I’m adventurous when it comes to eating, and I am the kind of person that likes to go to a restaurant not only for delicious food, but for the experience. I like to try new things, especially if it’s something that I can’t make at home myself.

I heard about Sokratis offering what they call a “Cyprus Traditional Meze” which is a set meal of many different items so you get to taste a little bit of everything. At $21.99 per person (minimum of 2 people must order at a time) and 16 different items, I took Jersey to see what this was all about. We should have been warned when the menu itself says, “a warning though must be attached to this culinary experience – the quantity and variety of dishes is immense, a true assault on your taste buds.” Instead of being intimidated, I took it as a challenge and decided that my taste buds needed assaulting.

Sokratis is in the West end of Burlington, in the heart of Aldershot. Over the years I have known it to be a Greek restaurant, a breakfast place, and now, back to a Greek restaurant again. There is a large patio outside and plenty of parking around the building. Walking in, there are murals on the walls and a cozy atmosphere with lots of seating. 

Since we ordered the Meze, there wasn’t really a need to look through the menu considering we were about to eat the world. However, the menu was extensive and when I come back, there are definitely items there that I want to try (mmm, moussaka). It was also this outing that I learned Jersey had never tried the flaming cheese before, so we ordered it in addition to our meals just so he could experience pyrotechnic dairy.

Saganaki Opa! ($9.99) is a triangle of keflotyri cheese that comes out on a small frying pan (apparently saganaki is Greek for “little frying pan”) that is held by the server.  The cheese is flambéed at the table and the flame is doused with lemon. The cheese itself tastes a bit like hardened feta, very mild and a little salty. Being in the hot frying pan, the outer layer is crispy and the warm inside is softy and goeey. It’s a fun dish when you’re out with people to yell OPA! when the cheese is lit on fire. 
The food for the Meze came out quickly (I’ll number them so you can appreciate how much food there is), and at first, we thought we had this one in the bag – small ramekins of (1) fresh Tzatziki – creamy, cool and garlic-y, (2) Hummus – smooth and full of garlic with a drizzle of olive oil on top (3) Eggplant Dip – by far my favourite dip, with big chunks of mashed eggplant, tomato and onion and (4) Beet Salad – sweet and tart slices of beets with oil and vinegar, were served with a plate of (5) crispy, warm Pita bread. The dips came at the same time as the (6) Cyprus Village Salad, which was a fresh Greek salad without the lettuce and lots of cheese. Served extra cold and crisp, this was a delicious start to the meal.
This was followed closely by (7) Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions and (8) Homemade Dolmades – stuffed leaves filled with ground beef and pork, and rice in a lemon-cream sauce. I don’t normally like stuffed leaves because I find the leaves extremely tough and the filling bland, but these were delicious. The leaves melted in my mouth, and the stuffing was perfectly seasoned with plenty of meat.
Next up was the (9) Halloumi – two very generous V’s of grilled Cypriot cheese served with fresh tomato slices. Think of it as a salty mozzarella, with a soft texture. It was delicious, but at this point, I was beginning to wish that we didn’t order the Saganaki Opa because I was getting a little cheesed-out.
(10) Grilled Eggplant in tomato sauce with feta cheese on top reminded me of eggplant parmesan, but the sauce was a little bland for my liking. The eggplant itself – I love eggplant – was grilled perfectly and didn’t have the chewy outer layer that sometimes comes with over-grilling.
(11) Smoked Sausage was a few slices of delicious grilled sausage that had the perfect amount of moisture in them. I hate when sausages are over-cooked because they get dry and lose all flavour.
Now, at this point, I will be honest and say that both of us were full. Normal people would have stopped at this stage because there was no need to keep eating. However, with the meal, our server came out and said, “Hope you’re ready, because here comes the big stuff!” I’m pretty sure we both looked at her like she was nuts ... big stuff? We had no idea what we were in for.

She came back with a huge platter that held the rest of the food from our meal: (12) Pork Souvlaki – perfectly seasoned, moist cubes of pork, (13) Grilled Chicken Breast – one for each of us that was grilled well, but I found it to be lacking in flavour, (14) a mountain of sliced Gyro meat that was probably my favourite I’ve ever had because it was so tender and well seasoned, (15) Roasted Potatoes that were almost the size of my fist (though with how full I was it felt like they were basketballs, and finally (16) fluffy Rice to add to the assault.  Though delicious and we tried valiantly to try everything, we barely made a dent in half of the platter before waving our white flags in surrender. 
As we sat and digested this insanely yummy but could-feed-a-small-country feast, our server came back and said that the chef wanted to treat us to a Cyprus treat that he just made – a delicious citrus-y cake topped with coconut. Well, no one needs to twist my arm to eat cake, so although I was pretty sure I was going to explode, somehow the whole piece of light, and not-overly-sweet cake (we shared one!) disappeared. The citrus was actually the perfect end to our meal because it was light and sweet and helped with the digestion. Or so I tried to tell myself. Either way, it was delicious.
If you like Greek food, and are looking for something a little different, try the Meze. You can’t beat the value for how much awesome food you get, and it’s a fun experience to share with friends. Next time, I probably won’t take warnings as personal challenges, although it was fun to try!

Sokratis on Urbanspoon
437 Plains Rd. E., Burlington


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