2011-02-23 / Restaurant of the Week


Loui's BBQ opened just one month ago and is already buzzing and sizzling with activity. Groups large and small gather here to feast on delicious Greek style barbecued meats, fabulous side dishes and salads. This unique concept in dining was conceived by owners Loui Barkoutsis and Andy Betaludis who wanted to offer affordable, family dining right in Bayside, a peaceful, residential neighborhood.

Indeed you can have a high quality, freshly cooked, sit-down meal here from $6.95 to $13.95. Loui has 30 years experience in the restaurant business, including his "Chirping Chicken" in Astoria.

Even the décor is unique; a combination of Western saloon and NY Diner, with its stainless and tile kitchen right out in the open, and black walls with accents of bright red. Sleek tables and leather chairs allow for comfortable dining for couples to entire families. I love the menu, painted right onto a big wall in the dining room for all to see. This corner restaurant is surrounded by glass doors that will surely open once warm weather arrives.

The menu is perfectly composed and focuses on the freshest, leanest meats on the market, prepared Greek style with herbs and cooked to perfection on a charcoal grill. We started off with a complimentary serving of their outrageously delicious hash brown potatoes, grated into strings and cooked until crunchy brown on the outside and tender inside ($3.25). A generous hunk of house made spinach pie was another treat, full of healthy spinach and feta cheese under flaky crust. Share some Greek graviera cheese with honey and sesame or dip warm pita bread into creamy tzatziki.

The salads are very fresh and sized to share so choose your favorite among the Greek, Cretan, green salad or my favorite, the House salad which was tossed with baby greens, sliced apples, dried cranberries, walnuts and bleu cheese ($6.75). This salad could be a meal for one, but you've got to try the BBQ. A half chicken is marinated with herbs and grilled to a juicy finish, served in a roasting pan with your choice of crispy French fries or their delicious wild rice, laced with dried fruit, a nice touch and very healthy! My mouth watered as I saw plates of New Zealand lamb chops being served to a diner nearby. At just $12.95, good food is in your budget at Loui's BBQ. The same goes for the incredible medallions of filet mignon, with rich flavor and texture ($13.95). Keep it simple with a grilled chicken breast, tender and juicy. With a salad, this makes a low-calorie, healthy dinner.

Charbroiled platters offer a sampling of nearly all the meats on the menu, prepared for two people ($21.95) or four people ($39.95) and there is more than enough for everyone, served with fries or wild rice. We tried it all: beef bifteki is a handmade Greek style meatball with delicate herbs that's so flavorful and delicious, as is the chicken bifteki, made with ground chicken and spices. Without question, the pork tenderloin is one of the most tender and juicy around, cooked to perfection. Moving on the BBQ ribs, Loui's doesn't smother them with traditional barbecue sauce, but instead treats them with herbs and cooks them slowly so that the meat renders easily off the bone. Next we dove into the chicken souvlaki and pork souvlaki, served on skewers, still hot and juicy. I even tried the calf's liver, which was juicy and tender. These platters include their delicious chicken too, so bring a big appetite with you. Keep it green with a side of fresh broccoli or cabbage and carrot slaw. Beer and wine are coming soon.

I was very impressed by how lean and juicy the meat was, and not overcooked like in some restaurants. This is really good food that is good for your diet and your wallet, so don't hesitate to try it. The service is very friendly and efficient and the place is spotless.

Sweeten your palate with some baklava or super creamy yogurt drizzled with honey and nuts for a guiltfree dessert. American and Greek coffees are served, as well as tea and soft drinks. Loui's BBQ Greek Restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11:00am to 10:00pm on weekdays and until 11:00pm on weekends. This is a lovely family restaurant where people can feel comfortable and enjoy fresh food like they'd make at home on the grill. Best of all the prices are affordable and you'll feel very welcome. Good luck Loui and Andy!



45-30 Bell Blvd., Bayside



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