consumed on 9/29/05

There are many reviews about Vios Cafe and they all have a similar consensus: a tragic story, good food and lots of kids. Before visiting Vios I thought it was odd how many of the reviews mentioned the presence of kids, but seconds after walking in I realized what they meant: there was a literal mosh pit of screaming kids at the back of the cafe. Other than that Vios was a pleasant, large, open space with lots of windows. The casual dinning area was scattered with shelves of imported pantry items for sale, up front there was a deli counter, and in back (near the mosh pit) were refrigerator cases filled with more goodies for purchase.

I ordered the lamb picadillo ($13.50) and when it arrived I was shocked at how small the portion was: two teeny peppers stuffed with lamb on a bed of greens. In the back of my mind I was thinking “what a rip off” and then the flavors hit my tongue and those thoughts quickly melted away. This was the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever had. The lamb stuffing was beyond tender, heavily spiced with rich, savory-sweet Mediterranean flavors and the soft red pepper was a perfect piquant foil.

For dessert I tried the galakto cake ($5), which was a bit of a departure for me since I’m not a fan of polenta cake. Galakto is made with semolina (as opposed to cornmeal) and has a slightly grainy, but wonderful, texture. It was served warm and topped with a hot, sugary syrup that made me swoon. I instantly thought of my mom (who loves polenta cake) and made a mental note to bring her here ASAP.

This is definitely a place I will return to—although probably not for a romantic date or with those that are hard of hearing.

Vios Cafe & Marketplace on Urbanspoon