We hit Kostas just before noon on an October Sunday that would have been perfect in June -- bright, with a slight, warm breeze. The patio was packed and the front doors were open, and people kept streaming into this spacious, popular place.
Ruth, Dan, John and I were all in the mood for breakfast, and we paid close attention to the specials board, which can sometimes be a gold mine of unusual offerings and/or lower-than-menu prices.
John found a bargain: pancakes and bacon for $5.65. Three pancakes on the menu are $4.95 and a side of bacon seemed a bit pricey for $3.50, given that we've paid less for a substantial pile of hash at some other places.
When the food arrived, he found that the special was two medium-large pancakes, served steaming hot, but not accompanied by butter or syrup. The server put down all the plates, then surveyed the table for what we needed: drink refills, hot sauce, butter and syrup. While she was rounding all that up, taking a few minutes that seemed far longer, the pancakes cooled. When John was finally able to eat them, he found the pancakes a bit doughy, as if slightly undercooked.
Dan had better luck with his Breakfast Pair -- two eggs, two smaller pancakes, bacon, potatoes and toast for $6.25. It was a good value, and he especially liked the Greek potatoes. The soft potatoes' texture and taste were nicely enhanced by crisp browned edges and the subtle lemon, oregano and garlic flavoring.
Ruth ordered Eggs Benedict ($7.35) and praised the creamy Hollandaise. The eggs were perfectly poached, with solid whites and slightly liquid yolks.
My chicken souvlaki breakfast cost $8.55 but included an entire plump chicken breast, seasoned, grilled and cut in strips. It was a lot of chicken -- I was eating it long after my two scrambled eggs and delicious potatoes were gone. Or maybe it just seemed like a lot because it was on the dry side.
A chocolate milkshake ($2.95) was fabulous -- it was sweet without being cloying and thick enough to support a straw. A swirl of whipped cream on top added a nice touch, we thought. Three of us had a taste and agreed on the verdict: "Yum!"
-- Anne Neville
1561 Hertel Ave.
Review: 2 1/2 stars (Out of 4)
Kostas is open from 6:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, from 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. There are three steps leading up to the door.