I was led to believe that the best foods come from certain parts of town. (Devon-Indian, Cernak-Chinese, etc.) In fact, one of my favorite cuisines is Greek. Well I am here to tell you that you don’t have to go to Greektown for great food. It isn’t even in Chicago, but in nearby Oak Park.
Oak Park reminds me of small towns where I come from. When you come to the restaurant , it reminds me of a little Taverna in Greece. Smells abound in Papaspiros, it is full of life and the staff is so friendly. The owner is filled with pride as he brags how his restaurant put another one out of business and how his establishment has been around for eighteen years. With so many good things to eat and drink, it was so hard to decide what to try.
I started off with a yummy cocktail called a Mykonos Martini . I am not usually a fan of the gin variety, but I loved this martini. It was made with pineapple juice and Malibu I love fruity drinks and kudos for this one. You have to start off an evening of Greek with a saganaki. Here at Papaspiros , it’s like a party in a pan. The place rings with an oompa ! as the flames dance above the cheese..This saganaki is made with a special cheese imported from Greece and has a sweet taste.It is actually better than Greektown. You can’t truly enjoy authentic Greek unless you have traditional dishes. Luckily, they have a combination plate with several favorites. The spanakopita has flaky phyllo dough with lots of fresh spinach and feta in the roll that means delicious. Layers and layers of goodness sprinkled with cinnamon are mixed in the pasticho . The egg lemon sauce is a crowning touch with the flavorful dolmathes. It mixes well with the grape leaves surrounding the mixture.Gyro meat is tender and moist , not dry. The potatoes are oven baked with a flavorful mixture. It is a smorgasboard of yummy.
The meat and seafood are fresh and delicious. We will have to come back to try it next time. We get to enjoy some of the bountiful offerings from the sea. The Kalamari was larger than other restaurants, and so was the shrimp. We tried a pasta dish that was filled with some of the biggest shrimps I have ever seen. The garides pasta dish was flavored with mixed vegetables, shell pasta and a light creme sauce that tempted the tastebuds. I got to have some of the most flavorful and healthiest chicken with the chicken shara. The skin was cooked to golden and was covered with a pungent but delicious lemon-oregano and olive oil mixture. Once again, the meat was not dry at all. This is the way that meat should be.
Sipping my blueberry tea, I pondered the dessert tray. I finally decided to make some creme brulee and chocolate mousse cake the grand finale to this Grecian journey. The cake was as light as air and chocolatey and the creme brulee was as sweet as it could be. Bravo for the wonderful service and fantastic food.
Papaspiros isn’t that far away , only in Oak Park. For city dwellers, just hop on the Green Line going toward Harlem. It’s a small town filled with family owned restaurants and quaint little shops. It is definitely worth the trip and you will thank yourself for treating yourself. Oh and plan on bringing home food because there is plenty of it. Papaspiros is located at 728 Lake Street in Oak Park. The restaurant also has a spacious upstairs for meetings and holiday parties.