I’m just going to put this out there from the start: I hate the word “naughty.” Whether people are talking about how naughty their pet gerbil was this weekend or how naughty it is that they’re eating a second brownie, I can’t help but physically cringe at the word. With that said, going to The Naughty Greek was one of the most enjoyable restaurant experiences I’ve had in awhile. And hey, my dining companion and I even got a little naughty and ordered fries for the table.
The Naughty Greek opened on November 10, and my dining companion and I ate there just a couple days later. The restaurant is small, with just a few tables in front of the counter, which is where they take orders and serve the food. We were one of three groups eating there at around 2:30 p.m. on a Sunday. The dining area is cozy, but has a spacious and homey aesthetic: lots of natural wood surfaces, copper accents and plenty of natural lighting.
My dining companion and I loved the friendly atmosphere of The Naughty Greek. He said the owner seemed “genuinely happy for our business. We weren’t just customers, we were guests.” I’ve never felt so warmly received in a restaurant—the owner even brought us a free dessert when we lingered after our meal. While this might not be the case when the restaurant staff isn’t trying to make the best impression possible in the first days of being open, it made for a memorable experience.
But of course, I need to get to the most important part: the food. My dining partner and I both ordered the beef tenderloin souvlaki, which we agreed was delicious. A warm, seasoned pita was wrapped around pieces of beef, tomatoes, onions, tzatziki sauce (a Greek cucumber yogurt sauce) and fries. The sandwich wasn’t huge, but it was big enough to be satisfying and the flavors were great. The restaurant emphasizes fresh ingredients, and according to my taste buds they lived up to expectations. We had the option to add a side of fries, but chose to order a full plate of the “Naughty Fries” to share. These fries were completely worth being a little naughty: they were thin but not too thin and topped with feta cheese and a tasty mix of seasonings. The plate was the perfect size for sharing between two or three people. When we had finished our meal and were lingering at the table, the owner came over to ask how everything was and if he could bring us a dessert on the house, and we enthusiastically consented. He brought out hot Loukoumades: a dessert described on the menu as “fried Athenian fluffy mini donuts served warm with Greek thyme honey, cinnamon and powdered sugar.” They were a great way to end the meal—sweet but not too sweet, subtly spiced and not too greasy or heavy. The Naughty Greek is an exciting new option to have so close to campus. While its location is accessible for most Mac students, the prices don’t make it a great everyday option for most students. The gyros at Shish are more than two dollars cheaper ($8.20 for a pork gyro vs. $5.95 at Shish). However, if you have a little extra money to spend and are looking for something new, The Naughty Greek could be a great choice. They have good vegetarian options, like a grilled zucchini and eggplant gyro, four types of salad and several tasty sounding appetizers. They have clearly-marked gluten free and vegan options as well, though vegans won’t have many options outside of the salad and appetizer sections of the menu.
The Naughty Greek is located at 181 Snelling Ave N, St Paul.