24. July 2010 13:21
Meli’s food was pretty good, its prices pretty cheap and service pretty fast. Grand slam by Greektown standards.
How do you spot a Greek-owned restaurant? Let us count the ways.
- The Host – Unlike the pretty, young female things hosting everywhere else, the Greeks have something ancient, something fat or something speaking little English or all of the preceding. Such hires are only made through stupidity or nepotism and I’d never presume the business guys are stupid.
- The Design – Nearly every bored suburban house-mommy once walked into Crate and Barrel and heard the call of Decorating. The only person she convinces of her “talent” is her husband. Husband invests in restaurant and forces wife upon his partners. This is why most suburban restaurants (Greektown doesn’t know it’s not a suburb) has mismatched light-fixtures, random tiles on walls, strange art, mismatched chairs, non-standard table heights and no ADA compliance.
- The Money – Family handles it. This rule has since relaxed as credit has well outpaced the coin but some places still like the payment bottleneck to be relations. (See the pay-line at Yolk)
Meli is guilty of 1 and 2 but thankfully lets the servers handle 3. And they don’t fall apart at bringing you the check which happens so bizarrely often that one might think it a conspiracy. The food is good. They stuff so many fresh ingredients into their omelets and frittatas that the egg glue holding things together is hopelessly inadequate. Indeed, this creates a vegetable overdose but you can pick things apart and make your own proportions to suit taste and texture preferences. Playing with your food is one of the few fun things still legal in Chicago.
Meli makes a big deal of making their own jams and butters. They’re really good but barely enough to cover 2 pieces of toast much less the 4 that 2 people would be fighting over. It’s not caviar people. Making a big vat of fermented fruit costs only slightly more than making a small one. Give us a jar of your stuff and let us really go to town.
Overall, Meli is good. We wish there comes a day though when Greektown can be measured by Chicago’s standards and not Naperville’s.