For a long time, it seemed every time I walked past Steve’s, whomever I was with would comment on how much they loved Steve’s and what great Greek food they have. I often saw a sizeable crowd around lunchtime and finally, one weekend, convinced Husband to try it with me.
The restaurant itself is standard diner issue with wooden tables and chairs. There is little in the way of atmosphere, but what they lack in atmosphere, they make up in sticky tables. The HUGE menus either need a cleaning or a torching (the menu was so large it spanned the width of the table when I put it down). Every piece of “décor” was really just old news paper clippings celebrating their cheap eats, which was kind of weird because the food wasn’t any cheaper than many other, similar restaurants in the area. I have eaten cheaper meals with more flavor.
The staff was indifferent to us as we came in and asked to be seated. As the hostess seated us, I asked about gluten-free options. The hostess shrugged and walked back to the door. This is not unusual; many hostesses seem to feel that is an issue best taken up with the waitress.
So when the waitress came for our drink order, I asked which items on the menu would be appropriate. She seemed peeved by the question and suggested meat platters with rice pilaf. Pilaf can go either way. However, since I grew up eating the Middle East brand’s rice pilaf, which contains orzo pasta, so I asked, “does your pilaf have orzo pasta in it?” she shrugged and did not offer to check to see if that was the case. So I decided whatever I ordered, I would order it with salad instead of rice pilaf.
I have found grape leaves are generally ok, so I asked if she could check that the grape leaf platter served with a salad would be ok. She shrugged and said ok. Clearly she did not give a crap about food allergies and food safety, so I was a little nervous.
Husband ordered a pasta dish (he loves to go gluten when we go out: it serves the double purpose of keeping me from eating off his plate and getting the chance to consume gluten, poor guy).
When our meal arrived, I was a little irked to see the grape leaves swimming in a pool of whitish sauce, which she had neither mentioned, nor I was guessing, had checked to see if it was ok. Since the waitress had been categorically unhelpful throughout the ordering process, I did the stupid thing; I decided to taste it for gluten. The sauce was creamy and lemony and all kinds of good, but since I couldn’t tell if the sauce was thickened with flour or with cornstarch, I scraped it off the leaves and hope that I hadn’t had enough to make me sick. The grape leaves it covered were mediocre. The salad was pallid and mealy. They did not bother to dress it. I wasn’t sure if that was because they were paying attention and the dressing contained gluten or if they were lazy.
Husband’s meal was also pretty mediocre. It was linguine with seafood in a white sauce. It looked pale and unappealing. Husband seasoned it several times throughout the meal to give it some semblance of flavor. It was the most unappealing pasta and seafood dish I had ever seen.
In the end, I did not get sick from dining at Steve’s, but I would not want to play Russian roulette with my lower intestine in that establishment again. The food wasn’t good enough to warrant the risk.
If you are really sensitive, please don’t risk going here!