Join me and my fellow Taste Ambassador from Tampa Bay Food Tours as we sample and recap our way through some of the newest and most delicious local restaurants.
Acropolis Greek Taverna has been a Tampa institution for about 20 years so it was quite the thrill to be joined by founder Sam Waez to sample some of his favorite dishes. Tampa Bay Food Tours has introduced a new Downtown St. Pete Food Tour with a stop at one of the six bay area Acropolis locations. The concept has made quite an impression – the festive evenings filled with belly dancing, plate breaking, and napkin throwing may have something to do with it especially when coupled with the tasty and authentic food inspired by Sam’s upbringing in Athens, Greece.
The original Ybor location was a staple for me in my corporate days of yesteryear as it made for a good meeting spot outside of downtown. Spanakopita and corfu chicken were consumed time and time again and the food was always consistent and fresh. I was reminded of how delicious the bread was: warm focaccia paired with herbal feta-infused butter. Things were off to a good start this time around.
The menu is bedecked with all of the Greek staples from dolmades, saganaki, hummus, and tzatziki to gyro, and charbroiled eggplant. Several new items were flagged on the menu including an assortment of seafood sliders and a quinoa power bowl; Sam expressed that he takes great pride in continual innovation with the menu and its delivery. We opted for one of the new items for our first course: loaded gyro fries topped with lean meat, tzatziki, feta, and melted mozzarella. Imagine if fries and a nacho platter married all of the perfect fillings of a gyro wrap and you’d end up with this match made in heaven.
On the Downtown St. Pete Food Tour the guests can choose any appetizer and there are many stellar choices.
Homemade light and flaky phyllo pastry dough stuffed with spinach and cheese. Served with tzatziki
Grapevine leaves stuffed with rice and Greek herbs, topped with crumbled feta cheese and lemon wine sauce. Served with pita
Sautéed mussels with garlic, onions, basil, fresh tomato, Ouzo and Santorini wine. Served with garlic bread
Hand breaded squid and tentacles, with pepperoncini, lightly fried. Served with tomato sauce
We continued with another new item: the gyro trio complete with pork, chicken, and beef wrapped in soft pitas and served aside crispy greens and a wedge of feta. The variety made for quite a treat and the ample portion was great for sharing. The chicken was particularly tender and the lettuce was still crunchy when I dug into the leftovers for dinner.
Next up were the Greek meatballs: seasoned and grilled pork and beef topped with plaki sauce and crumbled feta over piping hot spinach orzo. The meatballs were large and flavorful and the sauce was robust. I found myself picking out the bits of sundried tomato in order to scoop up any remaining concentrations of stew-y accompaniment.
Sam boasted that his favorites were the moussaka and the Athenian fish. The moussaka is based on a family recipe of eggplant, ground beef, and potatoes infused with zucchini, onions, and savory tomato sauce topped with feta. I will surely be visiting again for more of this dish. The lightly breaded Athenian came served atop a bed of pesto-flavored Greek rice.
Our meal concluded with an assortment of the baklava, baklava cheesecake, and cinnamon ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce. If you think you don’t like cheesecake, I am confident that the Acropolis version might convert you; the soft lemon cake crust supported the fluffy cheese filling and was topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a Hershey kiss drizzled in sweet sauce. The baklava was complete with a broad spectrum of spices wrapped within with phyllo pastry, nuts, honey, and a side of ice cream. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than runny baklava so I’m happy to report that was not the case here. OPA!
Acropolis operates in many locations throughout the Bay area and is always a crowd pleaser; brunch is offered at select locations – check online as hours may vary. Catering is also available as well as 2-for-1 happy hour, private parties, and late night menus. We hope to see you on the St. Pete Downtown Food Tour as we partake in a variety of offerings from nearby restaurants including Acropolis; stuffed mushrooms may just make an appearance!
You can read the original article here from Kimberly McAvoy, Community Contributor at Patch.com
We are a Greek restaurant focused on delivering high quality authentic Greek dishes. We offer more than just fantastic Greek food though! We have daily drink specials, personal and corporate catering services, as well as Greek entertainment and hookah at select locations. Find the location most convenient for you and find out why we were ranked #1 for Greek food in Tampa Bay Florida!