Souvlaki Wars: The Food of the Gods
blog by BuffaloDotCom • March 03, 2011 @ 3:53pm
If “Ambrosia,” the Greek restaurant on Elmwood, is defined as “food of the gods,” then these gods have pretty diverse taste. While Acropolis - an early stop on our Buffalo souvlaki tour - offered an avant-garde pomegranate chicken souvlaki, Ambrosia (467 Elmwood, adjacent to Casa di Pizza) countered with two new takes.
First, Ben T. had the Ambrosia chicken souvlaki, which boasted the usual ingredients of marinated chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and feta cheese, but was presented with a dijon mustard dressing on the side. Dijon mustard on marinated char-grilled chicken? We were intrigued.
“The dish originates from our travels in Toronto,” Manager Jean Mulkey (Byron’s aunt) said, “but several of our offerings stem from customers as well.” It’s nice to see a restaurant take suggestions and implement them.
Unlike the other three Greek restaurants we’ve visited, Ambrosia adds a twist to its original souvlaki by incorporating tomato sauce. While we’re leery of how that would taste - tomato sauce on lettuce? - it’s an authentically Greek option. Lamb souvlaki is occasionally offered as a special, while pork souvlaki rarely appears on the menu.
Two other distinctive traits of Ambrosia, Mulkey explained, are the tzatziki (cucumber garlic dip) and the restaurant’s emphasis on pure ingredients. Instead of using sour cream like many local Greek places, Mulkey pointed out that Ambrosia uses Greek yogurt in its dip, a more expensive alternative. Very few of these ingredients, Mulkey notes, are imported; point to something on the menu, and it’s more than likely made from scratch.
Reflections: S.J., who went “safe” with Ambrosia’s most popular dish, chicken souvlaki, was impressed by the “charred-texture” of the poultry. Like Mulkey said, there’s a notable difference in taste. S.J. missed the element of the peperoncini and the olives in the salad, but she enjoyed the fresh greens and the bite-sized pieces of chicken (as opposed to strips at the other stops).
Ben T., frustrated that he didn’t order the pomegranate chicken souvlaki at Acropolis, branched out with the Ambrosia chicken souvlaki today. The presence of the dijon mustard and the lack of peperoncini and olives made the dish seem less Greek, but it was still delicious - it’s hard to go wrong with chicken and a subtly-sweet mustard.