The expression “homestyle cooking” gets tossed around occasionally, as in, “That restaurant does some real homestyle cooking.” What does that mean? Isn’t cooking, just cooking?
My take is that “homestyle” refers to a certain indefinable quality — food that’s maybe a little rustic, less precise, and more about feeling, with a certain je ne sais quoi that announces, hey, this was cooked with care.
All I know is when I sat down with my platter of food at the Greek Deli, my immediate thought was, “This is some homestyle cooking!”
The Greek Deli looks like it’s been there for a long time (it has — over 20 years) and sticks out in bustling, business-oriented Farragut North, where “family-run ethnic deli” aren’t the first words that pop into mind when you’re walking around. Clearly though, the place is no secret to the lunch crowd.
The line was way out the door when my co-worker Cindy and I arrived on a recent afternoon.
Not to worry, the folks at the Greek Deli are extremely efficient, and the line moved rapidly.
As we got closer to the counter, I could see the various hot dishes, and boy, did everything look good.
Cindy and I both opted for variety with the Greek combo. Here it is:
This bad boy had to have weighed a couple of pounds. Easily could feed two to three people. I think the combo changes daily depending on what’s being made; on this day it included roasted chicken, a baseball-sized meatball, lima bean/chickpea/tomato stew, and a generous helping of pastichio, a baked pasta dish that reminds me of a cross between lasagna and moussaka.
Oh, and the combo also came with a side Greek salad and an enormous hunk of deliciously chewy bread.
Safe to say that if I worked near the Greek Deli, I’d probably weigh 50 pounds more than I do now.
As I made my way through the tender meatball and surprisingly addictive lima beans, I kept thinking how it all tasted less like restaurant food, and more like something I’d expect to eat at a friend’s house whose Greek grandmother was preparing Sunday dinner. It was hearty and real, and not at all manufactured or cookie cutter.
Homestyle cooking at its finest.
1120 19th St. NW