Cafe Italiano


Cafe Italiano cover

Title updated to reflect its new name.

Sometimes we get some glowing recommendations e-mailed to us. This is something we like, of course, though sometimes the reason we haven't mentioned the spot is that it... Well... Sucks. And we don't want to go back. Other times we learn about spots we really don't know, like, in this instance, Greek Street.

Now this e-mail was very complimentary about them. We're talking national anthem playing in the background and fireworks going off type positive. So we were enthralled. We're only human after all.

Luckily, Greek Street is good. Spokane has kind of an odd take-out mentality, and most spots centered around to-go food tend to be all about pizza or fast food. Greek Street might also largely be about pizza, but it's the "more" part that really sets them apart. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The pizza here is excellent and a bit different than what we often see in these parts. The crust comes out fluffy, soft and thick, with just a bit of crisp to the outside. It's not Italian pizzeria thin crust, nor is it American thick crust. This is more of a type fairly common through many European countries, probably originally based on (then modified from) the Roman street pizzas. Apparently Greek immigrants often bake this kind of pizza in a pan, though I'm not sure if that is the case at Greek Street. Anyway, you get the point: The crust is good.

The toppings have a nice fresh taste to them, and while it's a pretty cheesy pizza, it's not like the cheese overpowers the other flavors. Overall, this is an excellent pie, better than most other carry-out spots around town, and it alone is worth the trek to Indian Trail (or to the Coeur d'Alene spot).

Yet what makes Greek Street truly stand out is the range of other dishes they offer. Many pizza places serve food other than their pizza -- like god awful wings -- but Greek Street goes the extra mile here. Their pasticcio, a baked Greek pasta dish, comes recommended. Granted, I doubt the rigatoni was made in-house, and it is far from the best noodles I've had, but the seasoned meats are quite tasty. Plenty flavorful, particularly with the bechamel sauce. This isn't Italia Trattoria quality, but let's grade on a scale here. If someone wants a pizza and someone wants pasta for take-out, then Greek Street is a step above the rest.

A French Country Salad also comes with passing marks. Not necessarily outstanding, but the balsamic dressing is excellent, as is the combination of caramelized nuts, goat cheese, and beets.

In the end, Greek Street delivers Greek food like we've had in Greece. The fact that it incorporates other types of Mediterranean cuisine is just, well, a Mediterranean thing to do, and we approve of it. The pizza here is excellent, and the "more" holds a good quality as a supporting cast.

If you live in the area there's also a delivery service available. You can sit down at one of their few tables too, though I'm guessing there are going to be fights over those. (They were all taken during our visit.)

Bennidito's might be close by, but we'd go with the more interesting Greek Street for take-out ourselves. The pizza is better, and there's a larger selection of other interesting dishes to choose from too.