Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna on Davie, Vancouver

I have always heard that Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna is popular and the lines were legendary. Still I was amazed with what I saw.

Suanne and I decided to go to Stepho’s our Friday night out. Since we heard that the lines was long, we decided to be there early. We were already at Stepho’s at 4:45PM. I mean there should be no waiting for a table right? After all, how many people would eat at that time. Wrong!

While we did not have to endure waiting outside the restaurant, yet we still had to wait inside for 30 minutes. Shortly after we got seated, the lines began to form outside.

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By the time we left at close to seven, the line stretches over to the neighboring shop! Amazing, everyone seems to be patiently waiting. I think this is at least an hour wait for these people … most likely more!

For these people there is a two-stage line. One is outside and a smaller group inside the restaurant. It took us 30 minutes just waiting inside the restaurant. So just imagine how long this line will take.

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So Suanne and I was certainly excited to finally check out Stepho’s. It has all the signs of a very successful restaurant. For one, they had just celebrated their 20th anniversary last year. There were a lot of wait staff working at a furious pace. It seems like they barely are able to keep it all together.

The inside of the restaurant is larger than we thought. It was also very dark for the most part. It just happened that we were seated at the darkest table in the restaurant. I had to manually crank up the camera’s ISO setting to 1600. So the pictures here are rather grainy and soft.

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I tried their Greek white wine. There is a name for this but I just can’t remember what it is now. I did not like it. It tasted somewhat coarse and dry. This is $5 for a glass.

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You know what makes Stepho’s so popular? It’s their price and especially their humongous portions. Yet despite knowing that, we ordered an appetizer to share.

It is a Stepho’s creation called Toriboukes ($6) … or just cheese balls in English. It is served with … cool slices of beets. The six cheese balls were marvelous. The outside crust is warm and coated with bread crumbs while the inside gooey cheese is colder. It went very well with the garlicky dip. Anyone knows what this dip is called?

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Suanne ordered the Roast Lamb from the Platter Meat section. The lamb is an incredibly large chunk of meat. At one look we know that there is no way that Suanne could finish them. Mind you the size of the plate itself is already large and yet it is so full of food that we had to thread carefully less some of them fall off the plate.

This dish is only $10 and is served with roast potatoes, rice pilaf, vege briami and Greek salad. The lamb was so incredibly tender and soft that it virtually melts in our mouth. It was good but seriously, I think it was TOO MUCH of the good thing!

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My choice was called the Bakaliaros (Greek Fried Fish). This is also $10. The fish is crispy on the outside. I find it a bit too salty but at least I had the garlic dip to mask the saltiness. As expected, there were lots of fish fillets in this dish and it was not particularly fresh tasting.

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We were given two thick pitas. It was fluffy soft and pillowy especially when it was served on the table. We like it but found that they became a little too dry and hard right towards the end of the meal. I guess it is one of those bread that is best eaten warm.

All in all the meal was satisfying. The meal is just $37 after tips. I do find myself very thirsty after the meal which lead me to think that they could have uses a lot of MSG in their cooking.

We observed also that there were quite a lot of take outs in this restaurant. You may check out their menu in this link.

Stepho's Souvlaki Greek Taverna on Urbanspoon

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  1. Roast Lamb looks so good! Does it taste gamy? Does lamb always taste gamy or it depends on how you cook it?

    I want to try roast lamb but I am not used to gamy stuff.

    1. Hi Ladybug:
      We did not find the roast lamb gamey. Maybe it is because we are so used to eating lamb these days. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they have a chicken-lamb combo so that at least you don’t have to waste the entire dish if you happen to not like the lamb.
      Ben

    2. The lamb roast here is terrific. No, it doesn’t taste gamey. And if you feel like eating oh, about half a lamb, then it’s the thing to order.

      Note: I always ask for HALF the amount of rice with my food here. They pile so much on the plate that it gets in the way and keeps falling off the sides…and you’ll never eat it all!

      1. A trick I use to “portion control” my meals is to ask the server at the time I order, to place HALF the entree into a take-out container, and just plate the remaining half for me to eat at the table. That way, I don’t need to discipline myself in front of a large entree, yet I can have the remainder at home the next day.

  2. The garlic dip is skordalia and the cheese balls are Tiroboukies. BTW the fried fish (bakaliaros) is dry salted cod, hence the salty taste and the thirst thereafter. Maybe they didn’t let it soak long enough in water before frying…

    1. What you said makes sense, Ann. I did not connect the saltiness of the fish with my thirst after. No wonder Suanne said she did not have the same feeling after the meal. Ben

      1. To get rid of the salty taste, it has to soak a good 24 hours in water and the water needs to be changed a few times during that time. Maybe the restaurant cuts a few corners to save time.

  3. The picture in the low light of the wine in the glass was really pretty. One of your best ever!

    1. Hi etranger: I find the shot too soft but I’ll pocket the compliment just the same. Thanks a lot!

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