ClevelandPeople.com Passport Adventurer Dinner
On Tuesday, January 13th, we took part in another outing with the Clevelandpeople.com Passport Adventurers. This time we enjoyed a Greek dinner at the Mad Greek Restaurant on Fairmount in Cleveland Heights and Mr. Austin Terry, whose family owns the restaurant, guided us through the delicious meal of spanakopita, hoomis, baba ghanouj, Greek salad, and avgolemeno soup just for starters. For dinner we enjoyed a Greek sampler with gyro, chicken souvlaki, grape leaves stuffed with vegetables and meat served with a vegetable medley. After Mr. Terry found out that we, ourselves, are vegetarians he arranged for us to be served with a special pasta dish which just might be responsible for us wanting to visit the Mad Greek again in the near future. For dessert we had baklava. When Ms. Debbie Hanson of Clevelandpeople.com asked Mr. Terry how he would define the food actually served in Greece he said that Greek food was "fresh food" and the Greeks enjoyed a lot of greens and fish. This was consistent throughout the country; the main difference between the regions was the spices that they used. At this point, a person sitting near us pointed out that a Greek family that she knows recently made Christmas cookies which were circular instead of oblong (as they usually are) because the family member who made them came from a different part of the country. Mr. Terry also talked about Greek wine which he said was prepared in pine barrels that gave it a "piney" flavor that one had to get used to.
The Mad Greek Restaurant has quite a history having first opened in Coventry in 1976 as a mostly takeout food establishment that was destroyed by fire in 1978 but reopened in 1979 at its current location which used to be the Brown Derby. Mr. Terry, himself, moved here from North Carolina when he was seven years old and has been involved in the restaurant in some capacity ever since.
During the dinner, we were entertained by Mr. Konstantinos Revelas who sang several Greek songs and played a guitar-like instrument called the bouzouki which at one time was associated with a kind of socially conscious music called "rembetika" which was banned by the government. In the late 1940's, however, the bouzouki underwent a renaissance and today is regarded as a "symbol of Greece" and is used to play all sorts of songs.
In between the dishes, Mr. Joe Meissner, who is quite a scholar, gave a short presentation regarding 10 thing you may or may not know about Alexander the Great. Mr. Dan Hanson shared some insights into what the world has gotten from Greece that included the Greek alphabet, logistical knowledge, and mathematical concepts like the pythagorean theorem.
Ms. Debbie Hanson reminded us that today was Tuesday the 13th which in Greece is the equivalent of our Friday the 13th. For us though, this analogy didn't hold up because we had a good day as well as a good meal.