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Mar 22, 2013 07:50 AM

What is the best Greek restaurant in Houston area?

I want to buy a gift card for my sister living in Houston. (I am in NJ). Since I do not know the restaurants at all, I need help. It can be any price range of a restaurant. I sent her one to Yia Yia Mary's once before and it was great because she got to also use it in their other places.

It does not matter where in Houston, because she is like me..always willing to drive for a great meal!

(This gift card would be for the family..)

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  1. My favorite Greek place is Niko Niko's. Did you post before here for the prior gift card? I seem to remember one similar. If they liked the Pappas card, which includes Yia Yia, would that be good again, or are you looking for something different? Niko Niko's is constantly busy with a line out the door. Order at the counter and grab a table after. It is not ideal for children, but the food is spectacular. They have added on to the space for decades, adding a coffee bar and dining space and so it's a little randomly spaced.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Lambowner

      Haven't been in 10 years or so after week old snapper and frozen, bad fried shrimp. I just checked out the menu, Philly cheese steak and chicken, Buffalo chicken pita, New Orleans po boys, please. I guess they're doing something right with all the business, but then again people flock to Olive Garden. Sure miss Mykinos and Zorbas. Sorry to be so rough Lambowner, just my opinion, albeit an old one, let me in on some of your favorites and I'll give it another shot.

      1. re: James Cristinian

        Wow, I've never even noticed those things on the menu. I stick with the Greek stuff, I love the gyro and fries. The fries are fantastic. I like the Greek salad, which is large, fresh and tart. The grilled meats are good and the veggies (particularly the yellow potatoes) are well seasoned and tasty. The Greek wine is not as bad as you would think either! Next time try something that's hard to pronounce! I haven't been in a few months because I have to be in the right frame of mind to face the line and battle for the drink fountain which is inexplicably right in the middle of the line causing further unnecessary chaos, which is why I say it's not ideal for kids.

        I went to Theo's on Westheimer before the name/owner change and wasn't impressed at all. The famous and bruisingly charming waiter "John" who has served me and many many others over the past 20+ years is not there anymore either. I see on B4-u-eat that someone says he is now at Byzantio on West Gray, which I have not been to.

        Has anyone visited Alexander the Great? Interesting web site.

        @Angelina, one other thought. If your giftees like to visit Galveston, Olympia Grill is a great time. There are two locations, one on the seawall that is very casual and one on the ship channel at Pier 21, which is more upscale (but nothing in Galveston is very dressy) and has a large deck and views of the channel. It is adjacent to the cruise dock so if they are there about 3-ish on most days the kids can watch the ship leave, it's quite a spectacle. Just a thought.

        1. re: Lambowner

          John, whom you mentioned was The waiter at the Zorbas on Tuam. I went to his old place on West Gray and he remembered me after 25 years, of course I dropped serious change at that place. I didn't see a wine list for Niko's, so I called them and they have retsina, definitely an acquired taste, which I achieved on my first sip. I'll give them another shot at 3 PM on a weekday to avoid the lines. Thanks Lambowner.

          1. re: James Cristinian

            If I walked into John's new place tomorrow, he would know who I am, and who I lunched with in 1995 and have much to say about it. He's legendary. "Another thing John is: a curmudgeon." I think there is an article about him, somewhere...oh yeah, here it is! (but there are many more)


          2. re: Lambowner

            I probably haven't been to Niko Niko's in ten years either but it was the line that discouraged me, not the food. I went regularly when I worked in the neighborhood and 98% of the time, I got the gyro. Loved it, never found anything better on the menu (did find a better one elsewhere), but I do remember the Greek salad and those potatoes.

            Thanks for the info on Theo's and John - I didn't realize there had been anything other than a name change (again).

            Byzantios looks like a bar-hang out place more than a restaurant.

            Haven't been to Alexander in ages either and only been once so I really shouldn't push it, but I've mostly heard good things about it over the years.

            I think the OP ought to stick with Yia Yia Pappamia's - yeah, it's a chain operation but that restaurant is the only one Pappas operates that's Greek (which they are) - oh, but, I've never been to that one either.

            Other Greek places I've been to are small, hole-in-the-wall, probably don't have gift certificates! - Ekko Deli, Yia Yia Roadster Grill, 3Gs - food isn't as good as Niko Niko's imo.

            Oh yes, James - everybody does cheesesteaks these days, (and gyros). I know a couple of 'Mediterranean' places that do cheesesteaks and there's probably a banh mi shop, a taco truck and an Indian place that has one on the menu somewhere in this great city.

            1. re: brucesw

              Where did you find a better gyro?

              1. re: Lambowner

                Al's Quick Stop on Waugh. Neighborhood convenience store/meat market/Greco-Tex Mex-Middle Eastern eatery. a bit iffy on the outside but clean inside.

                1. re: brucesw

                  I know the place. I have been to the Brit bar next door, but haven't ventured in, cause of the iffy thing!

        2. re: Lambowner

          +1 for Niko Niko's - good value and good quality

        3. El Greco is my new favorite Greek place.
          5420 Lawndale

          Great chicken, lemon potatoes and pita.

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