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Posted by Anonymous on 02/26/2008
I had dinner at the Parthenon right around Valentine's Day. I am of Greek heritage and was excited to enjoy some Greek food. We were expecting it to be packed like many restaurants, but it was over half empty - this should have been a sign. We started out with the Mini Spinach-cheese pies (Spanakopita). They were disgusting. The mode of creation was evident. The spinach along with the requisite feta cheese had been sitting in a warmer and then sloshed onto 2 layers of phylo dough like old tuna salad at Subway. Instead of using melted butter they had doused the rolled up triangular pastry with an overzealous amount of cheap olive oil before throwing it on a cookie tray for warming. The result was a greasy mess. Inside, the spanakopita was filled with green slop the feta was not even visible. Our second appetizer were the Dolmades. They tasted like they had been made at the beginning of the week and stuffed in the fridge until some unsuspecting customer bought one. We didn't eat them after the first couple bites. The first appetizers were so bad that we decided to order another to sate our hunger, the Village Salad (Horiatiki). This was another disappointment. The tomatoes were still half frozen. There was about 1/4 of a cucumber, 1/4 of a green pepper, and a teeny-tiny slab of feta cheese on top, about the size of a crouton. I was shocked. It was the most pitiful Greek salad I have ever seen in my life. The mains were even worse. The Chicken Breast Spanaki was not "stuffed with spinach and feta cheese" but rather it was 2 slabs of chicken breast used like sandwich bread with the same gooey green slop they tried to make me eat in the Spanakopita. I was expecting a kiev of sorts. When I cut into it the whole thing fell apart and I had 2 slabs of chicken and the spinach slop. In addition the chicken was pink! My companion had the Traditional Specialities platter. His dolmades were slightly better and edible. The creme on the moussaka had stiffened into a meringue-like texture, an indication of its old age. The pastisio was clearly warmed up, as the center was still cold. It was just disgusting. After ordering 2 carafs of watered down house wine, this bountiful meal came to about $72, $86 with tip (the service was adequate). It was a huge disappointment. If you're Greek DEFINITELY don't go here, and if you're just looking to try some Greek food MOST DEFINITELY do not go here, as not even the worst Greek cook would serve you leftovers this bad.
Posted by Room for improvement on 04/29/2007
I have been to Parthenon three times. The first time I don't remember too much. The second was pretty disappointing. I had a light snack (trigona & egg-lemon soup ). Trigona were soft (i.e. not crispy), but at least the filling was semi-tasty, but either they sat in a warmer or were warmed in the microwave. The Avgolemono was not the best I've ever had--overcooked rice, poor soup base. in fact it tasted like a powdered soup reconstiution. My friend had the breast of chicken which was very good. The service was poor, and cigarrette smoke permated the air. The waiter was intermittent and not very attentive. The most recent time, I took some friends from out of town as there was no wait for our 5-person party on a Sat night. That should've told me something. Upon beign seated, my friends inquired, "when is Chicago going smoke-free?" To their surprise I told them "Um, we're actually in a non-smoking area" Smoke from the bar permeates the entire establishment. Again, poor poor service. Our waiter, abrupt, aloof, and not attentive at all. No napkins at the table, asked the waiter, they never came even after our meals were served. I had to walk to a vacant table & grab napkins! Getting a spoon was like pulling teeth. Our food was decent, subpar saganaki, lamb loin was very tasty, veg moussaka was...interesting, veggie plate was overcooked, and the quail plate had nothing other than the 2 small birds and a plate of rice. Pros: Tasty food Cons:Poor service, business etiquette, ventilation (i.e. tobacco smoke permeates the restaurant), value, & portions. I will not be going back to Parthenon, there are way too many better options out there, but I will miss their tasty overpriced quail.
Posted by Maria on 03/17/2007
I have been a regular at the Parthenon since my college days 30 years ago when we walked from UIC. Never had a bad meal or bad experience here. The food is consistantly excellent, with a large selection to please everyone. A must for Greek cusine when you are in Chicago. My only complaint is the noise level can be high and the long tables not very condusive to conversation, especially with a larger group.
Posted by william j pappas on 09/08/2006
The Parthenon is an example of what Greek restaurants should be like--white table cloths, happy noise mixed with Greek language from the waiters, excellent authenic food, very good house wines, friendly hosts and again excellent food!! Having been in many, many Greek restaurants during the last 50 years this remains the best--consistent and comfortable.If you don't know Greek food don't complain about it, go get a Big Mac!
Posted by Mr. Big Beef on 02/16/2006
Having been a regular at Parthenon for 10 years, I will go to no other Greek town restaurant for any reason. It's loud, fun, and the food is the best. The aglovelemano soup, lamb, and spanokita are awesome every single time, Always get a few flaming saganaki's too. I feel like I am in Greece whenever I go there, and Yanna always takes great care of the entire party. A great Chicago experience!