A good meal is always something to write home about. Luckily, Bar Vlaha was exactly that.

My family came to visit this weekend, and when the Brechers come to town, the food must always satisfy. My mom is a restaurant connoisseur. She stalks and reads and searches to stay on top of both the hottest new restaurants and neighborhood staples. She always does her fair share of Boston food research, but Philly is her stomping ground, so I usually take over for Boston when she visits.

My moment to shine arrived this past weekend, and I truly believe I outdid myself. My parents generously offered to take my roommates and me out to eat, so what better time to go to Bar Vlaha and try their brunch menu? 

Bar Vlaha Background

Bar Vlaha, a restaurant in Brookline that opened earlier this year, serves Greek cuisine off the beaten, Mediterranean path. According to Bar Vlaha’s website–which includes a colorful history lesson–the restaurant aims to bring light to the traditions of the Vlach people of Greece. Bar Vlaha redefines the term “Vlach,” explaining that while it is normally used as a derogatory term to describe Greek “country people,” it should be a title awarded to a person belonging to the diverse and historical Greek community. The history of the Vlach community is undeniably shown through the food and the atmosphere at Bar Vlaha, with beautifully embroidered wall decor and a vibrant array of ethnic cuisines bundled into one mold.

My Dining Experience

Thankfully, I dined with a large group, so I experienced the menu at Bar Vlaha in its near entirety. If you know me, you know I dine family-style , so attempting to taste everything was the best action. With that, the wonderful staff–who, even after I fired off just about the entire menu–flawlessly took down our order and paced our meal to perfection. Bar Vlaha certainly was a marathon, not a sprint, and I couldn't have done it without the staff’s help.

We started with the greek yogurt, which was built as a parfait topped with honey, walnuts, and kiwi. The tartness of the kiwi in conjunction with the sweetness of the honey and walnut crunch took a brunch staple to new heights–varying from the overdone berry compote and granola combination.

Moving on to the Tsoureki and Tahinopita, which contributed a sweeter aspect to the meal and made it acceptable that we forgot to save room for dessert (if that can ever really be okay). Both dishes were well constructed, with the Tsoureki resembling possibly the fluffiest french toast I have ever seen. With that said, however, the Tahinopita was the more notable option of the two. The phyllo-based pastry had a crunchy exterior encapsulating a softer interior, topped with a thick whipped cream and proper use of berries as an accompaniment. If you had to choose one, and only if it was the most severe of necessities, I would go for the Tahinopita–but you truly can't go wrong with either.

The Saganaki and Patates were the smaller classics. Saganaki is an absolutely must-get, because who doesn't love fried cheese? The Patates are a simple starch that will pair well with anything you order. As delectable as the Patates were, they can be left behind if you end up ordering the make your own gyros, as the dish is already complemented with them as a side. 

Though I myself am not a fan of sausage, my company was eager to try the Loukanikopita, which to them was a “fancy pig in a blanket.” In my Dad’s expert opinion, a pig in a blanket isn't something that should be fancy in the first place, but that doesn't undermine the fact that the dish did not disappoint.

And finally, from the “boukies” section of the menu–which is subtitled: bites to share–was the Tost. This, to me, was the true winner in Bar Vlaha’s race for best dish. The dish had a base of sourdough as nicely grilled as can be, followed by manouri, which Cheese.com helped me to define as a semi-soft, creamy cheese in the feta family. Next came the wild mushrooms, seemingly sautéed to perfection, sitting pretty under two eggs. The mushroom soaked in the runny egg yolk had me scraping this plate clean, grabbing every last piece as the waiter tried taking the plate in a desperate attempt to clear our table for more food.

We finished off the meal with the aforementioned Make Your Own Gyros and Shakshuka, both incredible plates to round out what has been one of my favorite meals in Boston to date.

From this rave, I am sure you can take away that the shared bites section is the one to focus your efforts on at Bar Vlaha, though anything you order won’t be a mistake. After all, we failed to order a dish from the “Eggs & Breakfast” section, and I will forever regret this decision after seeing the Strapatsada placed onto the neighboring table. This poor decision was a blessing in disguise, giving me a reason to return for round two–if I don't have enough reasons already.