On Sunday evening, I attended a preview dinner of the new SOUVLA DOGPATCH, an expanded Souvla concept in the former Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing. The previously open kitchen has been enclosed, all the walls in the high-ceilinged room are now painted white (with white subway tiles), and you’ll note Greek touches of olive branches and amphoræ. It has an airy and classic feeling, with a curving bar, wood floors, and high-top tables and stools similar to their other locations. The format is still “modern fast-fine,” which means you order at the counter and your food will be brought to your table.
You can order the usual suspects here (their trademark gyros, salads, Greek fries, and frozen Greek yogurt), but the big addition here is a menu of hot and cold mezes (small plates), developed by Tony Cervone, Souvla’s chef and partner. It includes warm dolmades stuffed with rice and chicken skin (opa!) resting in an avgolemono sauce (this was my favorite), a trio of Greek spreads (the melitzanosalata/eggplant was really tasty), and warm saganaki (a golden and molten kefalograviera cheese—get an order of their house pita to go with it).
You should try the Cretan dakos (it’s the perfect season for this summery salad of Early Girl tomatoes, rusks, onions, and feta), and there’s also flaky spanakopita, cold octopus salad, and more. You can order their feta-brined rotisserie chicken—I would get a side of the juicy potatoes and the Souvla green salad with this. And for dessert, there are loukoumades (fried Greek doughnut balls with cinnamon, walnuts, and honey).
Founder/CEO Charles Bililies has assembled an extended by-the-glass menu of Greek wines that go beyond their Souvla private label wines and beer—it’s a chance to try some likely new-to-you varieties, and they’re listed with some descriptors so you can find one you like (will it be a “crisp and vibrant” assyrtiko or “funky and interesting” roditis?). Wines by the glass start at $14, and go up to $24. There are also some Greek beers from Paros and Santorini you can try.
Open daily 11am-10pm, with delivery and takeout available. Proceeds from opening day (Tuesday, August 16th) will benefit the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, which is based in the neighborhood. 2505 3rd St. at 22nd St.
The airy interior of the new Souvla Dogpatch. Photo: Jordan Wise.