Sometimes the experience ends up being just as interesting as the food.
I’d been wanting to try Paul’s Restaurant in Downtown Roanoke for a while. They don’t do any advertising but I’d heard good things and there is always a steady crowd whenever I walked by. People say they serve some awesome Greek food. It’s a bit out a walk from my office but I decided recently that I was going to stop in for lunch.
After walking from my office and getting close to the restaurant, I remembered that Paul’s only takes cash and the ATM was behind me. I thought about giving up and just going somewhere else to eat but convinced myself to stick to my plan and walked back to the ATM to get some money.
Then, I walked in the restaurant and saw that there wasn’t much of an ambiance. There were plenty of open tables but I figured I could just order take-out and then find somewhere else to eat. I grabbed a menu and looked through the items and it wasn’t nearly as Greek as I was expecting. The “homemade” pitas intrigued me so I got a pita wrap with chicken salad. I also ordered a side of fries.
I realized I was mistaken when I looked over at the woman in the kitchen and saw her putting spoonfuls of chicken salad on a pita. Uhhhh....I had been taking pictures of someone else’s food! I put the lid back on the take-out container and just hoped no one would say anything to me. Thank goodness I didn’t decide to try the salad right there while I was waiting.
A few minutes later I was given the food I ACTUALLY ORDERED and headed out to find a spot to eat. After I left the restaurant, I thought to myself, “You came here to try the Greek food and you didn’t even order anything Greek!” I figured this whole experience had been a big waste of time.
Fortunately, the chicken salad pita actually tasted really good. I don’t care if it wasn’t Greek. The pita was light and soft and the chicken salad reminded me of how my mom makes it. It also came with cheese, lettuce, tomato and a nice addition was the dressing that was also on top of it - it tasted like an Italian dressing but it might have been something a little different. The portion was very large and the pita and side of fries cost $6.00.
So I still haven’t really tried Greek food at Paul’s. But considering how the rest of that experience went, I should have figured I wouldn’t eat Greek food. Maybe next time I’ll try the salad I have some great pictures of!
Update - May 2014
I highly recommend the Father Nick's Salad (which comes with a little of everything - including bacon and chicken) or the Cyprus Salad, which has sliced gyro meat.
This is one of the true hidden gems that locals love in Downtown Roanoke.
13 Franklin Road SW, Roanoke, VA 24011
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