|Extra-virgin olive oil.|
We lived in Englewood when the first It's Greek To Me chain restaurant opened, and it soon became one of our favorites.
But as the years passed, its popularity grew, and so did the prices. After we moved to Hackensack, we no longer made the restaurant part of our dining-out routine.
So, last night, we finally tried Greek Island Grill, a BYO on one of Hackensack's quietest stretches of Main Street, a vivid contrast to Englewood's congested Palisade Avenue and the noisy families that flocked to Greek To Me.
We were the first customers to arrive for the evening, but soon two more of the dozen or so tables were occupied and there were no screaming little kids.
The staff turned on a Greek music soundtrack, but did not turn off the wall-mounted TV, which showed Spanish-language movies where so many people were shot to death or blown up, I soon lost count.
It was apparently a movie festival called "Kiss of Death."
We liked everything we ordered, but the service was a bit slow and clumsy.
Why do restaurants bring you a salad or an entree to share without serving utensils? It's an enduring mystery. Still, we'll definitely return.
We ordered a terrific salad ($7.50) -- beets, potatoes, chick peas and red onions -- to share, but it could have used a serving spoon and a lot more dressing.
There was plenty of Greek pita to soak up olive oil and lemon juice.
Our entrees were jumbo shrimp with orzo in tomato sauce ($16) for my wife and a simply grilled, whole fish with rice ($24.95) for me and my 12-year-old son.
My wife liked her dish, which she had often at Greek To Me, noting the shrimp were crunchy and not overcooked.
And the fish was great, too, though I don't think it was the red snapper we ordered. The waiter forgot to bring the Greek fries my son asked for, but I caught the error on the bill.
Greek Island Grill, 77 Main St., Hackensack;