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The Village Grille is a great spot for a quick lunch

The ever-daunting challenge for employees looking to escape the office for lunch is finding a place that can get you in, eat and back to your desk in 60 minutes or less. Sure there are the greasy burger joints, the food on four wheels and the chain sub shops, but if you’re in the mood for something fresh, fast and not franchised, it can be tricky. That is, unless you work in Williamsville. Tucked away in a small building on Main Street you’ll find The Village Grille, and it just might be the answer to your lunchtime conundrum.

Amidst the chaotic traffic and ever-expanding business district, it can be easy to miss. With just seven tables and a small counter for take-out, The Village Grille is quaint. On this day, most of the tables are full by noon and the phone is ringing with orders. This is a good thing as it takes a while to get through what is a surprisingly expansive menu.

At first glance the Grille appears to be a Greek restaurant, and while there is certainly a Mediterranean feel to the menu including spanakopita ($4.99), souvlaki (chicken, beef, gyro or tuna, in three sizes ranging from $6.75-$11.99) and an eggplant sandwich ($5.99), there is much more to be had. In the mood for Mexican? There’s a taco salad ($8.99) and a chicken quesadilla (11.99). Add to that five different kinds of melts ($8.25-8.75), chicken fingers ($7.99) and a slew of subs hot and cold ($5.50-8.99) and you’re bound to find something you like.

We opted to mix it up a bit. We kicked off lunch with an appetizer of tzatziki which was served in a soup cup full to the top and accompanied by a generous plate of warm pita, plenty for a table to share ($5.25).

I watched two heaping bowls being delivered to a table next to me and I knew two things: I had to try the souvlaki and I should get the mini. Both were good choices. The Mini Chicken Souvlaki ($6.75) was anything but mini. A mound of lettuce and crisp vegetables were covered with diced grilled chicken and feta and accompanied by traditional Greek dressing. It’s the perfect lunch — plenty filling, but not so heavy it will leave you napping at your desk mid-afternoon.

If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, the chicken stir fry ($11.25) is served on a generous bed of rice and filled with fresh vegetables and meat, enough so that you’ll likely be asking for a doggie bag.

All told, with an appetizer, entrée and a baklava ($4.75 for a huge square) wrapped to go, we were in and out in less than 35 minutes and back to the office with time to spare. The service was fast and friendly, the atmosphere comfortable and most importantly, the food was delicious.

The Village Grille

Where: 5650 Main St., Williamsville (thevillagegrille.net, 626-9944)

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Info: Delivery available