Did you ever wish you could travel to another country without having to get on a plane or a boat? Recently, my friend Jeanne and I got to experience Greece and we only had to travel to Bethlehem to do it.

Jeanne is pretty adventurous and so we decided to try a new restaurant in Lehigh Valley. We chose Yianni's Taverna, formerly Gus's Crossroads, and we definitely were not disappointed.

The atmosphere at Yianni’s Taverna is very pleasing. The blue chairs and the large mural of a hillside in Greece made me feel like I was sitting right alongside the Mediterranean Sea. Once we were seated inside, I noticed a patio area for those who like dining al fresco, which I do and made a mental note for next time.

They started us off with different types of olives and homemade, airy bread that was outstanding (in fact, we even got a loaf to go). The menu selection was enormous and we were having a hard time deciding what to order until manager Todd Miller came along to help us decide.

For appetizers, or Hot Mezedes as they're called on the menu, we shared saganaki, which is cheese flambeed table-side. It was very rich and tasty. We also decided to try the grilled octopus. If you can get past the look of it, you won't be disappointed. It’s much better than calamari and not breaded or fried.

For entrees, we shared the liga ap ollo sampler (roasted lamb, meatballs, noodles with beef sauce, eggplant with potatoes and beef, stuffed grape leaves) and garides horiatikes, both of which came with roasted fingerling potatoes prepared with olive oil and lemon. After all that, we definitely were not thinking dessert but we felt we had to try at least one thing. We ordered the loukamavies (fried dough in an olive oil, simple syrup and honey sauce with sesame seeds and cinnamon). It was kind of like a freshly fried donut.

Jeanne and I will definitely be returning to Yianni’s Taverna again. We'll probably try the fish, which is prominently displayed in the front of the restaurant as you walk in.

Have you tried Yianni's Taverna yet?