in downtown Kirkland has been a hometown diner since Jimmy Carter took office as president in 1976. Diners thrive off regular folks – old timers, families and those seeking a cure to the common hangover. As such, good diners need to possess the following traits – good, friendly service, quick turn-around from placing an order to receiving it, and dependable comfort food.
George’s sets itself apart with the endearing Mediterranean twist of Greek owners, showcasing familiar ingredients like feta and filo throughout the menu.
Having gone to George’s for both breakfast and lunch, I decided it was high time to take the family there for an early Friday dinner. At 5 p.m., the place was practically empty, giving us plenty of time to make a 6:30 p.m. swim lesson.
We were greeted by a cheerful server named Cooper who led us to a cherry red booth next to the windows. Our 3-year-old daughter kicked off her cowboy boots and immediately began waving at amused passersby. Our 6-year old worked fastidiously on his coloring page, drawing inspiration from the restaurant's coloring page wall of honor.
It took us a few minutes to look through the rather large menu – salads, gyros, grinders, burgers, pastas, entrees, even breakfast for dinner.
Our charming server was busy charming his female counterparts and took his sweet time before coming back to take the order. My husband chose the Greek burger and I the Greek gyro sandwich. Drawing from a previous visit, I asked the kitchen to go light on the shredded lettuce, which has a tendency to resemble an entire haystack on top of the gyro.
The bottomless drinks arrived in speedy fashion and then we waited. And waited. And waited. Seriously, what was taking so long? Our food arrived at 5:45, approximately 40 minutes after we walked through the front doors. Swim lessons were looking doubtful.
THE GREEK BURGER was a tasty knife-and-fork version, juicy and salty with feta. The fries were perfect diner fries – crisp on the outside, soft in the center.
But, the gyro sandwich had some problems. Apparently, the kitchen ignored the light lettuce note and also the actual order. I received the gyro sandwich, not the Greek gyro sandwich and was, therefore, missing the kalamata olives and feta toppings. Not to worry, I simply pushed a large portion of the lettuce aside and ate my sandwich. The house tzatziki sauce provided creamy tang against the salty gyro meat.
The little mix-up might not have been that big of a deal had our server ever come back to see how our meal was going. We never saw him again. We never even got to take advantage of the bottomless drink deal. Another sweet server finally came with the bill, which she quickly adjusted to reflect the different gyro sandwich, which was $2 cheaper.
Phew! It looked like we might just make that swim lesson – just as soon as they ran our card. Then all the servers disappeared again. We finally decided that maybe we were supposed to take our bill to the front to pay – which, we did as we raced out the door.
The food may be decent, the service friendly, but George’s didn’t deliver on timeliness. Kitchen errors and disappearing servers are the kind of mistakes that irk diners, particularly those with antsy kids. It’s more understandable when the house is packed, but there were only three tables by the time we left.
Maybe we hit the place on a bad night, but do I want to go back and find out? Perhaps for breakfast – the thick cut bacon is quite a treat.