Hellas, also known as Hellas Carry-out, is a family restaurant situated in the Powell/Shawnee Hills area of town, just a short jog down the road from historic, downtown Dublin. The large, inconspicuous building doesn’t stand out in any way, and in fact, if it weren’t for their big, blue sign near the road, you might actually miss it. The fact that Hellas is a little off the beaten track does have its advantages for their fans…From what I’m told by the servers and customers alike, there is always a line waiting out the door on weekends. This might also be the case during the week, if they were any closer to the Columbus suburbs.
Approaching the front door, we noticed a cozy, covered patio area set up with picnic tables for additional outdoor seating. I’m sure this area gets a lot of use during those busy weekends, or on warm days by large groups of parents and kids on their way to the nearby Columbus Zoo or Zoombezi Bay.
As we entered the restaurant, we found ourselves at the end of a small, quaint, L-shaped seating area, complete with regulars sipping coffee at their usual tables. Hellas is owned by two brothers, Bill and Demo, and you can usually find one or both of them at the diner, cooking in the kitchen and/or talking with customers in the dining room. Demo greeted us on this morning, and offered us a seat.
Another view of the counter/kitchen area.
Hellas describes their restaurant as “Your second kitchen”. Their breakfast menu is fairly large, and is highlighted by several Greek and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. They have an extensive omelette menu, and with over 30 different omelettes to choose from, it’s almost impossible not to find one that you’ll like. Their omelette plates range in price anywhere from $8-$11 (depending on whether you want home-fried potatoes or not), and come stuffed with many different combinations of ingredients such as grilled shrimp, pork loin, house-made sausages, artichoke hearts, corned beef, avocado, orange peel, feta cheese and there’s even one filled with fried green tomatoes! They also offer several specialties like Spanakopita and Greek yogurt with honey, other diner fare such as biscuits & gravy, pancakes, French toast and oatmeal, and a couple of breakfast sandwiches thrown in for good measure.
I ordered something they call an “Elegant Egg Pita Wrap”. It’s essentially a large omelette cradled inside a warm, fresh, flatbread pita. I opted for the Shrimp & Crab Meat Pita Wrap, which had roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions and feta cheese wrapped up inside as well. The seafood looked and tasted fresh, and the flavor was really good. A little hot sauce on top, a fold of the pita, and I was a happy man.
I tried to unfold the egg wrap to show the ingredients I found inside: 3-4 big, jumbo shrimp, a decent-sized portion of lump crab meat, and fresh veggies. Yum!!
My breakfast companion, Kevin, ordered the Biscuits & Gravy Special with home-fried potatoes (you can get this with your choice of either the potatoes or two eggs). The biscuits were dense and heavy, but good. The sausage gravy was seasoned well, and as you can see, came in great supply. The potatoes had a nice crust on them and were cooked perfectly.
When Demo found out who I was and why I was taking pictures of my food, he came out and introduced himself. He was a very friendly character and he came out to check on us several times during our visit (in addition to our waitress who did an excellent job, too). He brought a fruit bowl to our table and asked me to take a picture of it. No, we didn’t order it…it belonged to a lady sitting two tables over. I snapped the photo, and he quickly delivered it to its rightful owner with a smile, an explanation, and a shared laugh between the two. Man, that fruit did look good, though. It was a HUGE portion that could easily be shared by 2-3 people.
Hellas also offers a a few selections for desert, like these cookies and muffins. They were cooling on a tray just inside the server window to the kitchen, and I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of them.
While eating, I saw at least a few people stop in, pick up a white, styrofoam container of food that they called ahead to order, and head back out. I’m sure many years ago, back when Hellas was a small, one room kitchen with 2-3 tables, they did more carry-out business than they do now, since it seems like the locals have adopted them as their favorite sit-and-eat, casual diner. My advice is, whether you have the time to sit and relax with family or friends in their dining room, to enjoy the weather out on their patio, or if you are on the run and just stopping to pick something up, check out Hellas if you have the chance. And tell Demo I said hello.