“Blue” is Authentic, Atmospheric Greek Dining

by Ashley Johnson

photo via tripadvisor.com

photo via tripadvisor.com

Pristine beaches, crystal clear blue waters, and sunshine reflecting on the majestic cliffs in the distance captivate my imagination for a moment.  I open my eyes and realize I am not, unfortunately, in Greece like I had hoped.  The mouth-watering lamb I was eating took me out of the restaurant and into another time and place. Blue, a Greek restaurant located at 5 Granite St. in Ashland, is the only authentic Greek food establishment in the Rogue Valley. While it may be a bit expensive for us college students, it is well worth treating yourself to.

The cream-colored archways decorated with lights invited me in with cultural accentuation. Fresh aromas told me I was in for a treat before the door even opened.  There were covered tables outside for the adventurous people to brave the winter chill.  Upon entrance, one word came to mind. Ambiance.  Dimmed lights, enchanting Greek music, and candles delicately placed on each simple wooden table pulled me in.  As I was greeted by a handsome, friendly waiter I noticed intricate blue designs and Greek art work painted on the off-white walls.

The atmosphere was inviting and warm. Upon being seated, I was promptly given water and a full description of the specials.  The waiter was very knowledgeable and had an answer for every question I asked. The menu was simple, yet captivating.  Starters include items such as grape leaves and rice to spanakopita, and range from $3.50 to $9. I chose a sampler with tzatziki, spanakopita, and grape leaves.  Being a tremendous fan of tzatziki in general, this was one of the best I have ever had.  The grape leaves and rice were a little on the dry side, but the spanakopita made up for it in flavor and richness.

While the menu items certainly caught my attention, I decided to order the lamb gyro, one of the specials.  When in a Greek restaurant, do as the Greek would do, right? I have always enjoyed good gyro meat, and this experience most definitely met my standards.  While I waited for my meal I gazed around the room, taking in the atmosphere.  The blue ceiling, combined with the fish net strung on the wall, radiated calmness and peace.  The classy wooden wine bar set up in the back contrarily reminded me of a Greek party.  My meal was delivered to me relatively quick, and was well presented.  The lamb meat was tender and flavorful, and the sauce on the gyro was delicious.  Leafy greens, onions, and tomatoes accompanied the meat on top of fresh-made pita bread that seemed to melt in my mouth. I received polite, prompt service and the quality and portion of food was adequate for the price.

Blue offers pork, chicken, beef, and shrimp dishes as well.  While the menu is somewhat limited, there are seven different specials that are on rotation.  For those of you that are over 21, cocktails and wines are available. If you enjoy Greek food, or have been wanting to try it, this is the place. Blue is not only the single Greek restaurant in the area, but also an overall enjoyable establishment that provides excellent service, great food, and a pleasant atmosphere.  They are open 7 days a week, from 5 p.m. to close. For reservations or more information please call 541-708-5150.

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