Sometimes that turkey sandwich you brought in for lunch just won’t get the job done. Olympic Flame offers up Greek and American favorites that will settle anyone’s lunchtime (or dinner) hunger.
With a menu ranging from gyros and Greek salads to burgers and fries, this local favorite brings a Mediterranean flavor to the East Village.
The authentic-esque atmosphere also makes the daytime getaway worth the small wait — blue and white paint cover the walls to form artistic painted columns and the ceiling is adorned with ornately plated tiles. My dining partner and I stopped by around noon on a Monday for lunch. One server kept all six tables happy with a minimal wait time for service.
My lunch date opted for the falafel platter while I decided to try out the vegetarian dolmathes (grape leaves stuffed with a lemony rice mix).
The falafel platter came with a small Greek salad and fries. Served traditionally with wax paper holding the sandwich together, it was stuffed with balls of falafel, chunks of juicy tomatoes, bunches of feta cheese, and lettuce all on top of warm pita bread. The tzatziki sauce added a kick of taste instead of overpowering the meal. The salad was simple and included giant pieces of cucumber mixed with tomatoes, lettuce, feta and onions. The dressing was oily and delicious. The fries rounded out the entire meal. For the $8.75 price tag, you get enough food for two meals.
The dolmathes (located in the appetizer section of the menu) were tangy and refreshing and came with a side of pita. The lemon sauce that was poured over the grape leaves was powerful, but not overbearing. The eight stuffed grape leaves were a perfect serving size for one person looking for a meal or two people sharing it as an appetizer.
If you’re looking for a more familiar option, Olympic Flame offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers, melts, chicken sandwiches, steak sandwiches and BLTs among non-Greek alternatives. Sandwiches can be ordered a la carte or as a platter with fries and a salad for a few dollars more.
Domestic and Greek beers fill a cooler near the counter. The restaurant also offers domestic and Greek wines if you’re looking to class up your mealtime.
Olympic Flame is a great stop, whether you’re a Mediterranean foodie or a first-timer.
Find it: 514 E. Grand Ave.
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Info: 243-4361; olympicgreek.com
Falafel sandwich platter ... $8.75
Vegetarian dolmathes ... $7.95
Total, with tax and tip ... $20