George’s Molon Lave, a Greek restaurant in Battle Ground, won the Best of Battle Ground award in the restaurant category in April.
Owner George Vlachos opened the restaurant in 2016.
“It’s a different type of restaurant here. You come here and you spend the whole evening,” said Vlachos. “You don’t come to eat and leave. People come to stay and listen to music, break plates and everything. I’m surprised, but also not surprised (by the award), to be honest.”
He said he’s not surprised by the award because locals genuinely enjoy the restaurant. The business has many regulars and new customers who visit.
“We get a lot of support,” he said.
The restaurant will celebrate its sixth anniversary on June 25, Vlachos said.
Vlachos moved to the United States from Greece in 1972. He started out as a musician and worked as a bartender at various Greek restaurants in Portland, which are no longer in business.
“After a while, I decided to open my own,” he said. “I got tired of working for other people.”
After finishing high school when he was 16 years old, Vlachos said he then served in the Greek Navy, which allowed him to travel to places like the United States.
During that time, he was the assistant to the captain, which he described as an “easy” job. For a time, he also worked on the Christina O yacht, which was owned by Aristotle Onassis, who married former First Lady Jackie Kennedy. He recalled cleaning their room while they stayed on the yacht.
After working as a bartender and musician in Portland, he then worked as a cook at the Hidden House Market Restaurant in Vancouver for 14 years before he opened George’s Molon Lave.
When Vlachos came to the U.S., he had to adapt to a lot of changes.
“(Greece was) an island, swimming every day and fishing every day, trying to occupy yourself with no TVs, only radios,” he said. “At that time, you would just try to occupy your mind however you could, whether it be fishing or sailing a lot.”
The restaurant prides itself on its food, which is all made from scratch.
“We cook it all here, nothing from the box,” Vlachos said. “My son Stefanos, who is the chef, and I make the food with a lot of love.”
A few items he highlights are the lamb and the steak, which are cooked “the Greek way.” They use simple Greek spices, lemon and garlic.
“When you eat it, it’s very tasty. You don’t need A1 or anything like that,” he said.
Vlachos said he learned his cooking skills from watching his mother in the kitchen as he grew up.
On occasion, the restaurant does a roast lamb on a spit outside, which Vlachos said takes eight hours to cook.
“We stay the course and try every day to get better, not just stay in one position,” he said.
Besides the specials, the restaurant also offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights. His friend, Brett Pitner, who Vlachos has performed with in the past, often plays at the music nights.
George’s Molon Lave is located at 1417 SE Rasmussen Blvd., Suite 130 in Battle Ground.
The restaurant is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here