Although it’s small, I have always tried to embrace my Greek heritage. Maybe it is the blood, but I absolutely love Greek food. (I mean who doesn’t!?!) I could absolutely live off fresh village salads, spanakopita and moussaka, no question! Having traveled to Greece, (recap of my visit to my family village of Vasta here, Athens here, Santorini here and Crete here) we ate true authentic cuisine and still dream about the amazing meals. Since coming back from my trip, it has been a struggle to find Greek food that even compares to what we had in Greece.
In walks in Opa to save the day! Opa opened up this past spring along Carroll Creek in Downtown Frederick and has been killing it ever since. I have visited Opa several times and thought I would share some of the deliciousness from my various visits.
A Little About Opa
I was lucky enough to have a one on one lunch with Pete Pantazopoulous; co-owner of Opa a few months ago, and get some details of what Opa is all about. Pete is probably the nicest guy you will ever meet. He started Opa along with his Father, Sam Pantazopoulous, who has been in the restaurant biz for many years with restaurants located in various places throughout the US. Samantha, Pete’s daughter has joined in on the family affair and helps Pete & Sam out with the marketing side of things.
Throughout my entire lunch with Pete, I was able to understand the mission of Opa. Opa is a lifestyle and means to celebrate life. Pete and the gang want every customer who dines with them to have that Opa experience- taking it all in, relaxing and savoring a great authentic Greek meal with friends & family.
What to Drink:
I have been getting more and more into craft cocktails lately and Opa has some great ones! Here are some of the cocktail creations I have tried and recommend:
Hades |a pomegranate sour made with metaxa, pomegranate syrup, lemon juice and a lemon twistAphrodite |strawberry jalapeno margarita with tequila, cointreau, honey strawberry syrup, jalapeno lime juice & strawberry Dionysus | Sangria made with red wine, Greek cinnamon liqeur, raki and orange juice Demeter | Cucumber Yogurt Gin Gimlet made with gin, honey syrup, yogurt, cucumber and lime Hermes| Grapefruit Daiquiri with rum grapefruit juice, honey syrup and grapefruit
What to get as an Appetizer: You gotta do the flaming Saganaki | Imported cheese that is sauteed and then lit on fire at your table. Then you must scream OPA!Tzatziki | Greek yogurt blended w/ cucumber, dill, garlic and lemon juice served w/ pita bread|
A side of Kalamata Olives | because they scream Greek and they are delicious
Eleniki Salata | Greek salad with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pepperoncini, black olives, feta cheese and house dressing
Horiatiki Salata | My fav! the traditional village salad made with fresh cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, feta, pepperoncini, black olives and house dressing.Spanakopita| a blend of cheese, spinach, scallions and herbs in phyllo dough. So so good you guys I could live off of these things!Dolmades Avgolemeno | Ground beef, rice, and fresh herb stuffed in large grape leaves, drizzled with an egg lemon sauce.
I have had Dolmades many times but the ones made with lamb and served cold without lemon sauce. I cannot decide which way I like more! Loukaniko| Greek Sausage w/ herbs and lemon zest
So Many Delicious Entrees- So little Stomach Room: The Opa Combination| Don’t know what to get? Why not try a bunch of things with the sampler. Pastitsio |Layers of Greek macaroni mixed w/ seasoned ground beef, topped with bechamel and drizzled w/ lamb kapama sauce, Moussaka| Layers of potato, eggplant, and seasoned ground beef, topped w/ bechmel sauce and drizzled w/ lamb kapama sauce, Dolmades| see above, Spanakopita| see above and Lamb| braised in an herb seasoned tomato sauce.
I am so glad I took my server’s (Debbie) recommendation. I have never heard of this dish before and am not a HUGE lamb fan but man oh man.. this is so so good. I highly recommend!Cauliflower Mediterranean| Cauliflower made with olive oil, dill, parsley, onions and tomato.
This was Opa’s side of the day and it was so good and unique I had to document it. I never would have thought to make cauliflower this way. Great way to get your kids to eat cauliflower!Pastitsio| Layers of Greek macaroni mixed with seasoned ground beef, topped w/ bechamel and drizzled w/ lamb kapama sauce
Fresh Snapper-broiled in a Greek lemon sauce ( I did not try this but doesn’t it look amazing!?)Sishkebab| Seasoned grilled kebab served w/ onion, bell pepper & tomato on a bed of riceTraditional Gyro| seasoned lamb cooked on a rotisserie served in an open faced pita, served w/ fries and a small Greek Salad
Anyone who cooks knows that Baklava takes a TON of TLC to make and Opa sure can make it! I will take a who plate please!
Now let’s talk interior.
The Opa space used to be occupied by Hinode- a sushi/Japanese restaurant. The facility has been remodeled and is now bright and airy with touches of Greek inspired decor.
Huge thanks to Opa for all of the delicious meals and for being my first website photo-shoot client. So happy to have you guys in Downtown Frederick!
*** This post was done in collaboration with Opa Restaurant. As always all opinions are my own. All of the above images are my own and many were obtained through a photoshoot for Opa’s website. Opa has mutual rights to the above images.
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