Cheap Eats 2011: Plaka Grill

Hankering for a gyro? Head for this order-at-the-counter Greek spot. Its handful of a sandwich sets itself apart in two ways: The warm pita holds spit-grilled pork–not shavings of gyro meat–and is finished with a handful of crispy French fries. But that’s not the only reason to visit the snug dining room, done up with a village mural and lined with bottles of Greek wine. Dips such as kalamata-olive tapenade, cloud-like taramasalata, and tyrokafteri, which tastes like a Mediterranean version of pimiento cheese, make nice shares with warm triangles of lightly griddled pita. If you like lots of lemon, look to the avgolemono soup or the rotisserie chicken–both bright with citrusy tang. Many get their food to go, but service is warm and familial, with a sense of humor. One sign reads: unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy. Just as long as they don’t touch our gyro.

Also good: Feta-and-olive dip; chicken souvlaki; stuffed grape leaves.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.