Nostos

Every Montreal Greek knows that the best place to go for a gyro pita with French fries in Montreal is Nostos on L’Acadie. Hopefully the Laval Greeks have gotten their shit together and agree too. Imagine Diva #1’s surprise when her cousin from Greece, who has been here two years, also exclaimed that there was no better gyro in Montreal. I guess news travels fast… One day in the lunch room at work, Diva #1’s cousin started discussing how close Nostos gyro came to gyro from the motherland, Diva #1 agreed, and Zeus wildly started arm waving and in Greek, he loudly supported this claim. Whitey had only had “souflaki” (please gasp) from Kojax, and Bellatrix was craving a good chicken pita. After a few texts to another cousin, P’tit Frère and a random Armenian that we know, who all work with the Divas, we began planning an outing after work to Nostos. Some of us had had the Nostos experience, others had never tried their gyro, and a few of us just wanted to be reminded of Greece.

NostosDiva #1 is Greek and doesn’t often speak fondly of Greeks, a right she reserves. But Nostos is one of the few places in Montreal where the Greeks are wonderful, the food is delicious and the ambiance relaxed. A true mom and pop’s place run by Greeks for Greeks (and everyone else because Greeks are hospitable), and the food is just damn good. You walk in and there is a vertical spit grilling the gyro just waiting to be cut and placed in a warmed pita. So many people, so many varied personalities, we were soon figuring out what to order, how many gyros were just too many, and of course, being loud. But a place run by Greeks, with many Greek clients, can handle loud and obnoxious. If you cannot be a loud at a Greek restaurant, then where else?

NostosWe looked at the wine list, but our waitress was amazing and told us of a private import that she had in the back. She even let us try it from an opened bottle before opening a new bottle.  She was very attentive the whole night and we thought that she would quit because she kept walking in during the most inappropriate parts of our conversations. For example, the waitress arrived when we were listing who we would copulate with in the office, and who we would (in Whitey’s words) “bone” only after a few beers. Actually the comparison of the night was who we would “bone” after 6 beers… the list was long for some and short for others. A lot was said and besides Bellatrix’s PTSD of having this conversation with male coworkers, it was loads of fun! But really, this is what happens when coworkers get together outside of the office and have a few drinks, inappropriate conversations tend to ensue.

“Alpha Estate, AXIA, 2009, Syrah, Xinomavro”

“Alpha Estate, AXIA, 2009, Syrah, Xinomavro”

We wanted a bit of everything so we started with the traditional Greek pikilia plate and Nostos makes a good one. Taramosalata which is a traditional Greek dip made with fish roe was on one end, , bread and potatoes, spicy pickled peppers that Bellatrix loves also adorned the dish, along with tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese. Run of the mill dolmades, vine leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice that is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and lemon, which were not homemade, were also on the plate. The platter came with two tiropitas that are cheese pies made with phyllo dough and they were surprisingly not dry at all, which is often the case. Two spanakopitas were also included which are also made with phyllo dough except the stuffing is spinach and feta. And last but not least there was a generous amount of tzatziki. Diva #1 is very picky about tzatziki, which is usually boring and runny, which she abhors. But Nostos makes a phenomenal tzatziki and she loved it with the garlic bread that they not only provided but kept bringing more of as we ate it with the dips and feta.

Nostos, Montreal Greek Restaurant - Pikilia platter

“Pikilia” 13.75$

Diva #1 was dying for a gyro pita, she hadn’t had one since she had been in Greece over a year before. Gyro is traditionally made with lamb and pork that is cut off of a vertical spit that is slow cooking the meat all day. Nostos is known for its succulent meat that isn’t dry, nor is it too fatty, which can happen with pork. If you order your pita all dressed, it is packed with their delicious tzatziki, red onions, tomatoes and, if you are a real connoisseur of gyro pita, you ask for some French fries thrown in. Although it isn’t often made this way outside of Greece, traditional gyro pita also has French fries stuffed in it and it is god damn delicious.

“Un doner (gyro) pita / One doner (gyro) pita” 12.25$

“Un doner (gyro) pita / One doner (gyro) pita” 12.25$

Everyone else ordered the chicken pita. Souvlaki pita is cubed pieces of pork wrapped in a pita with the same ingredients as in the gyro pita. Chicken pita is the same idea except with chicken, and in Diva #1’s opinion, the better of the two options, although nothing beats gyro pita. Nostos is known for their grilled chicken which is tender and delicious, so we knew that the chicken pita would be wonderful. It has been awhile since Diva #1’s family has gotten a grilled Nostos chicken (pronounced tsiken with a Greek accent) and watching everyone devour the chicken pita made her crave it. The chicken was tender and Bellatrix in an odd loving moment even took another one to go for her mate at home. The tzatziki was plentiful and potent, meant to grow hair on your chest, and the chicken pita was deemed by all as something to return for.

 “Un poulet pita / One chicken pita” 12.25$

“Un poulet pita / One chicken pita” 12.25$

The plates at Nostos come with salad, rice and fries. The salad is a traditional Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber, a hot pickled pepper, Kalamata olives, onions and feta. The salad was as expected, but the French fries exceeded expectations. Hand cut to be chunky; Nostos makes some great French fries. Cut thickly, they are not too crispy and mouth watering. These thick potatoes are delicious, especially when eaten with a side of tzatziki for dipping. Nostos always gives you a generous amount of fries and rice, and you can even substitute the rice for more fries.  The rice is decent but nothing special, but the French fries alone are worth the visit.  They may not be cooked in olive oil like in Greece, but they are the closest thing to Greek French fries in Montreal.

“Served with salad, rice and fries”

“Served with salad, rice and fries”

Whitey and Bellatrix were very happy with their Nostos experience, although Whitey complained that her husband was traumatized by her extreme garlicky breath even after she brushed her teeth multiple times. The trick with eating Greek food that is rich in garlic and onions is to ensure that your partner is eating the same thing so he cannot tell that you stink. As we left Nostos it is like Diva #1’s dad knew where she was, he called asking what she was doing, and when he found out that she was at Nostos, immediately asked her to drive by his house with two gyro pitas. Gyro pita to a Greek is like poutine to Quebecers, this is the fast food attributed to our culture, but of course it is better… after all, it was invented by the Greeks 😉

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Our Rating: Splendid

http://www.nostosgrill.com/
Nostos on Urbanspoon

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1 comment

  1. Dahlia February 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm Reply

    I’ve been to Nostos and I have to agree that it does compare to Greek gyros! Now I have a craving..

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