Ahoy, Cretans! As in people of Crete, where George of George’s Taverna is from. Though he no longer owns the restaurant, George originally established the taverna as a piece of home for himself, that home being the southern-most Greek island. It’s wide and narrow, with tons of coastline and lots of boats, which is why you’ll feel like you’re inside one when dining at George’s.
My parents were passing through town yesterday, so I met up with them at Brighouse and we bussed down to Steveston for lunch. We decided we were in the mood for Greek food, so we headed to George’s.
It sits at the corner of 1st Avenue and Moncton, with a ship called Crystalo Penelope extending towards the intersection; it provides a charming bit of outdoor seating in the summertime, and they also have a takeout window. The interior décor is “old-school nautical” – there are captain’s wheels, compasses,
fishing nets, lanterns, ships, and portraits of fisherman, all seemingly hung a long time ago and not moved since. The current owners have been running the restaurant for six years, but it was established somewhere around the turn of the century (the 21st century, just to be clear).
The traditional diet of Cretans is largely what the now-renowned Mediterranean Diet is based on. For centuries, people there have survived on wild foraged greens, roots, bulbs, little meat, seafood, olive oil, and fresh produce, and have a history of remarkably long, healthy lives. Of course, this way of life there is diminishing, and despite the ‘diet’ actually being very difficult to replicate elsewhere, the craze has spread nonetheless. It IS a wonderful way to eat.
The food at George’s isn’t Cretan, but rather the standard Greek North American selection of souvlaki, moussaka, roast lamb, rice, potatoes, tzatziki, Greek salad, and appetizers, with a few curveballs thrown in like butter chicken. We decided to order two mains – the lamb souvlaki ($9.95) and moussaka ($10.95) – as well as Greek meatballs ($7.95), spanakopita ($6.45), saganaki ($8.95).
The spanakopita was good, though not quite salty enough.
That was ok though, because the saganaki (fried cheese) was VERY salty, so the two combined to make one excellent bite!
The meatballs were also a little bland for my liking, but livened up with some tzatziki, which was garlicky and good.
Now, here’s where I wish I knew how to say “I’m an idiot” in Greek. Only today, when I uploaded my photos, did I discover I didn’t take photos of our mains. Whaaaat? I took TEN of our dessert, and yet not a single one of the souvlaki or moussaka. I apologize and assure you I am monumentally confused as to how that happened. My descriptive skills will now be put to the test!
Actually, the souvlaki is easy; just imagine most other plates of souvlaki, rice, Greek salad, and roast potatoes you’ve ever seen, and that’s what this one looked like. The portions were generous and the potatoes were very good, as was the meat. The undisputed heavy-weight champ of the day, however, was the moussaka. This was the BEST I’ve had in Richmond by a long shot, and probably the best I’ve had since I was in Greece. It had the classic layers of eggplant, potato, lamb, and bechamel, all perfectly seasoned and topped with a sprinkling of nutmeg. I would CERTAINLY return to George’s for this dish.
When I suggested a trip to the bakery after lunch, my parents whole-heartedly embraced the idea, and we walked over to The Sweet Spot. It was the first time either of them had been, and I think my mom decided they should move to Steveston as soon as she laid eyes on the dessert case. We got a lemon tart, a chocolate raspberry hazelnut tart, and a lemon madeleine.
Here are the (well-documented) tarts, which were both splendid, as usual.
I especially adore the lemon one because of the sculptural piping of meringue on top, which is always a perfectly toasted, golden brown.
It was wonderful to have a visit with my parents and share a hearty meal. I think I’ve officially exhausted my Richmond supply of Greek restaurants, but there are still a few Italian on my horizon!
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available