“If cameraman Korey (@KoreyDavisPhotography) doesn’t shoot it, I won’t eat it.”
In Miami, Hispanics are represented well with cafés, bakeries, and sandwich shops, Caribbean folk have everything from patty joints to full service restaurants featuring island cocktails and fire breathing sauces. Even Americans have our soul food, steakhouse, and BBQ joints sprinkled throughout our sunny little town. But when you think about it, where the hell do you find good Greek food?
Savoring Greek honey from the ancient spa Asklepieion, and Spanakopita made with fresh spinach, incredible feta, to a house spun filo dough is how my epic voyage, much like my Greek counterpart Odysseus began!
Owner Demetrius spoke affectionately about the magic of Elia Gourmet and its humble beginnings as a business born out of love for his grandmother—an amazing woman and cook. She taught him and his brother the art of Greek Soul Food, leaving a legacy of love, culinary sophistication and warmth, personified throughout my entire meal.
Arriving with gifts in hand, our team shared a delicious cognac with Demetrius, dining together inside his beautiful and artistic eatery, ordering beef, chicken, and spinach pies ranging from ($4-$5), to Bacon Wrapped Dates ($10), Baby Back Pork Ribs ($11.00). And though not necessarily Greek, Buffalo Cauliflower Florets ($9.00), deliciously packed the quintessential tang expected from any quality homemade buffalo sauce.
Our smorgasbord of starters, or Meze in Greek culture – little plates to share before the actual meal is served – were all enjoyable the chicken, meat and spinach pies will win you over before anything else. My favorite of the three was the Spanakopita, which has feta and fresh spinach with specs of citrusy flavors (one of the best I’ve had in Miami). My second would be the beef pie, seasoned to perfection with herbs, spices, and sea salt. The chicken pie was a bit milder than the other two, but still managed to produce delectable aioli style flavor.
The Bacon Wrapped Dates stuffed with goat cheese, mascarpone and a drizzle of fig glaze almost had me catch the Holy Ghost in this place, but I knew I couldn’t carry on like that, so I was just thanking God under my breath rocking back and forth (like Oprah sitting at the table in the 80’s movie The Color Purple). Although not what we are used to in Tennessee, Georgia or even Texas, the innocent looking ribs are Black Approved. These babies are served alongside a fresh made green spread encompassing kale, ginger and apple pureed with citrus pickled portabella mushrooms. I know it’s not sounding like Uncle Otis’s description, but believe me, you will leave with the same feeling of satisfaction. A MUST HAVE.
Not pictured, but an absolute MUST HAVE was their Mediterranean Platter of Hummus, Eggplant Spread and Tzatziki served with pita bread ($12). The warm triangles of pita dipped into any of these spreads will send your taste buds right to Athens! My favorite was their Tzatziki, an in-house spread of strained Greek yogurt, cucumber garlic, topped with a hint of freshly squeezed lemon.
A close second was the Hummus, mash cooked chickpeas and blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic for a balanced and one of a kind Hummus. Very refreshing, that in my 34 years, I have never had a Hummus tasting like the previous one, and Elia Gourmet easily makes my top 5!
I’m trying to tell you guys; this place is the definition of a hidden gem. The flavors, food quality, culinary sophistication and above all, the prices are on fleek (yes, I had to use that word to get your attention and invoke some emotion for you to better understand the seriousness of this crazy delicious spot).
Wrapping things up, we couldn’t leave without ordering the Traditional Greek Salad ($10.50)
Tossed using fresh romaine chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, red onions, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, oregano and virgin olive oil coupled with my entrée of the evening—the New York Strip ($19.00) served with tri-color organic baby carrots, sautéed red peppers, pearl onions and topped with red wine-rosemary butter.
For under $20, you can’t go wrong with this entrée! Tender is the word! The steak was extremely tender with hints of sea salt and butter, but not too seasoned where it doesn’t welcome a good steak sauce. I truly appreciated the chef’s attention to my instructions of medium-plus. Not many understand the cooking temperature and expectation of medium-plus, so it was refreshing to see such attention to detail.
Finally, Elia Gourmet has a host of deserts that would impress even the most adventurous sweet tooth. Highlighting their dessert options were the Baklava Cheesecake, Baklava, Muffins all ranging between ($3.50-$5.00) and all had interesting flavors and twist that Demetrius prides himself in.
Located at 900 Biscayne Blvd #105, Miami, FL 33132 on the north corner across the street from the American Airlines Arena and across the street from the Frost Science Museum, this eatery is a great option not only for lunch, but dinner as well with friends and family. Miami honestly has very few good Greek spots, so you can imagine how elated I was to discover Elia’s Gourmet! Now I have a spot to go to after the Heat demolishes everyone next season for a victory dinner or pre-game! They can be reached at (786) 558-3542. Elia’s Gourmet is Hungry Black Man Approved and I will be back for my Spanakopita as many times as possible!