A few years ago, a new Mediterranean restaurant started showing up all over my feed.
It was called The Naughty Greek, and its promise was simple, but encouraging: fresh Greek food, prepared using recipes straight from the homeland.
Somehow, life got in the way, and despite being near #1 on my “Want to Eat” list for years, I never made it out.
And then… a second Naughty Greek location. And then a third!
Clearly, these Greeks were doing something right. Too much to ignore any longer, I realized it was time for Lily and I to head out and try those Greek dishes that Twin Cities locals had been raving about for years.
Our Full Review
The Atmosphere & Vibe
Of the two locations, we found ourselves in the University Avenue spot. We showed up mid-day on a weekend, and despite the popularity, there were actually plenty of tables to be had.
The space is also surprisingly large, which brings definite bonus points in an era of social distancing. (Speaking of the space, The Naughty Greek tells us they’ve started renting it out for events. So if you’ve ever wanted to have your very own Big Fat Greek Wedding, we know the perfect spot!)
The Naughty Greek (or “TNG” as the cool kids are calling it) is counter-service. So, as we were obviously carried away by the enticing menu, we placed a massive order and then waited with eager excitement for the runners to bring the food to our table.
Pro Tip: For the truly genius, you can always order The Naughty Greek from the University Ave location’s next door neighbor, Dual Citizen Brewing. Because somehow, craft beer always makes food even better. 😍
The Food & Menu
Like I said, a very tempting menu, and I am helpless against that siren call. We ordered a ton of food, so let’s dive into all the plates:
Wow, these are some top notch fries.
They come super-extra crispy, so fans of the crunch will leave extremely satisfied. They’re also spiced up with a mountain of crumbled feta and greek seasonings, but maybe nothing shines as bright as their “sassy cheese spread.”
It’s a cheesy dipping sauce so popular that TNG started selling it by the container. And it’s every bit as awesome as you’d think.
Baked Greek Feta w/ Honey
I mean, just look at this thing of beauty.
If there’s one thing we Minnesotans know? The only thing better than cheese… is cheese that’s been baked or fried for an extra layer of flavor.
The Naughty Greek does this by crisping up the whole feta block in a greek Filo wrapper, and then topping it all off with Greek-sourced honey that’s been elevated with thyme seasonings.
The result is one of the most unique appetizers in town.
Dessert for a starter? You’ve gotta try this one!
TNG Original Greek Salad
The first thing you’ll notice here is the big block of feta, to which you’re supposed to drizzle all over with their signature TNG dressing:
But the quiet star of the show would be the tomato/cucumber/pepper mixture, which take the place of traditional leafy greens.
This bright and colorful cous-cous salad was a welcome refreshment in what was quickly becoming a feast for us.
The Pork Gryo
Now, I’m usually a beef or lamb gyro kind of guy, but we’re told Pork is actually TNG’s specialty, for two reasons.
- It’s supposed to be delicious.
- All that pork is sourced from Midwestern farms, with an emphasis on humane practices, and… bonus! No phosphates or preservatives.
(The chicken is also sourced from local farms with good practices, but I already made my pork decision, and I’m sticking to it!)
Final verdict? This is a top notch gyro.
If you’re looking for those mushy soft gyros, move along. TNG’s take is extra crunchy – they grill up the pita until it’s nice and firm, and then double down on the crunch with some of those signature crispy fries tossed right inside.
The end product is flavorful and crunchy with every bite. Definitely one of the more unique gyros in town!
Yep – that’s fava bean falafel!
We ordered this in plate form with a pita on the side, which means you can build your own creation:
And wow, was that some flavor-packed falafel!
Call Me Fluffy (Loukoumades)
Per the menu description:
Fried Athenian fluffy mini donuts served warm with Greek thyme honey, cinnamon, and powdered sugar.
Okay, could that aim any more to the heart of a Minnesotan like yours truly, who has a not-so-secret love affair with our State Fair’s mini donuts?
And just look at these beauties!
I’m drooling just writing this, and they were every bit as tasty as expected.
In keeping with that theme of crunch, the emphasis is certainly on the “fried” part of the description. These babies are exactly as advertised – a perfectly crispy fried dessert, with plenty of sweetness to end a delicious feast!
Final Thoughts – The Naughty Greek is Dangerously Delicious
After having tried what felt like half the menu, I can confidently recommend The Naughty Greek as one of the tastiest greek restaurants in town!
Interestingly, my personal favorite parts of the meal were the ultra-unique side plates. Nowhere else in town is serving naughty french fries or baked greek feta like this, and I’d definitely consider both dishes as must-orders to go along with whatever else you choose.
Either way, our visit to TNG was a roaring success!
- Address 1: 2400 University Avenue West Saint Paul, MN, 55114
- Address 2: 181 Snelling Avenue North Saint Paul, MN, 55104
- Address 3: Capella Tower Skyway, 225 South 6th St. Minneapolis, MN 55402
- Website: The Naughty Greek
- Service: Fast casual – order at the counter and they’ll deliver to your table.
- Price range: $9-15 a meal