OPA! On Campbell
Opa! On Campbell. The food was out of this old world Greekalicious.
OK this is my last bite, . . . Ok, no really, this is my last bite, . . . OK, that was my last bite after this one . . .man, I know I am going to regret this, but this, This. . . is my last bite. OK one more.
4.5 out 5
I’ve been looking for an all around good Greek restaurant in Tucson since I arrived. Though I admit to not placing the quest for the best Greek food in Tucson at the top of my list, as I think back, I have actually tried four or five over the last three years. My fiancée and I stumbled upon OPA, located on Campbell while playing the “I don’t know, what do you want?” game at lunch time. I love accidental food incidents.
“Ouuu. Look! Let’s try that Greek place.”
As a side note, we’ve just discovered that, for some reason, there appears to be a restaurant row building up in the general area around OPA. I say “for some reason” because I cannot for the life of me figure out why so many restaurants decided to locate in such close proximity. Admittedly many of them are chain restaurants; nonetheless I was pleased to find a great grouping of varied dining around 2990 N. Campbell Ave. Would be nice if there were more parking, and less construction.
Now to the food. As you may have gathered from my opening statement, we could not stop eating. From the moment we walked in the door, it was obvious; this ain’t no “My Big Fat Crappy Greek Chain Restaurant.” No stale fries and dried out gyros to be found.
The first thing that happens is that you get a sense of Greece as soon as you walk in the door. When I think of Greek décor in most restaurants, it’s either a few haphazardly, half-heartedly placed cheap prints of the Parthenon on questionably paint-peeled walls, or so over the top, that you can tell no one had the balls to stand up to Momma’s decorating binge as she purges all things Greek into the decor. Contrastingly, OPA manages to strike a balance, so you feel like you are stepping out of Tucson and into a little bit of a cultural experience.
The service is further reflective of the cultural difference which is the typical European style of waiting tables. It’s attentive but not quick and if you are in a hurry, you are not going to like this place. For us fast-paced Americans this might show up as “not great service.” One thing I would ask you to consider is that the all too prevalent wham-bam-thank-you-maam dining style we demand in this country, is not exactly the best thing we could put out into the world. We live in a society of fast food and hurry up to the next thing. Believe it or not the rest of the world is not on board with get in and out as fast as you can and wolf it down dining. Although the cultural difference, in my opinion, pays off big time when it comes to the food, on the flip side, the folks at OPA could do a much better job of getting checks to tables once the meal is over, especially at lunch.
The Second thing that happens after you notice the decor is that they put a plate of Hummus and Tzatziki down with a few slices of Pita Bread down in front of you. Dear OPA, please don’t stop doing that. Some of the best Hummus I have ever had. Side note: As a once side cook, I’ve probably made at least a 100 gallons of Hummus in my life. The secret is less is more and making sure the few ingredients you use are fundamentally incredible. OPA gets this on every level.
We tried two dishes and ordered a side of Falafel.
The falafel was hand crafted and obviously something that the owner/chef has nurtured as one of his signatures. As we asked him about perhaps doing the lunch catering for our upcoming morning wedding rehearsal, he stressed that the falafel needs to be served and eaten hot. It was really good as a side, and if you agree that falafel is always best slathered in some kind of cucumber sauce/pita sandwich combo; then for it to be very good as a standalone side, was impressive. Was not the best I have ever had, was the best I’ve had in Tucson so far.
Now for the main course which was out of this otherly old world Greekalicious.
I ordered a plate that was full of incredibly moist and perfectly balanced Gyro meat (the best I have ever had) with a salad and all sorts of other tasty things. It was billed as a carb-friendly plate. I took the leftovers home and munched on it for two days. It may have been carb-friendly, but for some reason I got “guilty pleasure” from the leftovers.
We also ordered a sampler platter that contained among many delicious things, Dolmades and OPA’s out of this world version of a traditional Spanakopita. I am ashamed to admit that I’ve also made hundreds of these in the past. After the first bit of OPA’s version, I had to immediately come to grips with the fact that I clearly did not know what I was doing.
I should also mention that they have some dishes on the menu that get flamed at your table. Oddly enough, I think one of them is a burger. Looked awesome.
Every single thing, from each sauce, to the components that comprised each dish, was either good or incredibly good. One of the highlights of my wedding day will be the lunch catering brought to us by OPA!
4.5 stars out of 5
A for Effort
A for Ambiance
B- for Service
A for the food taste
A for the presentation
B+ for not somehow screwing it up (this is my own special rating category) The check was ridiculously late.
Take a date. I cannot comment on the wine selection. I do not recall there being a bar but their to-go menu states that “imported Greek Wine and Beer” is available.
All Opinion, mostly mine, and credit goes to my Fiancée for editing and saving you from my first drafts.
I was unable to find a website for this business. Here is how to find them and several other decent restaurants in one location.
2990 N. Campbell Ave., No. 130
Open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.