.  Onions, feta cheese, tomato, peperoncini peppers (a little on the hot side) and cucumbers make this little salad shine.  The dressing is light and tasty and works very well.  I used some of the onions, lettuce and feta cheese to make my gyro platter into a gyro sandwich, and in the end it was more food than I could eat.

Gracious portions and fresh food made for a very good meal.  Combine that with catching this special for $7.99 and you have some good value too.  If the pita bread was moist and fresh, this review would likely be just a point or so higher than the other gyro I’ve reviewed so far, but for now, it will remain with a good score as follows…

Todd’s score: 84/100
Pros: portions are very good, good value, great gyro meat and Greek salad
Cons: pita bread is a little dry, ambiance of restaurant is lacking.

Victoria Park Greek Diner Review

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Category : Diner, Greek

Victoria Park Greek Diner - restaurant viewVictoria Park Greek Diner is located on Sunrise Blvd, about 5 minutes from downtown Ft. Lauderdale.  This is a prior location for a Miami Subs, for which the old drive through signs are still visible.

This restaurant has all the typical diner food including breakfast, lunch (hot and cold sandwiches) and dinner.  Their menu is actually quite massive.  What makes this place special is they offer practically every known Greek dish every made.  I was in awe looking through the menu to be honest.  There is a youtube video online that showcases their restaurant if you’d like to check it out.

Parking is an issue as every spot was literally taken up in the lot, so we parked at the overly large Arby’s lot right next door.  Waiting for a table was non existent as we sat down immediately.

Pricing is decent with lunch and dinner options coming in well below $10.

Todd’s Review of the Gyro Opa

Victoria Park Greek Diner - traditional gyro with lettuce, onion and feta cheeseLooking at their menu can actually take some time to sift through.  They have huge sections of entrees to peruse.  My all time favorite Greek dish though is a traditional Gyro (pronounced year-row for all your circus fans).  The Gyro Opa is available as a lunch special for $7.49 and comes with fries, cola and your choice of soup.

I can honestly say its just about too much food.  Having enjoyed a cup of their Avgolemeno Chicken Lemon Greek soup I couldn’t quite finish the entire plate of fries.

The Gyro Opa is served in a warmed pita bread with lamb meat that is cut from a wheel (the real deal!) and comes with tomato and onion with tzatziki sauce (greek yogurt).  I removed the tomato and added lettuce and feta cheese, just how I enjoyed gyro’s when I grew up in Michigan.

The pita was fresh and moist which is key for a successful gyro.  The meat comes from a large skewer was loaded with spiced flavor.  It is key that I mention they use my preferred source of gyro meat… the kind that is carved off a large vertical skewer that is rotating slowly around a broiler.  Many places that offer gyros use the pre-fabricated frozen slices which I am not a fan of at all.

While the soup was decent, the gyro really shined as a winner.  All fresh ingredients made for a delicious lunch and one that provides value and choice.   I’m always on the look out for a good Greek restaurant and am glad to have finally found one close to downtown.

Todd’s Score: 87/100
Pros: Good pricing, Superb Greek menu, great gyro that uses traditional meat, good portions, fast seating
Cons: Parking is an issue

Victoria Park Greek Diner - dining area Victoria Park Greek Diner - a cup of soup comes with the lunch special Victoria Park Greek Diner - chicken gyro with fries Victoria Park Greek Diner - traditional gyro with lettuce, onion and feta cheese