Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Food Stop: My Big Fat Greek Restaurant

My Big Fat Greek Restaurant
Wednesday to Saturday, April 30 - May 2, 2008
Approximately 6:30 to 9:00 P.M.

After being disappointed with the Phoenix Public Farmer's Market, Tina and I scooted to the Arizona Center after picking up necessities at Trader Joe's. We were hoping to find something interesting and different for dinner. And then there it was, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. We knew having seen the restaurant earlier, this meant that we must dine there TONIGHT. We noted that they were still having HAPPY HOUR. Not being one to drink but only an occasional glass of wine, I was actually eyeing the fact that between 2-7 p.m. on weekdays if you sit in the bar or patio you'll get your appetizers for HALF OFF. What a bargain!

With 8 locations in Arizona, you're bound to find one close you. The menu is full of mouthwatering deliciousness. This is how they describe themselves and their cooking. "A Mediterranean flair of cooking created by the gods. Only virgin olive oil, fresh ingredients, selected herbs and just the right amount of spices are used. Secrets cherished and kept for thousands of years are now yours to enjoy. After Zeus released these great recipes to his children, we were finally blessed with great health and a long, prosperous life. Enjoy our warm hospitality along with your dining experience. Yasou!"

So Tina and I couldn't help ourselves. We went a bit crazy with the appetizers not realizing that they were actually a meal in themselves. After ordering 5 appetizers, we had no room for dinner. We will make up for that in future days! But more on that later.

Dolmades, homemade ground beef and rice rolled in grape leaves topped with a lemon cream sauce. DELICOUS. Everything is served with slices of toasted pita bread.

Keftedes, tender spiced meat balls "the Greek way" served with diced tomatoes and onions. More pita bread too! This was YUMMY when hot so eat this one quickly or the meat will taste dry when cool.

Zucchini cakes, filo dough stuffed with feta cheese and spices served on a bed of julienne veggies and tomatoes. This was good but not the best zucchini cakes this girl has had.

Spanikopita, filo dough filled with spinach, feta and fresh herbs. I love FILO anything, just about. It's fun eating the different layers of flaky goodness until you reach the center. The feta topping was so rich so I suggest eating that with some of the meal as it can tend towards being too salty otherwise. And, unfortunately I can't have much Baklava which is made with filo, honey and nuts, but that is one dessert you should have if you can have SUGAR and love LOTS of it!

Because sometimes you can't have too much of a good thing, on Friday night I took Rajeev and Paul, my buddies from Miami back to the MBFG Restaurant. I was surprised to hear Paul tell me he never had real Greek food. Being from NYC, I thought he had most foods. We'll I guess that is where I come in to help the fellow out. We also just had appetizers and that was enough for a full meal. It was good company but Tina had to go back to study for her presentation (for school). I had a good time catching up with my friends but they were too tired to keep the conversation going past 9:30 p.m. I wore them out or maybe just the crazy drive from New York to Phoenix is what finally caught up to them.


When Nick flew in on Saturday, we decided to treat him to MBFG also for lunch, since he is a fan of Greek food. We had more deliciousness at the booth and then that evening, because all the local restaurants were not all that appealing, we took Nick's Uncle Joe and Aunt Dee with family to MBFG Restaurant also. So all I can say is that MBFG Restaurant holds many memories for me now. It was a good fun time.

Saturday night, we had to order the Flaming Saganaki since I was dying to see fire put to good use in creating delicious food. This dish contains imported kefalograviera cheese flamed with ouzo and metaxa. Okay, all that was hard to pronounce but I can tell you it was an interesting flavor of saltiness and you MUST subdue the flavors with the pita bread. It was good!

Here is the waiter finishing up preparing the Saganaki and taming the flame. We also had some Greek fries which were very delicious. The dinner was all around YUMMY. I give the MBFG Restaurant. three YUMS and definitely I will return, if in Phoenix.


The Arizona Center

The Arizona Center is at the center of downtown Phoenix. There are many tourist type shops, restaurants and movie house on the premises.

Palm tree lined skyline

At center court, right outside the MBFG Restaurant, there are these tall palms trees with spiraling lights. As the sky darkens and night falls, the lights brighten the court with a water sprouting spiral to entertain the guests. Little twinkles of light, sparkling in the dark.

On the side adjacent to the restaurant is a nice waterfall. The sounds of water, is so serene amidst the human chatter of jovial celebrations.

Then further down some steps there is a lovely pond garden

Another view of the water ponds and garden

The Leaping Frog Sculptures

Mr. Frog sees something in the horizon and being the curious inquisitive one, he wants a closer look

He eyes the next lily pad and thinks to himself "I can make it", he starts jumping towards it.

He has his sight a little beyond the lily pad. Oh, the drama, will he make it? Oh what the heck, he just GOES FOR IT! Go, Mr. Frog, Go! You can do it!

Here's to Beautiful and Delicious Food
with Fond Memories Shared with Love Ones

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