Monday, October 13, 2014

Myth Kafe - UPDATED

1730 Jefferson

New owners took over the Greek Myth Cafe at this location at the end of August and changed the name, hours of operation and maybe some of the menu.  It was all news to me, literally, as I had never even heard of the previous restaurant.

Greek salad was first up for me, with bell peppers instead of pepperoncini (I missed them); the tomatoes, despite their color, were tasteless but the almost cream cheese-like feta and generous complement of kalamata olives made this a treat.   This was the small size but it was enough for me; I hadn't had much of a appetite and I proceeded straight to dessert. 

Actually, it was the picture online of home-made Greek yogurt with walnuts and honey that had drawn me here more than anything but the yogurt and honey wasn't available so I 'settled' for Ekmek or Ekmek Kantaife.  Similar to kunaife, this is vermicelli (shredded wheat) drenched with syrup, topped with a custard and crushed pistachios.  The unique flavoring comes from the resin of the mastic tree which grows only on the Greek island of Chios.

Gyros here are made with beef.  When they put lamb in a pita, as in this sandwich, they call it - ta-da - Lamb in a Pita.  Lamb is a specialty and it will be difficult to pass this up and try the gyro sometime.  There was a generous amount of juicy, oven roasted lamb and I had every intention of pausing to take a picture which would demonstrate how meaty the sandwich was but I plowed right through.  It's seems to be on the daily specials menu pretty often, along with 'Lamb in the Oven,' a plate of roast lamb with rice.

There seems to regularly be a cod dish on the daily menu, baked or fried, and I really wanted to try one but succumbed to the tempting description of Chicken Astragon on another visit - chunks of chicken in a wine sauce with mushrooms and penne.  This was second only by a little bit to the Lamb in a Pita as the best thing  I've had here.

I still haven't gotten to try the yogurt, honey and walnuts but I think the tzatzaki is made with the house-made Greek yogurt.  This is often served as a complementary starter with bread.

The menu is small and the hours short.  Although they don't have regular evening hours, I was told they will stay open with advance notice and a minimum party of six, plus they'll take walk-ins if they're open.  ETA: EVENING HOURS 5 DAYS A WEEK NOW BUT NOT OPEN STRAIGHT THROUGH FROM LUNCH TIME EXCEPT ON SATURDAY. It's a small staff and service can get slammed if they get a little crowded.  Unfortunately it's probably not a good option for a quick business lunch unless you call ahead for take-out.

One of the things the new owners intend to do is a better job of publicizing the restaurant.  Perhaps that will lead to expanded hours of operation.  The place isn't hard to find but can be easy to miss; it's actually on the back side of the building, facing the St. Joseph's Parkway and the Pierce elevated, not Jefferson.  For intrepid diners daring enough to venture inside the Loop in search of good food, Myth Kafe is worth a visit.

Myth Kafe,  (Note:  the link on the Yelp listing is to the former restaurant which is misleading about days and hours of operation and daily specials.  FWIW, any reviews or pictures posted before 8/30/14 are of the previous operation).