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Scratch Ballias was in a culinary problem. The proprietor of the acclaimed Wingcraft Kitchen and Beer Bar in Atlantic City was essentially tired of a similar takeout choices on the territory.
“It appeared to be each time I pivoted, there was another pizza or Italian idea opening, and it just got exhausting,” Ballias says. “How long would you be able to eat pizza or pasta?”
So as opposed to heading to Atlantic City when his family gets ravenous — or setting off to the same ol’, same ol’ takeout joint, Ballias did what any eatery business person would do look with a similar problem: He opened another eatery. Also, it’s a decent one.
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“There was where my significant other and I stated, ‘We should do it!’ So we chose to accomplish something else like I generally do,” Ballias says.
The Original Greek — otherwise known as The OG — not just cures his want for good, quality sustenance in a hurry, yet offers everybody in the region of the Ocean Heights Plaza in Somers Point a really one of a kind, produced using scratch idea that approaches Ballias’ Greek legacy while flaunting a portion of the American impacts that make Wingcraft the crushing achievement it is.
“I needed to open a Greek idea even before Wingcraft,” Ballias says. “My mom was cooking these scrumptious suppers my entire life. Thinking back, we didn’t understand how ruined we were with what we were eating. So for what reason not impart that to everybody?”
So Ballias, the savvy restaurateur that he is, enrolled the assistance of his mom to think of pretty much every formula in The OG.
“I flew her up from Florida for seven days to make sure she could demonstrate to me industry standards to make some of these dishes the best possible way,” Ballias says. “She was cheerful to help, say thanks to God! So it was a mother working with her child, giving these formulas down so I can demonstrate my group. It was awesome.”
From gyros to burgers, The OG can fulfill any ravenous coffee shop.
Edward Lea/Staff Photographer
Any individual who knows Ballias — or ever feasted at Wingcraft — knows he requests flawlessness. Also, those models traverse to The OG notwithstanding its easygoing arrangement.
“Everything is done starting with no outside help, in house,” Ballias says. “We don’t trade off on fixings or quality. A portion of the cheeses I am getting are transported from a Greek market in New York. The greater part of the meats are originating from the considerable New York butcher Pat Lafrieda, from the cheesesteak meat to the anti-toxin and without hormone chicken strips. Indeed, even the pork butt for the pork gyro is LaFrieda, and the ground meat for the pastitsio is a similar short rib, brisket and hamburger meat from LaFrieda that we use in the burger. No alternate ways. You can’t repeat the kind of that meat. When you begin and end with the best fixings, the best outcome is the thing that you get.”
While you might be enticed to go to the recognizable sustenance, The OG especially exceeds expectations at the food most places don’t have, especially the Greek claims to fame.
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Of course, you can get a gyro, and you should. Ballias says when you visit Greece, each gyro has french fries pressed inside, so’s what you will get in an OG gyro — whether you pick hamburger and sheep ($8.29) or pork ($9.29) — alongside lettuce, tomato, onion and his mother’s amazing tzatziki sauce formula.
“The yogurt we use for the tzatziki is simply so uncommon,” Ballias says. “It nearly has the consistency of frozen yogurt. What’s more, the flavor originates from the affection for my mother’s formula.”
Ballias says Americans are utilized to sheep and hamburger gyros, however in Greece, the pork gyro is the standard.
“It’s extremely all you see there,” he says. “So we are doing it right. We take the pork butt from LaFrieda, make our own mix of flavors and blend them with additional virgin olive oil and marinade it for 24 to 48 hours. We stack them especially so it remains together. We at that point place it in the cooler to firm it up so we can cut it thin. It’s truly marvelous.”
Other pita sandwiches come the very same path, for example, chicken or Souvlaki ($8.29), filet mignon Souvlaki ($11.29), barbecued veggie ($8.29), fricasseed angle ($10.29) or Keftedes ($8.29), The OG’s extraordinary adaptation of Greek meatballs.
The Village Salad is brilliant and beautiful, yet more significantly — top notch.
Edward Lea/Staff Photographer
In any case, in average Ballias style, he has raised the stakes with some mark things, including the white truffle gyro ($9.99) with a white truffle-oiled pita and truffle fries inside; and the El Greco ($9.99), a chicken Souvlaki with avocado, tomato, onion, acrid cream and fries.
“Originating from a gastropub where you take normal bar nourishment to a larger amount with gourmet fixings and meats, it’s hard not to utilize some of those fixings at The OG,” Ballias says. “This is something I never observed with a Greek idea, yet it just originates from my identity.”
The Greek impacts begin at the earliest reference point, with things like Saganaki cheddar ($10.99), softly seared Greek Kefalograviera cheddar presented with lemon; Greek fries ($8.99) with tomato, red onion, feta cheddar and Greek oregano; and Dodoni feta ($7.99) with sprinkled additional virgin olive oil, pepper, Greek oregano and pita bread.
There’s a huge number of incredible servings of mixed greens, for example, the pear and walnut ($10.99) and the Village ($8.99 little, $12.99 vast) with tomato, cucumber, red onion, green peppers, feta and OG dressing. To pound home the produced using scratch approach, the plunges, for example, the garlic hummus ($7.99); Melitsanosalata ($7.99), prepared eggplant with garlic, onion and lemon; and Scordalia ($7.99), garlic, potato and olive oil spread, are altogether made in house.
Indeed, even three of the burgers have Greek roots. Produced using the same astonishing meat individuals are accustomed to having at Wingcraft, the Greek variants merit looking at: the Saganaki and zesty feta ($10.99 each) include an indistinguishable cheeses from the previously mentioned tidbits; and the sheep and hamburger mix ($11.99) is finished with tzatziki, tomato, onion and greens.
Get a sound Cobb plate of mixed greens at The OG.
Edward Lea/Staff Photographer
“I needed to keep consistent with my Greek idea, despite the fact that we are doing burgers,” Ballias says. “Indeed, we have the exemplary American and a bacon, however I ask individuals to attempt the extremely cool Greek adaptations.”
On the off chance that you truly need to encounter some incredible Greek food, look at the Greek dishes, including the best pastitsio ($16) you will ever have. The Greek lasagna is layered with Pat LaFrieda ground meat, layers of macaroni and finished with Bechamel sauce and incorporates decision of soup or plate of mixed greens.
“For the initial two weeks, it appeared like we just had Greeks coming in, who are the hardest faultfinders with regards to Greek sustenance,” Ballias says. “In any case, they adore it. They are raving. What’s more, now that we are seeing everybody come in, we have had no protests.”
Actually. Starting at prior this week, there were 45 audits on Facebook, each of the 5 Stars.
“We even make the baklava starting with no outside help,” Ballias says of the acclaimed Greek, layered sweet. “It was my grandma’s formula from my dad’s side who educated my mom. Everybody who tries it says it’s the best.”
And keeping in mind that there is no doubt that the reason you ought to go to The OG is for its Greek sustenance, some the of American staples individuals began to look all starry eyed at Wingcraft can be found without heading to A.C., including the great American burger ($9.99); chicken fingers ($8.99) marinated in buttermilk and flavors, hand-battered, singed and finished with selection of sauces including hot and nectar, BBQ nectar and Greek; and the Pat LaFrieda dark angus Philly steak ($8.99), this time served in a pita with American cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sautéed onion and a squeeze of fries. The celebrated Wingcraft wild ox chicken can likewise be found in The OG’s bison chicken pita ($9.99) with blue cheddar dressing and a squeeze of fries. What’s more, the sweet potato marinara gyro ($9.99) with onion, tomato and acrid cream may not sound marvelous, but rather tastes stunning … another case of Ballias’ inventive capacity in the kitchen.
What’s more, for those searching for some South Jersey comfort sustenance, you can likewise have cheddar fries ($5.99), onion rings ($5.99) and mozzarella sticks ($7.99).
Begin your dinner with the 3 Dip Trio at The OG in Somers Point.
Edward Lea/Staff Photographer
“The menu is as yet developing,” he says. “We began with the more straightforward things and will continue including. We need to include spanakopita (spinach pie) and tiropita (cheddar pie) and more sweets and week after week specials. I need to switch it up constanty.”
It turns out The OG didn’t simply take care of Ballias’ concern of where to have supper, yet it understood a significant part of the terrain group’s problem.
“Individuals are coming in and expressing gratitude toward us for opening,” he says. “They disclose to me how they have been sitting tight to something like this. I never had an appreciated that way.”