We stopped by Lakis, 3928 Eastern Avenue (at Grundy) the other day for lunch.
The new owner has completely renovated the place, and it’s now a bright, clean, comfortable diner/carryout that also offers Greek specialties and platters.
There is a big notice in the menu that says “THE BEST CRAB CAKE IN TOWN.” Any self-respecting Baltimoron would accept that challenge, so we said “Bring it.”
We were amazed to find that Lakis might just be telling the truth about their crab cake. It’s big, broiled golden brown and made of sweet lump crab with practically no filler. It’s seasoned with enough Old Bay to get the spice along with the sweet, but the seasoning doesn’t cancel the crab. For $14.95, this crab cake is a steal. Order it with the traditional saltines or on a roll or bread, and you’ll be happy. The crab cake comes with fries.
We also ordered another diner staple, the Lakis Burger. The burger is grilled with a nice tasty char, a little pinkish inside, and topped with provolone and grilled onions. It’s served with lettuce and tomato, and fries on the side. It’s a very good burger, and also a steal at $7.50.
A plain hamburger with lettuce and tomato is $6.50. The most expensive burger on the menu is Cordon Bleu for $7.95.
If you are just interested in a snack, try the crab pretzel ($8.95), which is enormous and slathered with enough cheesy Old Bay-y crab dip to make a group of four content. We took half back to the office where it was eagerly devoured.
The menu also features Greek, chef and Caesar salads, club sandwiches, subs and soup. There are daily specials as well—one of the specials of the day was veal marsala.
Everything on the menu is available for carryout.
Lakis himself, as you might have guessed, is Greek. His name is Lazaros Giannos, but he prefers Lakis. He’s been in the country about two-and-a-half years and worked at Romano’s in Glen Burnie (which claims “The Best Crab Cakes in Maryland”) before opening his own restaurant. He’s a very good cook indeed.
Lakis Restaurant, though much smaller, reminds me of the original Eastern House. It’s friendly, the food is great, and it’s quiet enough to hold a little lunch meeting. The restaurant definitely fills a need on The Avenue.
Lakis is where La Sirenita, the excellent Mexican restaurant, used to be. La Sirenita moved up the street to bigger quarters as demand grew for its excellent food.
I’m betting the same will happen to Lakis—once it is discovered it will get very popular.
Lakis Restaurant & Carryout, 3928 Eastern Ave., is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. every day except Sunday.