I wish I had a better experience at Melanthios, where my list of things that went wrong far out number the good. We didn't send the food back, and left quite full, so it wasn't a complete disaster, but close.
We arrive for a late lunch around 1:30 on a Saturday. The place was pretty empty, only a few tables occupied and a one man show from host to server. It's a real nice space, with fireplaces, wine and olive oil on the walls and roasting pigs right in the middle of the dining room for a "you are in the kitchen" feel.
Yes, those are two pigs cooking right when you walk in.
We sit down, check out the lunch menu and order some drinks. A noticeably long time passes before the server comes back to take our food order, which was an order of grilled zucchini with skordalia ($9), grilled chicken pit ($9.5) and I choose the classic gyros pita ($9.5).
Not a long time passes when the grilled zucchini arrived, not really grilled, and drenched in olive oil with some salt and pepper seasoning. I could have handled that zucchini if I had my skordalia spread to eat it with (the main reason I order that dish is for the skordalia, the zucchini is a bonus). Well apparently 2pm is not early enough to order the skordalia as it was not made yet, something we were not told until after our dish arrived. I was shocked, simply put. I asked how long until it would be ready, and we were told 20 minutes, longer than I wanted to wait. We were offered any other spread (only two on the menu) with the zucchini and choose just to take the traditional tzatziki sauce. When that arrived, I was shocked to see it too drenched in olive oil. They must really like the stuff back in the kitchen. Needless to say the meal was not getting off on the right foot. I figured we'd have our main sandwichs soon and could move on with good greek food.
Unfortunately only half of that happened. The wait time between our olive oil appetizers and the simple pita sandwiches was long enough for the server to be scared of me and send the manager out to make sure I wasn't going to walk out. She asked if everything was ok, that she was told we were upset with a dish. No, not upset, just shocked that something as basic as skordalia spread wasn't ready at 2pm on a Saturday. She apologized and offered a free dessert. After even more time passes our sandwiches finally arrive. This was the best part of the meal, as we could just concentrate on eating the large mound of food in front of us. Everything tasted pretty good, nothing earth shattering. The chicken looked and tasted like something I could do at home, and my gyros were not much better than the ones I can get in the loop for a quick lunch. The portions were very generous and served with fries topped with feta cheese.
Gyros Pita (Feta cheese on the fries)
We finished some of the food and doggy bagged the rest, ate the free dessert (quite good, lots of honey and nuts but well made) and paid our bill. The value isn't bad, $30 for two for lunch with an appetizer. I wish this place worked and could save me the trip down to Greek town. It didn't so I'll just hop on the halstead bus next time I have a skordalia and gryos craving.