Are you looking for lunch, dinner or that after-pub-crawl snack? Vasilis Express in the heart of the Elmwood Village has many options to satisfy any comfort food craving.
The restaurant offers a menu of Greek and American favorites, including salads, falafel, tacos, hoagies and burgers.
The décor is trendy, with wrought iron fencing and rope lights inviting visitors toward the small storefront. Order from the large menu board behind the counter or the small paper menus near the cash register. Once your selection is made, grab your beverage from the cooler and choose from the limited seating inside or the more spacious patio along Elmwood, where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the strip.
The eatery’s signature item, the Vasilis Mega Wrap ($5.95 to $6.59), appeals to any visitor. Hummus and garden varieties are offered for vegetarians, while meats from chicken to lamb fill out the choices for the carnivorous crowd.
The chicken fajita wrap ($6.59) was stuffed with tender grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, a semi-spicy salsa and cheddar cheese. The wrap was delivered cut in half, but each piece was large enough to be its own meal. Each component was plentiful, yet well-proportioned.
A bite of another wrap, the chicken souvlaki, cooled the tongue from the spice of the fajita, thanks to a generous portion of tzatziki – a blend of yogurt, cucumber, garlic and fresh herbs. The dressing gave the wrap the perfect zing.
Those who are experts at peeling foil away as they eat would be able to handle the wrap’s contents, which seemed ready to burst out at any moment. For the rest of us who carelessly rip the foil away, prepare for a mess and make use of the forks available to scoop up the escaped goodies.
Add fries to any wrap for $1.75. The large portion was perfectly golden brown, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Tzatziki also is offered as a spread, served alongside warm pitas. Other spreads ($5.95 to $6.25 for a single spread or $10.99 for a sampler) include hummus; tirokafteri, which is a blend of feta cheese, roasted red peppers, olive oil and fresh herbs; and dolmades, grapevine leaves stuffed with rice, fresh herbs and a lemon-dill sauce.
In addition to other Greek favorites, such as the gyro ($5.95/$10.95 for the dinner) and chicken souvlaki dinner ($10.95), Vasilis boasts 10 types of poutine fries ($5.99 to $7.99). The base is french fries with a gravy sauce and cheese curds, and variations range from chicken pot pie to Philly cheesesteak to turkey dinner. The less obviously named Little Piggy Poutine features pulled pork and bacon.
If you have room for dessert, Vasilis offers an array of American and Mediterranean favorites, from ice cream and shakes ($2 to $3.50) to loukoumades (similar to doughnut holes) and baklava ($2.95 to $6).
Whether you are seeking a full meal or a late night snack, Vasilis Express offers quick service without skimping on the quantity or quality.
1066 Elmwood Ave. (886-4976, www.vasilisexpress.com)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes.
Extras: Takeout, parking along Elmwood Avenue. A second Vasilis Express is at 1900 Hertel Ave. (832-4976).