November 21, 2005 2:24 AM | By Adam Roberts | 9 Comments

Who Needs A Taverna When You've Got A Snack?

Like most people did this Sunday morning, I woke up at 9:30 and made my way down to NYU to watch a screening of My Neighbor Totoro with my Animation class. [Ok, get it, that was a joke---cause most people didn't do that this morning. (And by the way, the movie's really great, if you haven't seen it.)] Afterwards, Kirk and I decided to find lunch. [Kirk's in my Animation class. (Am I overdoing the parentheticals? ::Yes, but it's adorable:: {Who are you?} ::My name's Gertrude!::})]

On a trek through the West Village, I tried to land us at Sushi Tomoe where we went once upon a time with James Felder. But as fate would have it we chose the wrong street (Sullivan instead of Thompson) and once we realized our mistake, we crossed over to Thompson and began working our way up towards Tomoe when we spotted this:


Snack! This is the tinier, original version of Snack Taverna which is on Bedford Street and which I visited last year to the acclaim of my tastebuds and stomach.

"Let's eat here," I suggested.

"Ok," said Kirk and in we went.

As mentioned above, Snack is tiny. There are five two-top tables side by side and then a 3-top at the end. The kitchen is right next to these tables and you can watch the chef squirt olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle oregano on salads and sandwiches, depending on what he's making.

The hostess/waitress was very smiley and the place had a light, airy feel which I enjoyed. I'd walked past Snack a few times in the past and it was always packed, and so it was nice to be in here on an easy-going afternoon.

Kirk and I explored the menu and settled on some choices. Kirk chose a chicken sandwich even after I encouraged him to try the lamb.

"I had the lamb sandwich at Taverna," I explained, "It's really good."

"Ya," he responded, "But the chicken sandwich comes with lemonaisse and I really want to try that."

So it was settled. And when Kirk's sandwich emerged, he bit in and said (after chewing and swallowing): "This sandwich is awesome."

"Can I take a picture of you saying that?" I asked.



For my lunch I ordered something brave and unusual--(don't I always?)--at least in terms of what I normally eat for lunch. Behold my Olive Boureki:


That's a savory pie with olives, tomatoes, pine nuts and fresh herbs. The phyllo dough was super-flaky and the inside was a perfectly balanced mixture of flavor and texture.

"Mmmm," I said, "This boureki is awesome."

But Kirk didn't take a picture of me saying that.

I think, though, my lunch choice wins the contest of best lunch choice because it also came with a mini-Greek salad.


Remember when I got back from Greece this summer, how I made a Greek salad? And how I became this big Greek salad snob saying "No Greek salad will ever be as good as the Greek salads I ate in Greece?" Well this one's as good--if not better. Everything was fresh and crisp and perfectly dressed.

Our lunch at Snack was a happy accident, one that I hope to repeat in the future. To use a now familiar phrase: "It was awesome."


i love totoro! my fifth grade friend's japanese exchange student gave it to her and i always made her watch it when i came over. good times, i wish we had screenings like that around here.

Why is this filed under "Lisa Fills In"?

Totoro is... the cutest Japanese film ever. In fact, all of Miyazaki's work is amazing. If only I had time to catch up...

Also, take a picture of the filling!

Is it possible for me to marry that Greek salad? Because it looks AMAZING. Perfection. Watch as I exercise all of my willpower to refrain from licking the screen.

I think this is actually called a taverna salad which is just like a greek salad, but without tons of lettuce and a different dressing zing. I don't know if that is a happy or intentional accident because I have never been to that restaurant and I live in Texas. It is a Greek/Lebanese thing. Mmnnn.. Adam Greek/Lebanese food go for it!

that pie looks really good....!

-My Neighbor Totoro is a classic. Have you seen Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle? Both are really good. I didn't like Princess Mononoke all that much.
-I would like to see you do a review of Clinton Street Bakery.

The photo you have of this "Greek salad" is not really exclusively Greek :)

Its actually an east-med dish you can get in Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria as well. That white-dairy like crumbs you see in the photo is actually known as "shankleesh", a delicacy that is made of sun-dried mixture of yogurt and sour cream (labneh) formed in the size and shape of an orange, covered with a rich layer of with seasoning (mainly dry mint and mountain oregano) and left to naturally dry out under the Mediterranean sun.

But since "shankleesh" is not easy to get, most recipes replace it with Feta cheese (white double cream) - which takes away all the Greek from the Greek salad.

Man this is a creepy looking picture of me. I really should start combing my hair. That lemonaise was divine though.

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