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  • Writer's pictureThe Linguistic Foodie

Voula's Greek Sweets τα ελληνικά γλυκά της βούλας: A Vegetarian Big Fat Greek Brunch

In past years, Voula's Greek Sweets has made a reputation amongst the Vegetarians and Vegans of Rochester. The restaurant takes classic Greek foods and vegetarianizes them through delicious flavors that will make your mouth want more.


Hidden in a back avenue of Monroe Avenue, the small interior of the restaurant is decorated with blues and whites that resemble the iconic Greek flag. The restaurant only has about 6 or 7 tables and the silverware and glasses are mismatched for each diner. The decoration, the silverware, and the coziness adds a great amount of personality to the restaurant. The ambiance of the restaurant is exactly what I imagine a small café on a beautiful Greek Island to be. So if you can't afford a vacation to Greece, then go to Voula's instead!

The interior of Voula's

Jokes aside, the food at Voula's is actually some of the best I've had in Rochester. Here, you can order the classics like spanakopita σπανικόπιτα or lemon potatoes πατάτες λεμονιού while also ordering your favorite Greek foods in Vegan/ Vegetarian formats (the restaurant does not serve one ounce of meat). For your main meal, choose to order a souvlaki σουβλάκι made with vegan chicken or a gyro wrap γυροσκόπιο made with seitan. You can also choose to have brunch on Saturdays where you can order Greek inspired egg dishes and french toast or the famous Gythio plate which consists of scrambled eggs topped with lentils. It is also worth noting that Voula's closes at 4pm and is only open for lunch and brunch which adds a bit of inconvenience but in ways makes the restaurant more special. Find the full menu of Voula's at https://www.voulasgreeksweets.com/menus#menu-top. No matter what you order, I promise that it will be good!


The Gyro Sandwich

At Voula's, I always to choose to order the Gryo sandwich. The Gyro sandwich consists of flavorful pieces of house-made seitan mixed with tzatziki, lettuce, feta, and tomatoes, all in a beautiful warm piece of Lagana flatbread. Oh the Lagana flatbread! My mouth waters just thinking about it. The flavors and textures of the sandwich combine to make a spectacular food bomb in your mouth. Even if you are a meat-eater and are skeptical of the "fake meats", keep an open mind and give it a try because I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I always get a side of the Lemon Potatoes at Voula's because they are just to die for--crispy on the outside and warm on the inside with the perfect lemony flavor.


Galaktoboureko

But the real star of Voula's is in the restaurant's name-- the Greek sweets. The restaurant has a splendid array of every Greek sweet you can imagine (Baklava μπακλαβάς, Revani Ρεβάνη, Kok κοκ, Portokalopita πορτοκαλόπιτα, Kataifi καταΐφι just to name a few). You can look at the menu for descriptions of each of these desserts but just warning you, this might result in salivating all over your screen. However, my favorite dessert of them all is Galaktoboureko Γαλακτομπούρεκο. Rich Custard filled into thin phyllo pastry drenched in lemon rose syrup. OMG even though this is probably the biggest dessert they serve, I could eat one of these a day!


The Dessert Display

Through Voula's, one can get a great sense of Greek language. All the foods are obviously Greek and Greek writing is spread throughout the walls of the restaurant. The vast majority of Greek people speak Greek and many Americans and foreigners study Greek as a way of getting closer to Ancient Greece and Greek mythology. While Greek isn't endangered, there are languages within Greece that are of the most endangered in all of Europe. For example, Cappadocian Greek, which is spoken by people who were forced to move from Turkey to Greece in the 1920s, only has about 2,000 remaining speakers. People living in the Cappadocia region of Turkey spoke Medieval Greek until the area was taken over by Turks in 1071. Somehow, this Greek survived but has been heavily influenced by Turkish. Even more endangered is Tsakonian Τσακωνιά, the only remaining descendant of Doric Greek. The language is spoken by the formerly isolated group of people who live in the Peloponnese region of Greece. The language only has around 100-300 elderly speakers so the language will likely go extinct in upcoming decades.


Overall, Voula's is a great place to have a bite of delicious and flavorful Greek food, indulge in a few deserts (the best in Rochester, in my opinion), and dream of a Greek vacation. Even if you are not vegetarian, I encourage you to go out for lunch or brunch with your family or friends for an enjoyable (and satisfying) outing!


Αντιο σας!


-The Linguistic Foodie :)

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