While we’re getting in the mood for Greek Festival 2018, my wife and I felt like Greek food for lunch recently. So we ventured out to the Little Greek Fresh Grill in Lakeland. Based on Google reviews, it seems to have only been open about a year. Little Greek is a chain restaurant – they have some locations through the southeast, midwest, and Texas, but most of their locations seem to be in Florida. It’s a small restaurant but the interior looked brand new. The restaurant is decorated in calming colors, and there are some lovely photos of Greece on the walls.
At Little Greek, you place your order at the counter, then the food is brought out to you. The staff was friendly. Our one real complaint is the pop music they were blasting. Not only was the style all wrong (Greek is such a culturally rich country, Greek folk music felt more appropriate), but the volume was so loud we had a hard time carrying on a conversation.
The menu has a variety of salads, pitas, and entrees with lamb, beef, or chicken. I tried to order the salmon skewers light meal, but they told us the salmon wasn’t ready yet. Otherwise the ordering process was straightforward and we didn’t have to wait long for our food. I had bottled water to drink and my wife had a fountain drink.
We started with an appetizer of dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with ground beef, rice, tomato, and seasoning (many of the dolmades recipes I’ve seen online are vegetarian, so I’m not sure how common meat filling is). These were served with a lemon sauce. I’ve only had dolmades once in the past and had forgotten how good they are. The grape leaves have a milder taste than I expected, and the ingredients make for a very nice combination of flavors.
My wife ordered an Olympian pita combo meal, a pita with chicken, gyro meat and vegetables, plus a side and drink. She chose Greek salad for her side but there are several options, including a cup of soup or fries. The Greek salad was complete with a slice of beet, potato salad, an olive, feta cheese, and other vegetables. My wife says the gyro meat is some of the best she’s ever had.
I chose the chicken skewer light meal – this comes with 2 chicken skewers, rice, a Greek salad, and a side of pita bread. There is a dinner version that comes with 3 skewers. My meal also came with a portion of tzatziki sauce. I loved the flavor of the grilled chicken – it was a bit on the dry side by itself, but with a little of the tzatziki sauce it was just right. I generally don’t care for feta cheese and avoid it, but this feta seemed milder than others I’ve had and I felt the flavor went well with the salad.
Both meals had generous portions of food and everything seemed fresh – nothing we ate tasted like it had been frozen. We appreciated that the meat tasted good but in terms of quantity the emphasis was on the healthy vegetables. That didn’t stop us from ordering desert – however, we were stuffed so we took our desert with us to eat at home later. I had a cannoli and my wife had a slice of baklava cheesecake. I know the cannoli is associated with Italy, but I didn’t care because this was an outstanding pastry. Truly decadent. My wife was very happy with the cheesecake, also – the bottom of the cake was more of a spongecake than the usual graham cracker crust, and it wasn’t overly rich like some cheesecakes so she didn’t feel overwhelmed by it.
We were very happy with the food at Little Greek, and except for the blaring music we were happy with the service. It did come at a price – with appetizer, desert, tip, and everything our total came to about $40. But everything really did seem fresh, rather than frozen, and of good quality. So we will return to the Little Greek, and if you’re in the mood for Greek cuisine, give them a try! They are in the Lake Miriam Square shopping center on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland.
If we have inspired you to visit Little Greek Fresh Grill, or if you have already been and want to share your experience, please do so via the comments section below. And if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we would love to hear from you via our Contact Us page. Thanks for stopping by and happy eating!