Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cafe Akroteri: 1219 Cornwall Avenue

It's been a couple of years since I first posted about one of my favorite places to grab a drink with friends, Cafe Akroteri. A couple of years ago, I wrote about the bartender Seth and his gift for making the perfect classic gin martini. Sadly, Seth is no longer there, but the woman who has been working the bar the last few times I have been by is really friendly and charming, so at least the good service has not changed.

Another thing that has not changed about Cafe Akroteri, some might say sadly, is the menu. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of vegan options. I usually order the hummus plate with the request of sliced cucumber and tomatoes, and that is always delicious. (Incidentally, their pita bread is also vegan if you specify no butter.)

I tried the vegetable soup in 2008, the time of my original post, and was unfortunately a bit disappointed. This time I wanted to make sure I wasn't over-looking any other vegan options, and I was reminded of the possibility of making the Greek salad vegan by leaving off the cheese. When I asked about the dressing, I was told it was just olive oil.

The hummus was as delicious as always, but my salad was a bit disappointing. The tomatoes tasted as though they had been frozen and then thawed out again,  and they had that weird crumbly texture that reminds me of a bad apple. The "dressing" had no flavor, and I think when I was told that it was olive oil, that was the literal truth. (Some balsamic would have dressed it up nicely.) The tomatoes on my hummus plate were just fine, so I can only assume they were from a different batch.

In summation, I still love going to Cafe Akroteri for drinks with friends. The atmosphere is welcoming and the bar is quiet enough where you can carry on a good conversation quite easily. The staff are as friendly as ever. I will definitely be going back again, but as of right now, for all the vegans out there, I can only recommend that you either eat before you go, or that you order just the hummus plate, the only reliably tasty vegan option.

And, I also invite you to encourage Cafe Akroteri to consider expanding their vegan options. Because it really is a great place and it would be nice to have a few more things to choose from. What about a vegan gyro? Stuffed peppers with cous cous? Vegan dolmades? I know there are some great vegan dishes out there just dying to be made. Maybe some day.  In the mean time I will stick to the hummus, enjoy the drinks, and dream of future possibilities.

UPDATE: November 11, 2012 CAFE AKROTERI  HAS UPDATED AND EXPANDED THEIR VEGAN OPTIONS! They now offer a number of dishes, including a lentil soup, lemon garlic potatoes, and vegetarian souvlaki which can also be vegan. Their hummus is as amazing as ever,  and they now brush their pita bread with a delicious olive oil instead of butter.


Katie said...

I just went to Akroteri for happy hour on Friday (2 dollar wells!), and I was told that the pita bread has dairy in it, so even if you have them not put the butter on it it's not vegan. But maybe my server was mistaken?

CM said...

Hi Katie,
I prefer to get the hummus with veggie slices, but I have been assured on numerous occasions that the pita bread is vegan, as long as you ask for no butter. To be on the safe side, however, I just called and spoke with someone at Cafe Akroteri who actually read me all of the ingredients in the pita bread, and although it does have sugar, it has no dairy. (It also has flour, baking soda, yeast, vegetable oils, and some corn syrup).

The person I just spoke with was very helpful and also suggested that you ask for the pita bread to be brushed lightly with olive oil instead of the butter, which not only is vegan, but he thinks tastes really good.

Hope this info helps! :)

Katie said...

Thanks for checking!!