eat: Balkan the Greek.

I love Banff. It is a charming, attractive town, filled with athletic, well-dressed people. For my dad’s 50th birthday dinner, we decided to go out on the town. Balkan the Greek had great reviews on Urbanspoon, and we all love Greek food, so it seemed like our best choice.

Our evening started off interesting. We sauntered in, a group of 7 on a Saturday night without a reservation, and discovered we wouldn’t be able to get a table for 1.5 hours. Not surprising. But as we were leaving, the host chased us and told us that a reservation for 7 was almost 20 minutes late, and if they didn’t show up in 5 minutes we could snap up their table.
Reservations for 7 aren’t exactly common. It was meant to be.

We were seated and greeted. Our server turned out to be knowledgeable, very pleasant, and attentive. She knew all the specials, what dishes to recommend, and always kept our drinks topped up.

Buns and olive oil-balsamic dip was served, and it was as good as any. The buns were the definitely the take-and-bake kind you can buy at the grocery store. Although I love carbohydrates in all forms, I prefer fresh bread. Thankfully, the main meal more than compensated.

We also ordered a “large” Greek salad to share amongst us. It is definitely not a large salad, by my standards. Maybe I’m too Americanized (or more accurately, Super-Sized), but I could have easily eaten the whole salad myself, and still had room for dinner. I wouldn’t recommend ordering it to share, like we did.

I chose one of the specials, two 3 oz. bison medallions wrapped in bacon and served in creamy sauce for $26. It came with rice, lemon potatoes and veggies.
$26 is on the pricey side, but as I’ve said before, I have no problem paying for value. (My Papa John ended up paying for this one, so maybe I should be asking him if he felt it was worth it.)

The bison was fantastic. I ordered it medium-rare, and it was cooked just the way I like (pink-red, but with no blood gushing, and definitely no tough pieces). The bacon added moisture, flavor, a little fat and saltiness. I absolutely loved it. I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys steak, but wants something a little different. (I’m so sorry I didn’t get pictures! I wasn’t expecting to be doing any reviews!)

The bison was definitely the star of the show, but the sides were good as well. I liked the Mediterranean rice, especially when mixed with the cream sauce from my bison. The lemon potatoes were wonderfully crispy and not overly lemon-y. I wasn’t crazy about the vegetables, but that’s because they were mostly from the squash and gourd family, which I straight up don’t like.

I was way too full for dessert, sadly. 😦
Overall, I had a really enjoyable meal with good service, and would say it’s worth the money.

Here are the rest of my fam’s comments:
Papa – lamb, said it was good but a little salty.
Mama – souvlaki on pita, very good.
Jordan – ribeye steak, very good. Was also a good deal.
Sister – chicken souvlaki, she said it was too lemon-y. No one else agreed with her.
Brother 1 – bison, also enjoyed it. But he’s the strong, silent type, so it’s hard to get his opinion of anything, not to mention food.
Brother 2 – swordfish. Enjoyed it.

If you’re ever in Banff with some money burning a hole in your pocket, give Balkan the Greek a try. From my experience, they have friendly service and great food that I think is worth the cost.

Balkan The Greek Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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