6.5.11 Lunch. Apollo Cafe (LowerEast Side. Milwaukee, WI)

It was the day of the annual UPAF ride for the arts.  Jamie, my cousin Harry and I did the ride together.  It was a perfect day for the ride.  Not too hot and with a nice little breeze.  The sun definitely made a difference though.  After doing the 25 mile ride over the Hoan Bridge.  We decided that we were in the mood for some Greek food and decided on going to Apollo Cafe on Brady St.  We rode our bikes from Summerfest grounds to Apollo and locked our bikes up.

Front view.  (Used from www.apollocafe.com)
There were both tables available inside and outside without a wait.  There are tables on the side of the building that extends to the front of the building so you can do some people watching along Brady, which is always a good time.  You can often find some characters strolling up and down the strip.  Apollo is set up where you order at counter and your food is placed on a tray and you bring it to a table yourself.  The restaurant itself isn't all that special or unique.  It's clean though so that's a plus.  Definitely not a dive type restaurant.  There were two guys behind the counter.  One taking orders and setting up trays and the other preparing the food.  They tend to be the usual crew. They're usually a friendly group.  When they get the after bar time crowd, they are a little more short with the customers but who wouldn't be when they have a long line of inebriated customers? I know I wouldn't be able to tolerate it the whole night.

They have a decent sized menu that includes apps, sandwiches/plates, Greek favorites, salads, sides and desserts.  It isn't a menu that is overwhelming though which makes it easier for my indecisive self.  The menu is on the wall just like any walk up and order type of joint.  As you stand at the counter, you see the gyro meat rotating on the rotating spit.  Mmmmm...tasty.  Not always appealing to vegetarians, I'm sure, but I dig it.  Jamie, Harry and I all ordered the same thing, the gyro plate.  The plates come with your option of fries, Greek salad, or rice pilaf.  Jamie and I ordered the Greek salad as our side and Harry ordered fries.  We all supplemented our water bottles with some ice water to go with our meals.  We were super thirsty since we had just done the ride.  The gyros and salads come right up.  Otherwise, they call numbers for other orders that may take a little longer to prepare.

Harry wasn't down for sitting outside to eat but Jamie and I don't like to pass up an opportunity to enjoy the nice weather.  With Milwaukee weather, you can't risk missing out on a nice day that isn't cold or too hot.  They are few and far between.  We sat at a table that was in the sun on the sidewalk along the front and it did get a little warm but not unbearable.  Majority of the people at Apollo sat outside.  Everyone there on this day was in their 20-30s.

I'll combine all of ours since they are pretty much the same.  It'll make it easier.
Gyro Plate with Greek Side Salad.
Details: Gyro Plate.  Seasoned lamb and beef served with pita tzatziki sauce, tomato and onion.  Greek salad has tomato, onion, blocks of feta cheese, olives and pepperoncinis with a Greek vinaigrette dressing.  Fries are a typical thicker cut, but not steak cut fry.  $8

Thoughts: Fantastic flavor to the gyro meat which is also nice and moist.  Not overdone.  Pita is tasty and soft.  Restaurant pita always seems so much better than the stuff you get at the store at eat at home.  Why is that?  It's a mystery to me.  You get an entire bottle of tzatziki  sauce which is fantastic because it's so delicious and adds a nice cool flavor to it.  The Greek salad is simple yet full of flavor and has fresh ingredients to it.  Greek salads are one of my favorites.  The feta isn't too overpowering.  Since it's in block form and you break it up yourself, it has a nice texture and moisture to it.  I'm glad I didn't get the fries because they were soggy (not pictured on this date).  It wasn't too busy so I'm sure they didn't have much fry turn over and they may have been sitting there for a bit longer than desired.  The servings were generous enough that I was able to take pretty much half the gyro to take home with me for another meal.  Definite plus!

After we ate, an employee came by and collected our dirty dishes.  There are also little bins by the side door for people to place their dirty dishes, trays and bottles of tzatziki sauce when there isn't someone coming around to clear tables.

Other factors to keep in mind:
-They are open after bar close.  A great after bar treat that isn't just all fried food.
-Vegetarian friendly
-Walk up service, don't expect to just sit at a table and have a server take your order
-Fairly fast preparation for food, especially the gyro plate.  So, if you're hungry and don't have a lot of time, this could be an option.

This was a good trip to Apollo.  Good Greek food at a pretty descent price.  I'll definitely come back again.  Good location but nothing all that exciting about the place itself that would get it vibe points.

Apollo Cafe
1310 E. Brady Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 272-2233

Sunday-Wednesday 11am - 11pm
Thursday - Saturday 11am - 3am

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