5145 Main Rd, East Marion, NY | Directions 1193941.120030 -72.350602
Mon - Sat, 8am - 9pm; Sun, 7am - 9pm
Neighborhoods: Long Island
Awesome Experience!!! – Driving to the end of Long Island can be long, and very interesting, because of the sites. I stopped off at this little restaurant not knowing what to expect and my expectations were met 10 fold! Food was outstanding!, Service was awesome, very friendly, George, the owner, very neat person to talk to. HE even wrote a book about his experiences with this restaurant and life. I bought one and enjoyed reading it!
The Only Game in Town – Greek food is delicious. The Hellenic is a travesty. We were there on a Friday evening this March (2011) with another couple while visiting the North Fork. The service started auspiciously with drinks around. Mine was a very good local brew, Greenport Harbor ale. It was downhill from there. My wife ordered a small Greek salad and an order of calamari for her dinner. I ordered spanokopita and an open-faced pork souvlaki, their signature dish. Our friends ordered chicken souvlaki, and the husband asked for a side of beets. They didn’t offer sides of beets, only a full order. Who can eat ten dollars worth of beets? See if you can get me a side order. Off to the kitchen. Nope, no sides of beets. Then what’s the vegetable of the day? That was on the menu. There is no vegetable of the day. What do you have in the way of vegetables? Off to the kitchen. We can give you tomatoes. Okay, tomatoes it is.
We asked that everything be served together, but the salad, calamari, and spanokopita came twenty minutes before everything else. I split my spanokopita four ways, a forkful apiece, so everyone would have something to eat (good, but not a great value at $9.75.) My wife passed the salad and calamari around. No takers. The “Greek salad” was a mound of finely chopped iceberg lettuce with a couple of tomato wedges, about four calamata olives, and a sprinkling of pencil eraser-sized pieces of feta cheese, all drenched in olive oil and vinegar. A nutritious bargain at only $7.95. The calamari was too lightly fried and greasy. Not really to die for.
Finally came the souvlaki, five or six small pieces of pork (or chicken) smothered with a mass of “marinated”, mushed tomatoes that rendered the underlying pita a soggy mess. My first piece of pork wasn’t done. The remainder were dried out and tough. Did I mention tasteless? The chicken variety was no better. Verily, unsouvlaki-like. The order of tomatoes finally came after only two reminders to the waiter. A complete failure to arrive of this heaping plate of mooshed tomatoes would have been merciful. No one licked their plates clean.
When the bus person arrived, and I surveyed this disaster, I realized I really should say something, and I asked to see the manager. Arrived a young man who announced himself the owner. When I told him our meal was not up to the quality we expected for the prices he was charging (or really, at any prices), his response was “Why did you eat it?” He had me there. Just because we were out on a Friday night for dinner with friends and reluctant to uproot ourselves in the middle of a meal to search for another restaurant isn’t much of an excuse. He continued: they’ve been in business for 35 years and, except for “shysters” trying to get out of paying, had a loyal following and few or no complaints. Some close-by diners began backing out of range.
I assured him we were not shysters and fully intended to pay for our food. He agreed, perhaps with more force than necessary that, yes, we would pay because we had eaten the meal. In return for his graciousness, I tried to soften my criticism by praising the beer, but he stalked off and back to the kitchen.
Moral: Don’t go to the Hellenic unless you’re desperate. The only reason they’ve been in business for 35 years, judging by their fare now, is because they’re the only game in town. And because, after you taste your meal, it’s too late to get away.
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