Little Greek Town Sprouts In Kapaa
Little Greek Town is so busy that, after being open for just over a month, there are plans to start another food truck. It seems Kaua’i residents have been craving authentic Greek food and have made special trips from as far as Lawai and Wainiha for a light, fresh taste of the Mediterranean.
“I can’t believe how much people have welcomed us,” says co-owner Daniel Luciu. “People come here and thank us for the restaurant and the food. I have people from one side of the island to the other talking about us and I’m amazed!”
On May 15, Luciu and wife Elisabeth opened their food truck in Kapaa, in the oceanside lot just north of Otsuka’s Furniture.
An impromptu decision was inspired by Antonio Aguilar, co-owner of Paco’s Tacos. Living on a farm in Moloaa, the Lucius would frequent Aguilar’s food truck in Kilauea when they wanted a quick and healthy bite to eat.
“One day Tony said, ‘Danny, you’re Greek, let’s open a food truck!'” recalls Luciu. “I had been thinking about doing it for a long time, so I asked Tony for seven days.”
In one week, Luciu had the truck power-cleaned, acid-rinsed and painted blue with a white sign that reads, “Little Greek Town, The ‘G’ Spot.”
Elisabeth’s parents are from Kefalonia, the largest of the Ionian Islands in Greece, and owned a Greek restaurant in Chicago for 10 years. Both Daniel and Elisabeth grew up in Chicago, where Greek food is ever-present. The couple created a small menu of family favorites and enlisted the help of friends who have access to commercial kitchens.
Vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters will find tasty and filling options. If you’re in a hurry, “sandwiches” make a delicious fast-food alternative, but if you like to linger and play with your food, the plates are your best choice.
A farmer, local food activist and friend of the Lucius, who goes by the name of Four Feathers, makes organic falafel with chickpeas and chia seeds. Passion Bakery in Kapaa makes organic, vegan pita bread.
A Falafel Sandwich ($8) includes six golf ball-sized, deep-fried nuggets that are tucked into pita bread along with a thick, house-made tahini sauce, lettuce and tomato. The Falafel Plate ($12) includes seven falafel, pita, steamed basmati rice laced with fresh dill and a side of horiatiki salad.
“Horiatiki is a traditional country salad,” explains Luciu of the first Greek salad I’ve had that didn’t contain lettuce.
You also can order the salad alone ($8) and it’s a crisp, juicy blend of tomatoes, red onions, green bell pepper, cucumbers, a mild feta cheese and kalamata olives with a red wine vinaigrette.
Passion Bakery also makes the Spanakopita ($12) by following the recipe from Luciu’s mother-in-law. The baked spinach and feta pie is savory and flaky and comes with dill rice and horiatiki salad.
If you’re a hungry vegetarian, try the delightful Meze Plate ($14). Choose between two dolmades (rice-stuffed grape leaves that are imported from Greece), a large wedge of spanakopita, or falafel. Either way, you’ll also get fried zucchini coins (kolokitia), garlicky mashed potatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil (skordalia), horiatiki salad, organic pita and a Greek yogurt sauce with cucumber known as tzatziki.
If you’re a meat eater, the right side of the takeout menu is where you want to look. Again, you can choose between a “sandwich” ($9) or a plate ($13). Sandwiches include Kronos pita bread stuffed with Chicago-style gyros, pork shoulder or chicken. All plates come with tzatziki, tomato, onion, pita bread, horiatiki salad and rice or fries.
Both the pork and chicken are cut into cubes and marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic for 24 hours before they’re cooked on a souvlaki (skewer). Chicken and pork souvlaki sandwiches, as well as thin slices of rotisserie lamb and beef gyros, are tucked into pita along with tzatziki, tomatoes, onions and steak fries.
“Some people are shocked when they get steak fries in their gyros,” says Luciu, “but my wife said that’s how they do it in Greece. We can leave them out, if you want. In fact, we are happy to make keiki plates or any substitution.”
Little Greek Town
North of Otsuka’s Furniture, Kapaa
Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Marta Lane is a Kaua’i-based food writer. For more information, visit TastingKauai.com.