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Update: Acropolis is closed.

AcropolisIn a word: Could do for Greek what La Bamba did for Mexican.

The specs: #0302
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; chatter on TDPF and at Tom Wilson's blog; review at WiSJ.

Chris and John ate the gyros plate.
JM ate the meatball sandwich plus cheese.
Nichole ate the gyro nachos.
Rose ate the Italian sausage.
The bill was about $40, or $10/person.
Chris, JM and Nichole gave Acropolis an A-; John gave Acropolis a B; Rose gave Acropolis a B- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Acropolis news and reviews


While we mourn the passing of the Taco John's on Regent as much as the next guy, we definitely give props to this one-of-a kind restaurant for taking its place. Sure, you can't get Potato Oles, but you can still get a burrito, or a gyro if you prefer, and the interior looks almost exactly the same. In fact, the backlit menu looks so polished as to convey a chain-y feeling, but the guys behind the counter and in the kitchen assured us Acropolis is unique.

What you'll find here is not haute cuisine, or even average highbrow Madison fare. Instead, Acropolis seems to aim to please the college age drinking set. Compared to State St. Brats, Kollege Klub, and the slightly eccentric Burrito Drive, all of which we figure are in the same league, we have to say this place does just fine.

Meatball subThe first cheap-beer-absorbing entree to disappear tonight was JM's meatball sub off the Chicago section of the menu (which, inexplicably, lacked the classic hot dog). The sandwich was big and gooey and fall-aparty.  A toasted bun gave it some needed texture. The meat was not the top grade, but that was not the point.

Italian sausage and gyroRose's Italian sausage, also off the Chicago list, was unexpectedly nude. (They offered onions, which she wisely declined.) After she dressed it up with some mustard packets it was rather good. Again, a toasted bun and a decent quality sausage added up to above-average post-bar food.

GyroChris and John availed themselves of the gyros. John, a big gyros fan, counted his sandwich as flavorful but not extraordinary. Chris, who had a smaller frame of reference, still enjoyed the typical gyro meat and fixings. If anything the meat was on the dry side but that's what tzatziki is for, right?

Fries came with Chris' combo plate, and were generously seasoned. If you're missing the Oles, try these fries. They're not the same, but the idea (fried potatoes and season salt, to paraphrase one TDP Foron) is there.

Greek nachosAcropolis took a veer to the experimental with Nichole's gyros nachos. Lured with the promise of veggies, she thought she'd give the Burrito Drive-esque combination of pita chips, (pita...chips?) gyro meat, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, tzatziki and Parmesan cheese a try. Amazingly it wasn't bad. The pita chips were crispy and light and were far too much for one (sober) person. The meat:veg ratio was easily 2:1, and the extra toppings just added interest. Basically, she can see the appeal.

BaklavaJohn couldn't pass up a chance at baklava. Sadly this slice was not as honey-soaked as one would like, but it still had a good flavor and scratched that phyllo itch.

Our only regret is that none of us got a chance to try the Mexican section of the menu. That, and the seating is a bit restrictive - 5 must be the worst number to bring to Acropolis, since the TJ-era fixed benches and lack of extra chairs render the seating totally inflexible. Given the fast, friendly service, and the fact that they've managed to craft decent post-bar Greek snack food (and are open the hours to back that up), we have to say Acropolis seems to achieve what they're shooting for.


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(to do my own paraphrasing, this time of an originally-NSFW scene from Clerks)

You've never had pita chips? Oh, man, they're great. Target makes a mean pita chip.

You guys are really making the rounds on some of the "best" Madison campus late-night spots.

I could be wrong, but I heard the owner of Acropolis is the former Taco Johns owner, who got in a tiff with the TJ franchise and switched to this.

Oh how I miss 6 pack and a pound (six tacos and a pound of potato oles). End it with a doughnut from Greenbush, and you have quite a meal.

It's funny you mention that. We ended our meal at Acropolis with a donut from Greenbush, see: http://www.madisonatoz.com/2006/10/greenbush_baker.html#comment-91323504

Tried to go there today. It is closed...and it kind of looked abandoned inside. Looks like another Madison restaurant bites the dust!

Closed. Was it worth taking away convenient Potato Oles, Acropolis? Was it???

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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