Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Millos: Overpriced Greek cafateria food


Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat
--Socrates

I'm almost wondering if Socrates himself ate at Millos before uttering that line. God knows this Greek restaurant has been around for eons in downtown Victoria. Indeed, as the great philosopher advises, one should not have to live, only to see one's hard-earned life's savings sink into the black hole of an overpriced restaurant. This is my main grievance about Millos: the obscenely high prices for what amounts to Greek cafeteria food.

My friend and I had actually attempted to have lunch at Millos a couple of times in the last few months. The first time we went in around noon on a Saturday and were greeted by dead silence. Not a customer in the house. But more troubling, not a staffer in the house either. We paced around the lobby impatiently for about 5 minutes before yelling into the back for assistance. Nothing. We paced a bit more, then left. The second time we attempted to have lunch, exact same scenario. This time, we didn't yell; we just turned and left.

A few nights ago we attempted dinner at Millos, and thankfully we found living, breathing people milling around inside. To our surprise we were even given a table, and menus! Eureka!

This was a Sunday night, at the height of tourist season, and all but a couple tables in the entire room were vacant. Not a good sign.

The service was fair (how could it not be with a mostly empty restaurant?), but the food we ordered was uneventful and massively overpriced. I have no problem paying top dollar for fine dining fare, but Millos offers up Greek standards that simply do not warrant the high price. A single stick of chicken souvlaki on a bed of oily pilaf -- $18. Are you kidding me!? A far superior souvlaki can be had at Bay Centre food court, or at Eugene's for a fraction of the price. The small, bland square of mousaka I ordered, also $18. And these were from the cheap side of the menu! Our appetizer, calamari, was a tiny portion ringing in at 12 bucks. And I have to say, Millos' calamari is nothing to write home about. Frankly, it was of lower quality than the stuff that gets served up at most pubs in town.

No wonder the place was 90% empty this night, and 100% empty when we attempted lunch two previous times.

Do not be fooled by the faux Greek exterior look of the place, or Athenian kitsch wall art inside. Neither should you be swayed by the promise of belly dancers. Millos is overpriced food court fare that will leaving you pondering deep philosophical questions about the meaning of life, food and poverty. Or it just may leave you poor and pissed off.

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