[Carlisle] Alexandros Greek Restaurant

If you’re visiting an unfamiliar area and want the best chance of getting well fed, it pays to research. Which is what had brought us to Alexandros. Greek restaurants are as rare as hens’ teeth in our part of the world and, if you do come across one, it’s probably going to be Greek Cypriot. But finding one that’s Greek Greek promised to be a real treat. And so it proved. This family owned place has efficient and friendly service and a menu packed with traditional Greek favourites. And they also offer a mezze. And we love a mezze whether it’s Greek, Turkish, Lebanese or Cypriot. It’s just a great way of eating.

Dips are first up. Well flavoured taramasalata, houmous and tzatziki, with toasted flatbread and an olive studded white bread to slather them on to. That’s followed by really good stuffed vine leaves unusually (in our experience) served warm. And fasolia fournou – butter beans baked in a tomato sauce, spiked with chilli and herbs. We’d have happily eaten the latter as a main course, with some bread or rice.

There’s no sense of you being rushed here, but the staff do keep a watchful eye on the tables and as soon as we’d finished the starters, the plates were whisked away and the main course part of the mezze brought.

There’s pork and chicken souvlaki – perfectly grilled so the meat is still moist and tender (not always a given with kebabs). And there’s a really fine version of moussaka – potato, aubergine and lamb with a thick layer of a very tasty béchamel sauce. There’s also a couple of cubes of stifado – delicious. To accompany the dishes, there’s rice and bowl of Greek salad – lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and feta. The salad balances out what otherwise would be a protein heavy course.

Then we get to dessert. Revani – a coconut sponge cake drenched in syrup, so really sweet. And a set semolina custard wrapped in filo. And a little fruit to nibble on.

It all sounds like a lot of food and it is, indeed, a generous offering. But it’s thoughtfully portioned and well balanced, so you go away nicely fed but without feeling over-faced or feeling over-stuffed. Thoroughly recommended.


In eastern Canada, 80 percent of restaurants seem to be owned by Peloponnesians, from the southern mainland, maybe 10 percent owned by northern Greeks, and the remaining 10 percent include islanders, Cypriots, Black Sea Greeks, etc, so I’m excited when I find a restaurant owned by a Cypriot, Cretan or other islander! I follow a few British Greek Cypriot home cooks and writers online.

Sounds like a nice meal.


Whatta koinkidenk! We ended up having Greek tonight as well. Not where we wanted to dine (a new to us place opened by the former chef of an old favorite), as they were fully booked, but another regular place of ours.

Perfect tarama – (forgot to ask if it’s bread or potato-based – my guess was bread), very good, garlicky melitsanosalata (although I like some walnuts and feta, which their version doesn’t have), kolokithakia with good tzatziki, grilled calamari & octopus, pork & lamb souvlaki. Too much food.

We never have any room left for loukoumades, unfortunately. They now have a version topped with chocolate and hazelnuts :scream:

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Jay Rayner reviews Alexandros in today’s Observer. He enjoyed it as I did.