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Fearless Critic restaurant review
DC
Food
Feel
Price
7.2
7.0
$5
Greek
Counter service

Hours
Mon–Fri 7:00am–4:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

Farragut
1825 Eye St. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 223-1169
Stoupsy’s
Food court-Greek prepared and served by a loveable one

The exaggeration of cultural stereotypes is considered integral to the success of some ethnic cuisines in America. (How else can we account for the success of mediocre behemoth Benihana?) The centuries-old notion of the boisterous, mercantile Greeks as middlemen of the Mediterranean (an area well stocked with other merchant cultures as well—the Venetians and Turks, to name two) is embodied in the larger-than-life owner of Stoupsy’s.

“I’m George the Greek,” he might announce as you approach his counter at the International Food Court on K Street. “I make the best Greek food in Washington.” A bold claim, unless you give him the benefit of the doubt: recall that it’s George’s job to cook up hyperbole alongside his gyros. Both are done well.

Down a set of skinny escalators just off of Farragut Square, International Food Court shares in common with its namesake in the Hague the capacity to inspire remorse (at the IFC, however, you’re only punished for the sin of gluttony). The Food Court is an inspiring reconsideration of the depressing fast food-filled courts of shopping malls, featuring a number of pretty solid international food stands (and a Five Guys shop serves to remind patrons that America still boasts a national foodstuff, thankyouverymuch). Stoupsy’s is surely the highlight of these.

Put another way, Stoupsy’s, at the ripe old age of 22, is the “anchor of the food court” (or as George pronounces it, its “uncle”). Eating here certainly feels like being fed by a member of the family, if an overbearing one. The portions are enormous, and the meats are terrific: large chunks of chicken souvlaki, well-browned and tender, are soaked in an aromatic lemon marinade; the meat is nicely salted. And here is a place that does eggplant right: the vegetable is smoky and full, with just enough oil, pepper, and tomato to add character.

Fear not, for the tired homages to Greek-American cookery remain at Stoupsy’s: that clichéd Greek salad, for instance, and (an admittedly terrible version of) baklava, in which the walnut pieces are large, the pastry is dry, and the scant sauce doesn’t pack much flavor.

But for its few errors, and especially for an unassuming food-court stop, Stoupsy’s sells itself. As backup, George sells it pretty well, too.

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