Cheap Eats 2011: Yamas Mediterranean Grill

This convivial Greek cafe ingratiates itself the moment you open the door and are hit with smells of roasting meats, garlic, and herbs.

Yamas combines the speed of fast food with the pampering–table service, plates, cutlery–associated with sit-down establishments. Portions are hefty, and nearly every dish harks back to the trick-free cooking of yesterday. Look for a plate of lemon-kissed grilled lamb chops, a marvelous grilled whole black sea bass dressed with lemon and olive oil, and a gyro with made-from-scratch slices of pressed lamb and beef. Even a side salad shows care–most of the produce is from local markets.

Also good: Marinated octopus; fries with feta and sea salt; stuffed vegetables; baklava; galaktoboureko, a phyllo-and-custard tart.

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 Logan Circle.