Succumbing to temptation and gluttony on an Atomic level
I took care not to eat for several hours before visiting family-run Atomic Pizzeria and Restaurant in Chomedey with my friend Danielle Szydlowski.
Such measures were to prove by no means useless, but not particularly effective either; at Atomic it is not easy to resist the mouth-watering Greek food, and all too easy to succumb to temptation and gluttony, devouring the delectable, massive portions.
We were greeted by friendly staff and beautiful frescoes of the Mediterranean coast. It was early in the evening and the night had not really started yet for Atomic, but already happy patrons were spilling in. Regulars assumed their seats with habitual bonhomie, looking forward to the live music that is promised every Friday evening.
We were served some delicious pitas with oil, accompanied by shrimp. I had never eaten shrimp before and was a little apprehensive, but Atomic has converted me to the shellfish as a delicacy; the shrimp were fresh, succulent and replete with flavour.
We agreed after our first sip that we had ordered the best sangria we had ever tasted: smooth, fresh, sweet, an enticing deep shade of red.
We savoured spanakopita ($5.75) and zucchini chips as our appetizers. The spanakopita were comprised of several small rolls, a crispy layer of breading masking the deliciously flavoured potatoes and spinach therein.
The mound of zucchini chips was sprinkled with gently aromatic cheese and served with tzatziki sauce. Outwardly battered, inwardly soft and moist, the chips were delectable.
Our server, Anastasia, asked how we were enjoying the meal, but we could barely pry the food from our lips long enough to reply. She explained the secret of Atomic: “Everything is homemade. Everything is made with love and served with love, and that makes a difference.”
Danielle and I realized, as we tore into the appetizers, that we were leaving no room for the substantial entrées yet to come. As massive portions were placed before us we had to steel ourselves.
We’d ordered Quebec lamb chops ($21.95) and the pork platter ($13). After a single bite of my lamb chop, my appetite returned. Sometimes lamb can be too tough or dry—not so here. It was placed on a soft bed of flavoured rice and served with a village salad and delectably seasoned potatoes.
The pork, a Friday-night special, was shredded and extraordinarily tender. It was served with the famous 41-ingredient Atomic salad.
The magnitude of the meal left us feeling full to bursting and in no shape for dessert, but we had to try. As we were served baklava ($6.50) and loukoumades with honey ($7), the live music began.
We gorged on the treats while listening to Greek tunes with a lively beat played by two musicians on a keyboard and a guitar. The guitarist gently serenaded us throughout the remainder of our meal.
Every so often choruses of “opah!” broke out. When a Zorba tune was played, a patron took to the dance floor. As the song finished, the patron joined the other musicians, playing maracas to the next piece.
Atomic Pizzeria and Restaurant, 4637 du Souvenir, Chomedey. For reservations, which are accepted but not required, call 450-688-6340.