Carlisle restaurant hits out at diner who travelled 120 miles for dinner


A Greek restaurant owner has hit out against a diner who allegedly travelled 120 miles to eat dinner during the Covid pandemic.

The diner took to TripAdvisor to slam their experience at the Cumbrian eatery – claiming that the food was “straight from a can” and “extremely expensive for what it is”.

The reviewer, known as Famagusta99, said they visited Alexandros Greek Restaurant and Deli in Carlisle in the hopes of eating delicious food from their “homeland” – but described the moussaka as “inedible” and the souvlaki as “cheap meat in a skewer with raw potatoes”.

But, the owner of the restaurant hit back at the claims – saying all the food is prepared from scratch.

They also questioned why the reviewer, whose profile states they are from Manchester, had travelled more than two hours to dine in Carlisle – despite Greater Manchester being under local lockdown restrictions at the time of the visit.

Reviewer, Famagusta99, wrote: “Having read the the apparently genuine reviews, wanted to try this restaurant that serves food from my homeland, Greece. Unfortunately from the moment we stepped in, things didn’t look very promising. The place was totally empty, not a good sign. For starters we had (homemade) vine leaves as the waiter said and butter beans in a spicy sauce. To our surprise both starters came straight from the can.

“If the vine leaves are all exactly the same shape, are made in a production line. Nothing to do with homemade food. Both starters didn’t taste fresh at all. For mains i had mousaka and my partner souvlaki. The mousaka had almost raw pieces of aubergine and was served in a tomato sauce, which made it inedible. In greece the authentic combination of ingridients that makes the mousaka, is placed in the oven for 2 hours, to make a well balanced dish of vegetables and mince, you never use tomato sauce.

“My partner thought that the souvlaki she ordered was just cheap meat in a skewer with raw potatoes. We also had 2 glasses of house red wine which tasted more than a cheap vinegar. We decided not to complain since it was obvious to us that the standards of food were low. Extremely expensive for what it is, we both left disappointed.”

During August, local lockdown restrictions were in force across Greater Manchester. It meant that socialising in private homes and meeting with those you didn’t live with in pubs and restaurants was banned.

Businesses including casinos, indoor play areas, bowling alleys, and skating centres also had to stay shut in Manchester.

Government advice also recommended that people shouldn’t travel outside of their area to meet people other than those in a support bubble.

The owner of Alexandros questioned whether the diner had even eaten at the restaurant at all – bearing in mind the distance involved, around 120 miles.

But regardless, they said they wished the diner had shown a “little kindness” due to the troubling times the hospitality industry has endured over the last year, thanks to Covid.

Owner alexandrosr767, wrote: “From the 4th July we have been full every evening we have opened. We have track and traced every customer. We have looked at our records and can’t find any customers from the Manchester area. Will you please contact us with your date, name as we don’t think you dined with us as your review does not sound like our restaurant. We are based in Carlisle which is a long way for you to travel when your local area is in lockdown?

“All our menu is prepared on site from scratch, using top quality local produce. This can be seen clearly if you go to our website www.thegreek.co.uk or our Facebook page.

“We also find it very out of character for a fellow Greek to try and knock an obviously loved Greek restaurant of 20 years, or whatever Greek restaurant you claim to have visited. In these difficult times a little kindness should be adopted.”

The restaurant is rated as Carlisle’s number one eatery in the town. It boasts a 4.5/5 rating on TripAdvisor, based on 1,433 reviews.

They offer a takeaway service online, which can be viewed here.

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