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  • Parthenon

    Post #1 - June 8th, 2004, 2:44 pm
    Post #1 - June 8th, 2004, 2:44 pm Post #1 - June 8th, 2004, 2:44 pm
    Early Sunday evening, after too many miles walked at the Book Expo and Printers' Row Book Fair, we decided to grab some food. Spurning my suggestion of the Thai place right there on Dearborn (Something of Siam, I can't remember), we decided to go to Greektown.

    I have a sentimental spot for the Parthenon, having one of my first true feasts there on the second day of my summer job just before college (everybody went out for the birthday of someone I barely knew at the time). We ate mountains of calamari, sausage, gyros... and they tried to ply my 17-year-old mind with retsina, but I held fast.

    Many years later, I'm back, and I'm not as thrilled. Some things were still great: the gyros were top-notch: crispy, flavorful; the calamari was a generous appetizer portion, tasty and light. The lamb with artichokes in avgolemono was tasty (although I'm not a big fan of falling-apart lamb dishes, my wife loved it).

    Other items were a disappointment: skordalia was somewhat bland and pasty, tasting more like cold mashed potatoes than usual -- Periyali in Niles makes what's currently my favorite. Dolmades were also bland and very, very salty, and chilled (I'd have preferred them room temperature).

    I guess I'll go back to Periyali -- I'm always happy there.
  • Post #2 - June 8th, 2004, 6:05 pm
    Post #2 - June 8th, 2004, 6:05 pm Post #2 - June 8th, 2004, 6:05 pm
    JoelF wrote:I guess I'll go back to Periyali -- I'm always happy there.


    I've been meaning to organize an outing to Periyali for some time now. We recently had a 75th B-day celebration for my Mother-In-Law (who is Greek) and we got the food from Periyali. It was as good as the food you get when you go to the restaurant. When I finish my travels, I'm going to actually organize a LTH outing. It will probably be toward the end of June or the beginning of July.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - June 9th, 2004, 2:25 pm
    Post #3 - June 9th, 2004, 2:25 pm Post #3 - June 9th, 2004, 2:25 pm
    stevez wrote:I've been meaning to organize an outing to Periyali for some time now. ..When I finish my travels, I'm going to actually organize a LTH outing. It will probably be toward the end of June or the beginning of July.


    Been mulling this over since my last visit prior to Easter, when I overheard the sent from central casting owner arguing with a meat purveyor about his order for whole baby lambs.

    In the tradition of the Mayor's immortal 'Eat Fire' labeled outing this past winter to Thai Ave, perhaps the Peryali outing could be captioned 'Silence of the lamb'?
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 11:52 am
    Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 11:52 am Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 11:52 am
    I am a huge fan of Periyali, too, thanks to people from this board. One think I find very refreshing is that they often have grilled calamari, not friend. The pieces are small and tender, not the big hacked-up chunks you get in a lot of places.
  • Post #5 - June 13th, 2004, 1:33 am
    Post #5 - June 13th, 2004, 1:33 am Post #5 - June 13th, 2004, 1:33 am
    I like Periyali, and go there fairly often because it's conveniently located, but I prefer Greek Islands. I especially like the mix and match menu options that let you create your own combination plate, and I'm wild about the Greek sausage that they import themselves. Nice list of Greek wines, too. The servers there also seem somewhat friendlier than is typical for Greek waiters, who are often rather dour.

    I went to Periyali at Easter and had the baby lamb Steve Drucker refers to. We were there fairly late in the day, so perhaps there's some excuse, but my lamb was disappointingly overcooked and dried out.

    Greek Islands
    200 S. Halsted St.
    312-782-9855

    Periyali Greek Taverna
    9860 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview
    847-296-2232
  • Post #6 - June 2nd, 2007, 8:14 am
    Post #6 - June 2nd, 2007, 8:14 am Post #6 - June 2nd, 2007, 8:14 am
    JoelF wrote:Many years later, I'm back, and I'm not as thrilled. Some things were still great: the gyros were top-notch: crispy, flavorful;

    JoelF wrote:Other items were a disappointment: skordalia was somewhat bland and pasty, tasting more like cold mashed potatoes than usual --

    Joel,

    A couple of years later and your review is still spot-on, terrific house-made gyros, juicy, flavorful with lovely crisp edges.

    Parthenon Gyros
    Image

    You hit it dead-on far as the skordalia, bland and pasty. I thought the skordalia would enliven the somewhat overcooked and salty smelt, instead added another layer of blah.

    Skordalia, smelt in background
    Image

    Of the evening's meal the star, next to the gyros, was the house-made sausage on the Hot Mezedes Platter, which was highly recommended by Mike Nagrant. Juicy pork sausage with hints of orange [edit] rind, a real flavor bomb. Unfortunately the only way the sausage seems to come is in combination with the other items on the, overall, mediocre Hot Mezedes platter.

    Hot Mezedes Platter
    Image

    Wine was acidy with a watery grape juice flavor, Haggipavlu 2003 Aghiorgitiko, service a little slow and the Saganaki was brick-like in the middle even with being flamed tableside.
    Image

    Funny thing is, overall, I enjoyed my meal. Bar's comfortable, decor is over the top with, not exactly National Gallery of art quality, murals, even a fortune teller on hand, how can one help not have a fun time.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    The Parthenon
    314 South Halsted
    Chicago, IL 60661
    312-726-2407
    Last edited by G Wiv on January 20th, 2008, 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - June 8th, 2007, 11:31 am
    Post #7 - June 8th, 2007, 11:31 am Post #7 - June 8th, 2007, 11:31 am
    Gary - greek sausage aka Loukaniko is made with orange rind..not lemon unless Parthenon is doing some different take on the traditional which may very well be
    Last edited by deke rivers on June 8th, 2007, 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #8 - June 8th, 2007, 11:38 am
    Post #8 - June 8th, 2007, 11:38 am Post #8 - June 8th, 2007, 11:38 am
    bibi rose wrote:I am a huge fan of Periyali, too, thanks to people from this board. One think I find very refreshing is that they often have grilled calamari, not friend. The pieces are small and tender, not the big hacked-up chunks you get in a lot of places.


    After one good meal there a few years agao I have had two bad meals in a row here.. both missed the mark in this Greeks book..the most memorable of the two was the moussaka which was terrible compared to Greek Islands
    i will admit the calamari there is good though
    they also need to come up with a better lunch menu as they are way expensive for lunch in that area which might be why there are never any cars in the lot at that time
  • Post #9 - June 8th, 2007, 6:50 pm
    Post #9 - June 8th, 2007, 6:50 pm Post #9 - June 8th, 2007, 6:50 pm
    deke rivers wrote:Gary - greek sausage aka Loukaniko is made with orange rind..not lemon unless Parthenon is doing some different take on the traditional which may very well be

    Deke,

    Thanks for the correction, I had orange in my notes, but wrote lemon.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #10 - January 21st, 2008, 8:24 am
    Post #10 - January 21st, 2008, 8:24 am Post #10 - January 21st, 2008, 8:24 am
    LTH,

    The bride and I recently had the pleasure of the ever conversationaly interesting Harry V and always delightful Schatz MacArthur over bottles of Greek Red wine, small carafes of ouzo, juicy orange rind infused pork sausage and the best gyros in all of Chicagoland. Three visits to the Parthenon in the past six months have convinced me the best dining course of action is focus on house made sausage and gyros using appetizers such as fried zucchini w/skordalia as fill-ins.

    House made sausage
    Image

    Gyros
    Image

    Fried Zucchini w/skordalia
    Image

    Whole lamb roasting in the window looked, and smelled, terrific. I loved the pageantry of parading the cooked beast throughout the dining room as they brought them to the kitchen.

    How much is that Roasting Lamb in the window?
    Image
    Image

    Service, once our waiter begrudgingly realized we weren't there simply to fuel up in the fun festive Greek town atmosphere, was marginally less brusque and our slow pace of appetizers wine and ouzo yielded an enjoyable evening.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - January 21st, 2008, 10:39 am
    Post #11 - January 21st, 2008, 10:39 am Post #11 - January 21st, 2008, 10:39 am
    The Parthenon wine list is not the best, but I thought the
    Vatistas Cabernet/ Agiortiko was drinkable.
    The lima beans on Thursday are outstanding!
  • Post #12 - February 9th, 2008, 10:52 am
    Post #12 - February 9th, 2008, 10:52 am Post #12 - February 9th, 2008, 10:52 am
    I've been going to Parthenon for more than thiry years. It has always been my go-to place in Greek Town. Sure, Greek Islands is good, Roditis too, Artopolis is a good lunch place, but in the end I always go back to Parthenon. I was there last Wednesday for lunch, the village platter makes a tasty meal. The flambeed shrimps and scallops are good, always, love the dolmades, but probably the pork chops are my favorite there. Lamb chops too if I can afford them.
    In 1979 a companion and I were driving from LA to Chicago in January. About 1 a.m. we made it to the loop and it was freezing, maybe ten degrees, and we had been fighting blizzards and white-outs and terrible weather for nearly a week (we were snowed in in Albuquerque for three days). We pulled up to the Parthenon, at the time they were supposedly open until two;it was dark and in a circle of light one of the owners was counting up receipts for the day. We started to walk away and he looked and saw us, motioned us to come in, and we were the last table of the night. One of the sublime restaurant meals I ever had, especially since in LA there are (or were at the time) no Greek places worth mentioning.
    I have a co-worker who is from Greece, Parthenon is where she likes to go.
    trpt2345
  • Post #13 - October 18th, 2008, 7:22 am
    Post #13 - October 18th, 2008, 7:22 am Post #13 - October 18th, 2008, 7:22 am
    G Wiv wrote:Three visits to the Parthenon in the past six months have convinced me the best dining course of action is focus on house made sausage and gyros using appetizers such as fried zucchini w/skordalia as fill-ins.

    LTH,

    Parthenon was hitting on all 8-cylinders yesterday lunch, crispy edged moist flavorful house made gyros, light crisp fried zucchini rounds and orange scented pork sausage, Loukaniko , so juicy it literally spurted 5-inches high (picture a spouting whale) when cut. Cheese and olives rounded out our very nice meal.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - October 18th, 2008, 8:49 am
    Post #14 - October 18th, 2008, 8:49 am Post #14 - October 18th, 2008, 8:49 am
    Gary,

    That sausage looks divine! Is the sausage sweet do to the Orange infusion? I am partial to spicy hot sausage and cannot tolerate the sweet stuff. We were hoping to catch a meal in Greektown next week when we drive up from Indy, but usually stick to the Greek Islands. This may sway us otheriwse.

    Our greek staples are the Spanakopita and Saganaki. Does anyone have any insight as to the Parthenon's take on the dishes?
  • Post #15 - October 18th, 2008, 9:07 am
    Post #15 - October 18th, 2008, 9:07 am Post #15 - October 18th, 2008, 9:07 am
    Well, they claim to have invented flaming Saganaki, if that gives you any insight. :)

    http://www.theparthenon.com/history.htm
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #16 - October 18th, 2008, 9:14 am
    Post #16 - October 18th, 2008, 9:14 am Post #16 - October 18th, 2008, 9:14 am
    Thanks for the link!

    I have actually been there a bunch of times, but not in the past decade!

    Just because they invented it doesn't mean that they perfected it!

    Looking at the menu... Gary was the sausage broiled or deep fried?
  • Post #17 - October 18th, 2008, 9:23 am
    Post #17 - October 18th, 2008, 9:23 am Post #17 - October 18th, 2008, 9:23 am
    Mak7185 wrote:That sausage looks divine! Is the sausage sweet do to the Orange infusion?

    Mak,

    Orange rind, not orange infusion, which lends a subtle citrus bite to the savory pork sausage. Far as entree type dishes I have never been particularly happy with them and tend to stick with small plates/appetizers.

    I haven't had Parthenon's Saganaki, the supposed inventor, in a while, though I am mildly negative about it in my post upthread.

    I see you just asked broiled or fried on the Loukaniko, I prefer the broiled version.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #18 - October 18th, 2008, 8:09 pm
    Post #18 - October 18th, 2008, 8:09 pm Post #18 - October 18th, 2008, 8:09 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Mak7185 wrote:That sausage looks divine! Is the sausage sweet do to the Orange infusion?

    Mak,

    Orange rind, not orange infusion, which lends a subtle citrus bite to the savory pork sausage.

    Loukaniko might be my favorite type of sausage. Greek Islands also has an excellent version. And it's on the mix-and-match make-your-own combo menu.
  • Post #19 - October 19th, 2008, 5:52 am
    Post #19 - October 19th, 2008, 5:52 am Post #19 - October 19th, 2008, 5:52 am
    ate at Parthenon just last Sunday evening..I hadnt been there in awhile..everything tasted fantastic IMO.. spit roasted lamb was killer..gotta love when they parade the freshly cooked lamb around the tables with a sparkler jammed in it..we had a German exchange student with us who really enjoyed that little show..timing was perfect
    the skordalia and saganaki was spot on..
    i didnt try the loukakinako but then again I am biased to my own home made but it does look good in Gary's pic. And I agree on going broiled in a restaurant but at home its either gotta be grilled or sauted in a pan with some oil , wine, and some "sweetbreads"
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #20 - November 21st, 2008, 8:39 am
    Post #20 - November 21st, 2008, 8:39 am Post #20 - November 21st, 2008, 8:39 am
    I had what could generously be called a disappointing meal at Parthenon last night. Maybe I caught them on an off night, but everything was bad. Skordalia was the best of the lot, but too pasty and full of big pieces of raw garlic; not enough care had been taken to chop the stuff finely. Gyros - much lauded upthread - were among the worst I've ever had. They were dry and virtually devoid of spicing. Just bland, dry, meat without much reason to exist. Vegetable moussaka was one dimensionally mushy in texture, and the only discernable flavor was dirty-sock. Eggplant spread was an even mushier version of the dirty-sock moussaka, with slimy chunks to give it the same appearance and mouthfeel as vomit. Baklava was pretty good - copiously spiced with cinnamon, which was nice - though the pastry itself seemed stale.

    I'll stick with Greek Islands next time.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #21 - November 22nd, 2008, 10:15 am
    Post #21 - November 22nd, 2008, 10:15 am Post #21 - November 22nd, 2008, 10:15 am
    Kennyz wrote:I'll stick with Greek Islands next time.

    Kenny,

    I'm a small plates fan of Parthenon, preferred dishes outlined in detail upthread, but am sure it is more than possible to hit them on an off day. Interestingly I had almost the exact same experience as you, but mine was a couple of weeks ago at Green Islands, dry gyro meat, bland flavorless spreads and Loukaniko that reminded me of Hillshire smoked sausage with added orange peel, but drier and less tasty.

    Far as entrees I am not a fan of such at either place, Santorini, with it's live fire grill, being the only place on the Greek town strip I stray from small plates/appetizers.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - August 18th, 2009, 7:02 am
    Post #22 - August 18th, 2009, 7:02 am Post #22 - August 18th, 2009, 7:02 am
    Well, I went my wife and a close friend the the Parthenon before a concert last Friday. It was my first time there and I was impressed. We started our with the Saganaki(of course). It was great. What was truly impressive was the waiter had four of them on his arm for different tables which he lit all at once. It actually freaked my out a bit as I could see disaster if something happened. Good stuff.
    What I really loved and is now my new all time favorite summer time soup was the Avgolemono. I have never had this before and I was very impressed. It was light and creamy. Perfect for the hot day. I could sustain myself for a week just off this soup!!!
    Then moved on the broiled octopus in olive oil, garlic and herbs. Great as well. So tender not a hint of rubberiness(is that a word?). Moving on to a traditional Greek salad of tomatoe, onion and feta. This was probably my least fav. Mainly, because it the chunks were too big. The taste was good but there were a lot of onions and I get somewhat self concious with the whole breath thing.
    Finally ended with a fall apart melt in your mouth Veal chop. I like the atmosphere. I really like the parking(free valet if you are eating there. Otherwise $6 parking in the Greektown lot) Convient location. All good stuff. I am looking forward to a return trip
    Dave

    Bourbon, The United States of America's OFFICIAL Spirit.
  • Post #23 - August 18th, 2009, 1:57 pm
    Post #23 - August 18th, 2009, 1:57 pm Post #23 - August 18th, 2009, 1:57 pm
    I had dinner at The Parthenon with friends, a couple of weeks ago - on a Friday night. The restaurant has long been a favorite of mine and this most recent visit was about as good as I've experienced there. The three of us ordered the Greek family-style dinner which provided an excellent sampling of some of the restaurant menu's best offerings. The interior has been redecorated and gone is the darkened-look in a couple of the interior areas. As I've experienced in the past, the waitstaff service was helpful, efficient and not intrusive.
  • Post #24 - August 20th, 2009, 9:03 pm
    Post #24 - August 20th, 2009, 9:03 pm Post #24 - August 20th, 2009, 9:03 pm
    My wife and I just returned from the Parthenon tonight (Thursday) and were very disappointed. We ordered the MEZEDES - TAPAS STYLE for two. The first plate consisted of the eggplant spread, tzatziki, tirosalata, and fish-roe spread. The eggplant spread was nice, but not extraordinary. The fish roe spread tasted quite off. The tzatziki and tirosalata were good, but more than two people could possibly eat. Since the eggplant spread was the only vegetable of the evening, the meal was out of balance.

    Next, came the chicken breast kabob which was overcooked beyond being edible. The sausage, as described above, had a wonderful flavor, but was again overcooked almost to the point of being inedible. The braised octopus could have been from any buffet steam tray and the stuffed squid had a very off-putting flavor and we did not touch more than a bite. The trigona and spinach cheese pie were very good.

    Several servers took our orders during the meal. When the server asked us about dessert, we asked him a question and he said "I don't know. I just ask for things." Finally, the Greek coffee was undrinkable and we left that as well.

    Given the comments above, this must have been a very off night. But, we will never return.
  • Post #25 - November 15th, 2011, 12:59 am
    Post #25 - November 15th, 2011, 12:59 am Post #25 - November 15th, 2011, 12:59 am
    Kennyz wrote:I had what could generously be called a disappointing meal at Parthenon last night. Maybe I caught them on an off night, but everything was bad. Skordalia was the best of the lot, but too pasty and full of big pieces of raw garlic; not enough care had been taken to chop the stuff finely. Gyros - much lauded upthread - were among the worst I've ever had. They were dry and virtually devoid of spicing. Just bland, dry, meat without much reason to exist. Vegetable moussaka was one dimensionally mushy in texture, and the only discernable flavor was dirty-sock. Eggplant spread was an even mushier version of the dirty-sock moussaka, with slimy chunks to give it the same appearance and mouthfeel as vomit. Baklava was pretty good - copiously spiced with cinnamon, which was nice - though the pastry itself seemed stale.

    I'll stick with Greek Islands next time.


    I had a recent visit from this Parthenon - everything was dry and lukewarm (including the salad), and the price increases don't seem justified relative to other venerable spots in the area. I do give them props for the calm service and tidy place, well-ventilated and pleasant. Greek Islands, my first choice these days due to reliable freshness from high turnover, has been closing early this week for unspecified kitchen maintenance.
  • Post #26 - January 17th, 2013, 5:27 pm
    Post #26 - January 17th, 2013, 5:27 pm Post #26 - January 17th, 2013, 5:27 pm
    Prior to seeing, "The Book of Mormon" our group stopped at the Parthenon for lunch. I believe we had what is called The Tour Group Menu 3.
    $25.00 per person inclusive of Sesame Bread and
    butter , Soft Drinks, Coffee, taxes and gratuity.
    Appetizers
    Saganaki – Oopaa!! Parthenon’s famous flaming
    cheese ( 1 for every 2 persons)
    Gyros – Made by our own hands! Served with
    our homemade tzatziki sauce
    Eggplant Dip – with olive oil and garlic
    Taramosalata Dip – Whipped fish-roe with olive
    oil and lemon
    Mini Spinach-Cheese Pies – Crispy phyllo filled
    with spinach and feta
    Sa lad
    Greek – lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and
    feta cheese dressed in olive oil, vinegar and garlic
    Main Course
    Served with Rice, Guests can choose one of the
    following:
    Chicken Breast – Broiled with olive oil, lemon
    and oregano
    Or Tilapia – Broiled with Olive Oil and Lemon
    Or Roast Leg of lamb
    Dessert- Baklava

    What a great way to try a lot of things on the menu. It was all very good, but the roast leg of lamb was outstanding. They are having a great Jan. special for $14.95. It appears to be a great value for downtown Chicago. I enjoyed the restaurant very much!
  • Post #27 - January 18th, 2013, 7:49 am
    Post #27 - January 18th, 2013, 7:49 am Post #27 - January 18th, 2013, 7:49 am
    Sounds like a great trip Razby!
  • Post #28 - January 23rd, 2013, 10:32 am
    Post #28 - January 23rd, 2013, 10:32 am Post #28 - January 23rd, 2013, 10:32 am
    It was a fun trip. Big times for a small town woman! :D
  • Post #29 - December 10th, 2015, 1:06 pm
    Post #29 - December 10th, 2015, 1:06 pm Post #29 - December 10th, 2015, 1:06 pm
    The owners of The Parthenon want folks to have more options than Greek food in Greektown. That's why they're taking their banquet hall space and converting it into the Aviva, an 80-seat restaurant with a bar and lounge, that will serve food inspired by Spain, Italy, France, North Africa and spots in the Mediterranean.

    http://chicago.eater.com/2015/12/9/9881 ... -parthenon
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #30 - December 10th, 2015, 1:13 pm
    Post #30 - December 10th, 2015, 1:13 pm Post #30 - December 10th, 2015, 1:13 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    The owners of The Parthenon want folks to have more options than Greek food in Greektown. That's why they're taking their banquet hall space and converting it into the Aviva, an 80-seat restaurant with a bar and lounge, that will serve food inspired by Spain, Italy, France, North Africa and spots in the Mediterranean.

    http://chicago.eater.com/2015/12/9/9881 ... -parthenon


    Our own jazzfood, Chef Alan Lake, is helming that project.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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