Named for the island off the south coast of Greece’s mainland, Cheviot-based Santorini Restaurant offers breakfast diner classics mixed with Greek culinary mainstays. Often called a “coney island” by natives of Detroit and its surrounding environs, this style of family-owned Greek diner always features coneys, Greek salads, gyros, spanokopitas, and dolmades (rice stuffed grape leaves), in addition to more familiar double-deckers and omelettes with home fries.
We hit the Greek standards hard. The feta omelette with spinach ($4.85) was cooked just until the eggs were set and not a split second more. The spinach was fresh and still held some of its texture, while the feta was tart and creamy. The spanokopitas, ($2.10) on the other hand, benefitted from the spinach being cooked down, almost to a puree, with lots of oregano and just enough seasoning; the delicate philo dough shell was tender and flakey.
The gyro salad ($6.95) was a generous platter-sized version with olives, tomatoes, feta, cucumber, pepperoncinis, and long slices of slowly roasted, still-warm-from-the-spit gyro meat. Balsamic vinaigrette was served alongside, as were the ubiquitous club crackers. A side version of the same salad, minus the meat, is also available and forms a healthy alternative to those chili cheese coneys. We tried the basic cheese coney ($1.75) and noted that the dog was not overcooked, the bun was fluffy and soft, and most importantly, the chili was spiced in the definitive Queen City style.
Tiny, affordable, neighborhood restaurants like Santorini keep people of all stripes feeling at home and well fed. And when it comes to Sunday breakfast, that’s pretty much what we all need.
Santorini Restaurant, 3414 Harrison Avenue, Cheviot, (513) 662-8080