Second Helpings

Second Helping

Chicken-fried steak, chicken-fried steak, chicken-fried steak, gyros. All through lunch and well into the afternoon, this is what customers keep asking for at Diana's Greek Market and Deli. Three out of five orders (and sometimes five out of every five) are for pounded, breaded and deep-fried beef, slathered in peppery white gravy and served with a steam-table veg. But I skip the steak special in favor of a gyros sandwich -- a warm, chewy and slightly sweet pita folded around a mound of spiced, pressed lamb slabs with onions, tomatoes and a side of cucumber tzatziki sauce. The crew at Diana's abbreviated counter know that speed is one of their customers' prime concerns, and they knock this stuff out like champs. One minute from order to plate -- that seems to be my average for a cheap, quick lunch. And since Vic and Diana Katopodis took over the Economy Greek Market four years ago, they haven't missed a beat. Whether it's a cold sandwich, a double chili cheeseburger, gyros, a souvlaki plate, a chicken-fried steak or just one of the town's best bowls of avgolemono (Greek lemon, chicken and rice soup), their tiny deli probably turns as many covers during a frantic lunch rush as some high-end places do in an entire Friday service. In addition to a deli (you can eat in the ten-table dining room or take out), Diana's also functions as a mini-grocery, with sesame cakes sold at the register, bottles of Greek olives on the shelves, and bags of baking flour and spices, seeds and herbs of all description nearly filling an entire wall. In the increasingly upscale Golden Triangle, Diana's is a real down-home find.