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Free Street Taverna
128 Free Street
772-5483

 
Four Plates  
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Free Street Taverna Reviewed: Winter, 2000

The Free Street Taverna is a rustic neighborhood bar located conveniently between the Old Port and the residential West End.The restaurant serves delicious Greek food at amazingly affordable prices.

The atmosphere of Free Street is very casual and relaxed and provides for a sociable time out to dinner with friends or a convenient stop in for a quick bite to eat and a beer. There is live entertainment seven nights a week and also two outdoor decks. I have frequented The Free Street Taverna at least once every couple of weeks since I moved to Portland and I am always pleased with my experience whether it is one of dining, drinking, or entertainment.

The menu at Free Street consists of typical bar type food with a Greek twist. Appetizers include Taverna fries ($1.25 for a small basket, $2.95 for a large), Pedro the Greek's Quesadilla with veggies ($5.95), chicken ($6.95) or lamb ($7.95), or Chicken Fingers ($5.95) served with your choice of dipping sauces, along with a number of selections entitled "From the Motherland" including Dolmathes ($5.95), grape leaves stuffed with beef and rice, Flaming Saganaki ($7.95), melted Kasseri cheese "set afire" served with pita bread, and Spanikopita ($5.95), phyllo dough triangles filled with spinach and feta cheese. Entree offerings range from the Taverna Burger ($5.25) to Falafel (5.25), Gyros ($4.95-$5.95), and other sandwiches all served with fries or slaw to Grilled Sesame Dill Salmon ($9.95), Grilled Souvlaki ($12.95), lamb and veggie skewers with rice, and Moussaka ($9.95), Greek pie made with ground beef, eggplant, and topped with souffle. Meal specials change daily along with beer and drink specials and daily soup selections.

I've sampled several of the menu selections between the many excursions I have made to Free Street Taverna. I think my personal favorite is the Pedro the Greek's Quesadilla, a large tortilla stuffed with cheese and various vegetables served with homemade tomato and bean salsa, sour cream, and lettuce. I am also very biased towards the notable chicken breast Gyro. Strips of moist grilled chicken wrapped in a thick soft pita with tomato, red onion, and lettuce, topped with tzaztki, a delicious creamy cucumber sauce complemented with your choice of cole slaw or Taverna fries, hand-cut fries, with the skins still on, reminiscent of fries you might find at the Topsham Fair. The chicken fingers, in regular or buffalo style are also a big hit with my taste buds. Friends accompanying me on my visits to Free Street have eaten and loved other entrees including the Falafel, similar to the Gyro with falafel balls replacing the chicken and hummus and thaini in lieu of tzaztki sauce, the Traditional Greek Salad ($4.50), described by my friend as being "very fresh", and the Veggie Pita with Hummus ($5.95), mixed veggies and lettuce in the token pita topped with lemon Greek dressing.

parking
reservations
wheelchair accessible  
vegetarian selections
vegan selections
beer
wine
liquor
most credit cards accepted
Free Street has a full bar with numerous draught beers as well as bottled beers and wines. Monday thru Friday from 4-7pm they offer free happy hour pizza, 1/2 price appetizers, and $2.00 drafts.  back to the top

      Tracy B. Wheeler is a classical flutist and freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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