By Kathryne Grisim (@foodmuser)
WINNIPEG — We introduced our children to restaurant dining at an early age and now we enjoy doing the same with our grandchildren. Generally, family restaurants do the best job with accommodating kids. With research, I knew the Spiridakos family-owned Olympia Diner (3253 Portage Avenue) so I thought we had gone to the right place.
Our cheerful waitress immediately grabbed the crayons and a colouring sheet so we were off to a good (read: peaceful) start. There was not a children’s section to the menu but we spied chicken fingers and fries and knew we would be able to appease both granddaughters. Glamma and Poppa had tastes of those chicken fingers and we were very impressed. A kid’s cup of chocolate milk was immediately delivered so we could determine and make the rest of our selections.
I must admit that I was disappointed that they were out of moussaka but as pastia was pretty close with its béchamel topping, I was content. Truth be told, most of the pasta casserole went home with us as I filled up on Greek French fries. Imagine a Greek version of poutine with oregano liberally sprinkled onto freshly-cut fries along with lots of crumbled feta.
My husband chose a Greek salad and we learned the difference between which salad includes lettuce and a village or a peasant salad, which does not. The garlic toast was enjoyed by our youngest granddaughter along with her favourite dish — the ice from Poppa’s glass.
Even though we arrived before noon the diner was busy with patrons. Perhaps they too were drawn to wholesome Greek cooking or the distinctive Grecian blue décor.
Olympia Diner is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Mondays. There are separate lunch and dinner menus available. The diner is not wheelchair accessible from the front door.
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