Giorgio's serves up good food with pride

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Take a quick look at Giorgio's Restaurant & Carryout and you might see just one more no-frills pizza/sub/souvlaki place.

But take a second look and you'll see a place with a lot of pride in its food and a good rapport with customers. In sum, a very solid carryout.

There are several Giorgio's around town. This one is in the Hillendale Shopping Center, off Loch Raven Boulevard, east of Towson.

In its 13th year, Giorgio's has an inviting feel, thanks to some colorful neon in the window and a garlic smell that greets you warmly. Photographs of Greece decorate the entrance area and a huge banner saluting the Greek championship soccer team hangs over the grill. There are a few molded plastic booths, but Giorgio's is mainly about the carryout crowd.

Service was pleasant, efficient and detail-oriented. One server even wrapped the salad-dressing container in plastic to make sure it did not spill open on the ride home.

The food was uniformly good. We devoured a chicken souvlaki ($5.95), which featured a delightful tangy tzatziki sauce, minced tomatoes and flavorful chunks of meat, all wrapped in a fresh pita. Lasagna ($8.95), which often turns into a soupy mess during carryout excursions, held up quite well and was delicious.

We also made quick work of a chicken parmesan sub ($5.70), which avoided being greasy and came with the same hearty tomato sauce as the lasagna. No complaints about a Greek salad ($5.95), which featured a huge brick of feta cheese. And a tuna sandwich ($4.95) had plenty of adequate tuna salad on a fresh roll.

A small cheese pizza ($7.95) also had a flavorful sauce, but overall made little impression on our group of eaters.

Desserts are important at Giorgio's, which has a full ice-cream counter, complete with a hanging basket filled with bananas. A not-too-sweet chocolate shake ($2.50) made the drive home quite bearable, and a big black-bottom muffin ($2.50) provided a scrumptious capper to the meal.

There is plenty of parking out front.

Giorgio's Restaurant & Carryout

Food: ***

Service: ****

Waiting area: ***

Parking: ***

Where: 6833 Loch Raven Blvd., Towson area

Phone: 410-296-6066

Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Subs, platters, Greek specialties, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, salads and stromboli, $2.95 to $16.95; credit cards accepted Outstanding: ****; Good: ***; Fair or uneven: **; Poor: *

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