1301 E Maple St
Mon-Fri 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sat-Sun 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Having never been to Greece I’ll admit that I probably wouldn’t know a "traditional" Greek restaurant if one opened in my living room. I suspect, however, it wouldn’t look like the 5 columns. A Mediterranean Perkin’s with an eerie poolside ambiance might be a closer match (aqua blue lighting lines the room). Whatever the case, there’s decidedly more hominess here than corporate soulessness. Owner Dimitri "Jim" Christopoulos, an authentic Greek, cruises about catching up with regulars and glad-handing newcomers. Our server, too, genuinely seemed happy to be working amid the 5 columns and serving our meal (yes, there are 5 actual columns within).
As we swayed back and forth to Greek music, my guest and I perused a menu equally weighted between the Greek and not so Greek. Though Christopoulos has been operating a restaurant at this location for 18 years, it’s only been the 5 Columns since 2000. With the new name came more Greek fare, including such time-honored favorites as dolmades, souvlaki, moussaka, and gyros. The gyros are as tasty as you’ll find, and the moussaka’s beefy, potatoey, béchamely goodness will satisfy any comfort food craving. If you’re looking for pyrotechnic thrills give the saganaki a whirl. This show essentially consists of fried cheese flamed at tableside, but it goes great with ouzo and that’s good enough for me.
If you’re not much into flaming cheese or tzatziki, there’s probably more non-Greek than Greek food on the menu. Whether you visit for breakfast (Sunday reservations recommended), lunch, or dinner you’ll find the menu liberally sprinkled with a mixed bag of old standbys like western omelets, buffalo wings, cheeseburgers, spaghetti, and clam chowder. It also may be worth noting that our waiter claimed the steaks to be unsurpassed in these parts; he seemed an honest sort.
So, if you’re looking for that mysterious little nook of a café that’s more Greek than Greece itself, you’ll probably have to catch a plane. But if a generous portion of honest good food makes you tingle let the folks at 5 Columns take care of you. They want you to be happy.
Kid Friendly | Wheelchair Accessible | Banquet Facilities | Beer and Wine | Breakfast | Dinner | Full Bar | Lunch | Senior Discount | Smoke-free | Take-Out | Takes Reservations
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San Juan Islands