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Any good Greek food in Austin?

r
RGHelmcamp Mar 20, 2012 02:31 PM

I'm from Houston and am accustomed to the amazingness that is Niko Niko's. I'm a student at UT and can't seem to find any good Greek places! I've tried Zorba in Round Rock but was not impressed with the bland Tzatziki and the dry Gyro meat. Any insight?

  1. b
    blackdahlias Apr 21, 2012 04:20 PM

    Suprisingly, Opa (the wine bar on South Lamar) has delicious pastichio! I get that dish every time since it it so good, so can't speak to anything else on the menu. Plus, they have all day happy hour on Sunday, so you can get some good wine to go with your meal.

    1. popvulture Mar 24, 2012 12:56 AM

      I feel like "Greek" in this case, if you're looking for Gyros and Tzatziki, falls a little more into the generic Mediterranean category. For authentic Greek, you're fairly SOL in Austin as far as I'm concerned, but there are lots of places in the broader category that will give you what you want, if I'm hearing you right.

      Aforementioned places such as Milto's and The Mediterranean Chef are good. I've also had great falafel at Kismet, but it's on campus so you'll have to deal with both ravenous/oblivious students and a staff that's obviously disgruntled with dealing with them. Tarbouch, a Lebanese place on Oltorf in the Travis Heights/South Congress area, is also pretty good. They have great hummus, salad, mezze plates in general, plus good kababs and gyros. The only thing I'll say about that place is STAY AWAY from the baba ghanouj. Something's really, really off about it. Also, Jerusalem Gourmet on E.Oltorf is tasty.

      As for a real-deal Greek place with things like spanakopita, taramosalata, lamb, etc (and god knows tons of other stuff I haven't tried, as I just made myself sound like someone who knows nothing about Greek food)... I haven't been to one here yet. It's just not something you hear about too often in the area. As I said in the thread about meat n' threes, I'm all ears if someone's got some good recommendations for Greek food out there. I've got admittedly limited experience and would love advice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: popvulture
        r
        rdking647 Apr 3, 2012 02:48 PM

        having worked near greektown in chicago for 20 years i can say austin has no real greek food. Id love to find a greek islands,dianas etc here

        1. re: rdking647
          slowcoooked Apr 3, 2012 08:59 PM

          Word!! We are due

      2. Homero Mar 21, 2012 12:30 PM

        I don't think anything in Austin is as good at Niko Niko's, but I will say I have a soft spot for Milto's at 29th and Guadalupe. They have a damn good tzaziki sauce, and even though the Gyro is staight up Kronos meat log, it's tasty. Their greek salad is pretty good too although not nearly as good at Niko Niko's. Don't even get me started on Avgolemono.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Homero
          amysuehere Mar 22, 2012 02:03 PM

          Niko's?

          1. re: Homero
            Homero Mar 26, 2012 08:36 AM

            hmm, for some reason, I kept typing "as good at" instead of "as good as."

          2. amykragan Mar 21, 2012 11:35 AM

            I tried Zakia's near Parmer and 620 last week and was impressed. I had the Mediterranian club which was a gyro with chicken & lamb.

            2 Replies
            1. re: amykragan
              dinaofdoom Mar 21, 2012 10:41 PM

              amy, i live around the corner in the other apartment complex, and i've never had a good meal there. really overpriced and low quality food, and the menu is missing integral greek dishes.

              maybe they have improved. i'm willing to give them another shot if you liked it that much.

              1. re: dinaofdoom
                amykragan Mar 23, 2012 11:01 AM

                That was my only time there and just for lunch. The gyro I had was really good, the spanikopita was okay. I think it was around $8 for the gyro which was packed with meat.

            2. l
              LakeLBJ Mar 21, 2012 10:38 AM

              Ok, had to go and try The Mediterranean Cafe for lunch today. It's out of the way, on aurora drive off of 2222. Not busy at all besides the workers in the back producing all the specialties. Had a lamb gyro with a pita and hummus on the side. Some of the toppings are non-typical (jalapeños, olives) but the gyro was huge and excellent. The hummus had a unique lemon flavor and is now my favorite in town...

              I will put this in my regular Greek rotation for sure now. Pricing is $7.99/pound. My combo was 1.2 pounds, $10.38 with tax.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LakeLBJ
                i
                ieathereforeiam Mar 21, 2012 01:07 PM

                next time try the dolmas. They have a guy that comes in just to make them. Health code requires they sit in the refrigeration, but the last time i was there the manager offered to warm it up for me a little. really enhanced the depth of flavors. very nice either way.

                1. re: ieathereforeiam
                  g
                  greghoffman Mar 21, 2012 01:12 PM

                  Kind of read that wrong - for a few seconds, I thought you meant that the guy coming in to make the dolmas had to sit in the refrigerator while he made them...

                  1. re: greghoffman
                    slowcoooked Mar 22, 2012 07:22 AM

                    That's hilarious! I think that's a great idea, especially for those dirty dolmas makers :)

              2. l
                LakeLBJ Mar 21, 2012 08:34 AM

                Tinos is the normal chain standard here, there are several spread out over town. Not sure if you'll like it or not, it's nothing special.

                Athenian Grill downtown is popular at lunch. Give it a try if you work downtown, otherwise skip it, you will pay a few extra dollars per plate compared to other spots and parking is a nightmare on west 6th.

                Plaka is basically a direct copy of Athenian Grill, the food and portions are basically the same. I believe the owner of Plaka was related to Athenian Grill at some point, but don't remember the whole story. The food is fine, I can't compare it to Niko Niko in Houston since I've never been. Basically expect the standard Kronos gyro meat, spit grilled chicken, etc.

                A stand out for me is Pars. The Hummus is unlike anything I've had in the area, much thicker and more garlicky. Great price for a gyro, side, and canned drink. Maybe $7.50? And they load the gyro up with meat.

                Kebabalicious trailer on 2nd and Congress is good for a quick gyro. Open at Lunch, but went by yesterday at 1pm and they were closed...

                I have not tried The Med Chef but that's next on my list.

                1. TroyTempest Mar 21, 2012 07:11 AM

                  Oh, for the days of Ted's Greek corner.

                  1. slowcoooked Mar 21, 2012 06:08 AM

                    I haven't yet tried it b/c I'm not in georgetown that often, but Plaka is getting 4.5 to 5.0 / 5.0 stars from folks on trip advisor and yelp. I've been meaning to head up there. This might just be our only hope.Frankly, the answer to your query is that Austin just doesn't have any really outstanding greek food. I've tried hard to find it. Passable fare yes, but nothing that makes you crave it.

                    Who's tried Plaka? http://plakagreekcafe.com/Menu.html Funny, they're still in business and their sides are 1.49 each instead of the 8 bucks at the RIP El Greco. Might be something to that !!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: slowcoooked
                      ericthered Mar 21, 2012 09:47 AM

                      I live in Georgetown and frquent Plaka but when I'm at work in Austin and want Greek I go to Tino's on 183 and Anderson mill.

                    2. ret3 Mar 20, 2012 03:04 PM

                      Here's a previous discussion about where to get good Gyros hereabouts: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/826288

                      I like Pars Mediterranean Supermarket on Burnet Rd near US 183, but I'm not a connoisseur of the form.

                      1. i
                        ieathereforeiam Mar 20, 2012 03:02 PM

                        The Mediterranean Chef has some of the freshest and tastiest hummus, babba and beet salad in town. Good gyros and super friendly staff make this a regular haunt for me.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ieathereforeiam
                          b
                          brentwood Mar 22, 2012 03:14 PM

                          I have been buying their hummus & dolmas for months now (highly recommended), but had no idea they had a cafe. And it's right in our hood! Thanks!

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