Greko Romano Gourmet Pizza and Greek Cuisine

When I asked for a wedge of lemon for my water at Greko Romano Gourmet Pizza and Greek Cuisine and our server said they didn’t have any, it didn’t bode well. A Greek restaurant with no lemon?

To be fair, this tiny mom-and-pop in a southwest valley strip mall isn’t a dedicated Greek restaurant — hence the "pizza" in the name — but it is, after all, called "Greko Romano." And because the valley has a dearth of Greek restaurants relative to those of many other ethnic groups, it was the Greek food that drew us in.

And as it turned out, it stacked up pretty well overall, considering the size of the place and the prices. But this is not a spot that puts a lot of stock in details.

Consider: Since the moussaka was off that evening, we decided on a gyro dinner ($8.50). It was pretty good, the gyro meat reasonably moist, the tzatziki sauce nicely pungent. The meat had been cut into pieces much smaller than we usually encounter, but it was crisp around the edges and tasty and nicely nestled, with some onions, into a soft pita. But some tomato would’ve been nice — the menu even mentioned it, but they appeared to be out of that as well. Fries on the side were your basic fries, but they were reasonably free of grease.

Dinners at Greko Romano include a Greek salad, and this was a pretty decent one, with a varied mix of fresh greens, some pitted Greek olives, onions and a scattering of feta. And in one of the few examples of detail, the dressing was served on the side, in a little china cup instead of those odious plastic ones.

Chicken souvlaki ($8.50) also was pretty good, the meat moist and nicely grilled. The rice on the side was pretty plain, although a few splashes of the accompanying tzatziki would’ve helped in that regard.

An appetizer of hummus ($3.50) was relatively standard aside from the haunting hint of a very appealing spice that I couldn’t quite identify despite repeated scooping with the warm pita triangles on the side. It was served with a generous float of a fruity olive oil, which did even more to augment the flavor.

We also tried a triangle of spanakopita ($1.50), the traditional phyllo-enclosed spinach pie, and it was quite tasty. One little flaw: It hadn’t been warmed sufficiently and was still cold in the middle.

Service throughout was OK, though only just. The young guy who was waiting on the handful of tables in the room and handling the takeout orders was pleasant enough, but we had to ask for napkins and flatware. And my glass of water belied any evidence of a filter.

The interior is relatively pleasant, with lots of Grecian-blue accents and scenes of Greece, along with a display by a local portrait photographer.

Greko Romano isn’t the solution to the valley’s shortage of Greek restaurants, but it does fill a niche. And at these prices, it could be just the thing for harried soccer moms with a weeknight craving for Greek food.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at 383-0474 or e-mail her at hrinella@reviewjournal.com.

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