In this city, restaurants come and go faster than you can say "sustainable locavore burger." And even though there are great new additions to the culinary landscape popping up every week, you've gotta give kudos to anyone who can stick it out for over a year. With that in mind, we bring you Still Got It, our tribute to establishments that continue to serve mouthwatering meals and drinks long after the buzz has faded—or if the lingering hype is still justified.
New York City is crawling with food trucks these days, with everything from fried clam strips to fancy cous cous getting getting the truck treatment. But even Vendy Award winners like Greek food truck company Souvlaki GR recognize the value of a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant. And after a year and change in business, their non-mobile enterprise is still a worthwhile destination.
Souvlaki GR opened its first non-truck outpost at 116 Stanton St on the Lower East Side in March 2011, transforming a former laundromat into a Disneyland-esque street scene out of its native Mykonos. The walls are paneled with white stucco and painted blue window shades, the floor is faux-cobblestone. Even the bathroom is done a la Greca, with a WC-pulley-style toilet and stones sitting in the sink to catch the water.
Adorable Greek-schtick aside, the restaurant incarnation of Souvlaki GR's food is just as cheap and tasty as its food truck version, with basic chicken or pork souvlaki running at $4.50 each, and a bifteki, a traditional Greek burger topped with tomato, red onion, feta and tzatziki costing just a dollar more. If you're feeling fancy, you can opt for a specialty SGR pita souvlaki ($5.50 for chicken or pork, $6.5 for bifteki burger meat), which is stuffed with fries and tomatoes and is dipped in a spicy Tyrokafteri feta sauce.
A plate of plump, feta-drenched hand cut Greek fries ($5) will top off the Mediterranean glutfest. And while service at Souvlaki GR can be spotty—even on slow nights, we've had to wait for our food for a while—there's nothing like a few glasses of hearty red or white house wine ($7-$8) to make the time pass all the quicker. In a city that's constantly moving around, isn't it nice to have a slow meal sometimes?
116 Stanton St (between Ludlow and Essex Sts)