Monday, December 27, 2010

Celebrate 2011 With Zizikis

Still haven’t decided what to do for New Year’s Eve yet???

Ziziki’s is offering a special three course New Year’s Eve Dinner on Friday, December 31st along with our award-winning wine list. Also, on Saturday, January 1st Ziziki’s will offer our flavorful WFAA-List “Best of Dallas” champagne buffet brunch.

In case you need to see it again - here's a run-down of the New Year festivities!


NEW YEAR'S EVE:
The three course New Year’s Eve dinner is $49 per person (tax and tip not included).
Reservations accepted for any size party at three seatings: 6PM, 8PM and 10PM.
APPETIZER PLATTER
A sampling of our chef’s favorite appetizers
SALAD
Your choice of Greek Salad, Mediterranean Salad or Caprese Salad
ENTRÉE
Your choice from your favorite Ziziki’s specialities including: Greek Paella, Grilled Rack of Lamb and Mediterranean Lamb Shank

NEW YEAR'S DAY:
Ziziki’s will feature our flavorful WFAA-List “Best of Dallas” nominated brunch buffet (a champagne brunch) for $21.95 per person until 3PM and then the dinner menu after 4PM.


HAVING YOUR OWN PARTY?

Celebrate with Mediterranean cuisine catered to your special event! And not just any old 'Greek food - it's Dallas' best Greek food. Choose from our exclusive Catering Menu. You can plan your special event, holiday gathering or corporate lunch and have it delivered - hot and fresh! Impress your friends and family, eat well and be happy!


Call any of our three locations for reservations:
Ziziki’s Travis Walk: 214) 521-2233
Ziziki’s Preston Forest: 469) 232-9922
Ziziki’s Plano: 972) 943-8090

OPA!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ring In The New Year - Greek Style

Like all things - New Year celebrations COULD just be the invention of the (you guessed it) GREEKS!  While celebrating the New Year is very important - the Greeks also celebrate something else.... it's a double OPA in Greece!

The start of the year has historically been important in Greece because January 1st is also St. Basil's Day. One the forefathers of the Greek Orthodox Church, St. Basil is is remembered for his kind spirit and help and support of those less fortunate. In Greece - they honor St. Basil on New Year's Day - so it's a day of double meaning.

Here in Dallas, of course we honor St. Basil, but we're focused more on celebrating the New Year by offering a one-of-a-kind New Year's Eve Dinner (3 seatings at 6pm, 8pm and 10pm) and a champagne brunch on New Year's Day. We're accepting reservations - and hope to see you there. Here's the details.

NEW YEAR'S EVE:

$49 per person (tax and tip not included).


APPETIZER PLATTER
A sampling of our chef’s favorite appetizers
SALAD
Your choice of Greek Salad, Mediterranean Salad or Caprese Salad
ENTRÉE
Your choice from your favorite Ziziki’s specialities including: Greek Paella, Grilled Rack of Lamb and Mediterranean Lamb Shank


NEW YEAR'S DAY:

Ziziki’s will feature our flavorful “Best of Dallas” champagne brunch buffet for $21.95 per person until 3PM.

Call any of our three locations for reservations:

Ziziki’s Travis Walk: 214) 521-2233
Ziziki’s Preston Forest: 469) 232-9922
Ziziki’s Plano: 972) 943-8090

For more information, contact Mary Arabatzis at 214) 521-2233 or 972) 567-5052

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wishing You A Greek Christmas

In Greece, there are many Christmas customs that are similar to ours in the U.S., but most slightly differ from traditions of the West.

Starting on Christmas Eve, children travel from house to house singing 'kalanda', (Christmas carols), using small metal triangles and little clay drums. Afterwards, the children are usually given sweets or coins in appreciation for their musical talents.


In Greek Christmas, the GREEK FEAST becomes the main attraction by both adults and children alike. OPA! Lamb and pork are roasted in ovens and open spits, and on almost every table are loaves of 'christopsomo' ('Christ bread'). This bread is usually made in large sweet loaves of various shapes and the crusts are engraved and decorated in some way that reflects the family's profession. Of course, melomacarona cookies (traditional greek Christmas cookies soaked in honey syrup) are sure to be every home.

During Christmas in Greece, remember that the season is in full swing by December 6, Feast of St. Nicholas, when presents are exchanged, and will last through January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany. In Greek homes, Christmas trees are not commonly used, but recently have become more popular. In almost every house, though, the main symbol of the season is a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire is suspended across the rim; from that hangs a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross. A small amount of water is kept in the bowl to keep the basil alive and fresh. Once a day, a family member, usually the mother, dips the cross and basil into some holy water and uses it to sprinkle water in each room of the house. This ritual is believed to keep the bad spirits away.

Gifts are finally exchanged on St. Basil's Day (January 1). On this day the "renewal of waters" also takes place, a ritual in which all water jugs in the house are emptied and refilled with new "St. Basil's Water." The ceremony is often accompanied by offerings to the 'naiads', spirits of springs and fountains.

In general, don't expect Christmas in Greece to feature quite the quantity of displays, Christmas lights, or other “Western’ decorations, except of course in the windows of businesses and the increasing number of Greeks who have adopted Western customs. Christmas in Greece is still a relative oasis of non-commercialism when it comes to Christmas.

But, you don’t have to travel all the way to Greece to have an authentic Greek Feast, drop by Ziziki’s Dallas Restaurants for an authentic Greek dining experience.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Greek Art - The Language Of Statues

Can statues really talk? Don’t answer too quickly. They do talk, only not in the way we think of verbal communication. Like a lot of art, the reason for its existence focused on providing representations of the Greek gods and goddesses.

Like so many elements of modern culture (including art, Mediterranean food, politics and more), the Greeks moved art forward by a quantum leap with their sculpture during the Archaic Period (8th to early 5th century BC). Their influence provided the foundation for the later Classical and Hellenistic Greek ages and later for the Romans. Broad, well-laid foundations last. This one did right into the western sculpture we know today.

It didn’t happen over night. And like those who came after them, the anonymous Archaic Greek sculptors built on the work of the Egyptians. Perhaps because of this, the early Greek statues depicted rigid, unnatural forms similar to today’s mannequin—feet together and a blank stare on their faces. But even this was a tremendous advance because the Greeks of the Archaic Period were the first to create free-standing statues. The Greeks eventually did away with colorful adornment via paints and dyes. They paid more attention to the details of facial feature and the anatomical construction.

Look a little closer and you’ll hear better. The sculpture Kritios Boy (c. 480 BC) depicts a young man standing at rest. His body language tells us he’s on his way to somewhere—the position of his legs for the implied weight shift of walking and the subtle motion of the hips. The Greeks captured the fluidity of movement in most of their statuary.

The high point of Greek sculpture came during the Hellenistic Period (late 4th—1st Century BC). The ideas and techniques of the previous centuries blossomed to true greatness when the emphasis went onto the dynamic and extreme poses. The epitome of Hellenistic art shines in Nike of Samothrace—you can hear the wind blowing the folds of her clothing and through the feathers of the extended wings.

Perhaps the most talkative of the statues is named Laocoön, which shows the tormented Trojan priest Laocoön and his two sons in a battle to the death with sea serpents intent on strangling them. This was heavy penalty for offending Apollo or Poseidon (the history isn’t clear) by warning Troy about a wooden horse. Just looking at their faces and the strain of their bodies shouts to us.

But you won’t need to shout when you take a break from the culturally rich world of Greek statuary at Ziziki’s. Our Dallas Greek restaurants provide plenty of culinary communication. Just peruse a Greek art book—after you examine our delicious Greek menu and enjoy a scrumptious meal.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Join Ziziki's Plano For A Holiday Happy Hour At Lakeside Market!

Ziziki's Plano invites you to the Lakeside Market Annual Tree Lighting Event!

Join us at Ziziki's Plano (Lakeside Market at Spring Valley and Preston) for Happy Hour (2pm - 7pm) this Saturday, December 4th. All activities will be FREE, as always - and it's a festive holiday event that's suitable for the whole family! There will be live music, face painting, giveaways and MORE - the party starts at 2pm.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Join Ziziki’s in Supporting Homeless Families with Children

We at Ziziki's are proud to partner with a wonderful charity this holiday season - Family Gateway!

For well over 20 years, Family Gateway has helped over 7,600 homeless families - the children and their parents - recover from crisis and make positive choices for their future.  These families have found themselves homeless, and this can be devastating - especially for children.

This holiday, we are partnering with this wonderful organization to support these families during the Holiday season. Please bring an unwrapped toy, game, book or gift card by any Ziziki's location - or Ziziki's Taverna -  and we will make sure it goes to provide happy holiday memories for a homeless child at Family Gateway.

WHEN: November 29 - December 12 
Click here to download flyer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Now That You’re in Greece, Stroll Through the Plaka - Travel Series Part II

Continuing your trip to Greece, let’s pick up after you’re rested and you’re ready to venture out to go exploring.

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have is what to see first. How about a city within the city—the Plaka? It’s a microcosm of Greece spanning the remnants of the Ancients to tastes of the present day. Located under the Acropolis, two main streets intersect and run through the Plaka: Kdatheneon Street and Andrianou Street. Both are loaded with entertainment, stores, Greek restaurants, and eye candy regardless of your interests.

If you’re interested in flea markets, go down Andrianou Street to where it starts. You’ll be in the Monastiraki flea market. Wind through it and it’ll disappear at the Roman Agora. But don’t give up. You’ll find more of it behind the wall of Hadrian's Arch and Plaka Square. It’s always interesting to see what other cultures value and experience the thrill of bartering.

The Plaka is a plethora of sights, sounds and aromas. Strolling the marble streets with it's hundreds of shops, vendors and eateries is a divine experience - because from many places, looking up to the sky - one can see the ancient Acropolis looming over the Plaka.

The shops have tons of merchandise, including great tees for the kids, beautiful embroidered tablecloths, Ouzo and other aperitifs, deep orange and black colored urns, and TONS of jewelry. Our two boys have asked for worry beads - or Kombolói - which are a niche tradition used by the Greeks as a 'stress reliever' and thus, a way to relax in our busy world and lead a healthier lifestyle. Worry beads are similar to Prayer beads, although not religious in nature. A popular item and symbol of Greek pride and heritage - Greek worry beads have been used for everything from stopping smoking, to relieving anxiety.


Later back at the hotel - we sat poolside and enjoyed a Mythos beer.  Baba has a shot of ouzo, a really special brand called Plumeri.  I have a sip…wow is it good.  So are the beers. I wish we could get Mythos beer in Dallas. Hmmm...... we'll have to check on it when we return.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Greek Brunch

We can, tie most things - of course, to the ancient greatness of Greece - but alas - brunch itself was not invented by the Greeks. Common now in many countries, brunch, or the larger meal combination of both 'breakfast' and 'lunch' was actually first seen in Britian in the late 1890's. Generally a mid-day meal (from after 10:00 AM through lunch hours), brunch is also common for family gatherings and special such as Mother's Day, Easter and other special days. 

Ziziki's is great for brunch - any day! We've got a fantastic wine list for family celebrations, a full array of selections and appetizers on our menu - and a festive atmosphere to support true brunch efforts. (heavy eating, fellowship and fun!)

What's best is that our culinary efforts with regards to our own Greek brunch have been rewarded with a nomination for BEST BRUNCH in Dallas. We're up against some swanky spots and big-hitters on the Dallas restaurant scene, but we're up to the challenge and asking for your vote. Please click here to vote for Ziziki's for BEST BRUNCH on WFAA-List. It only takes a few moments - and we need your help! This would be a great honor to win - and we're so pleased that we were nominated.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Trip to Mediterranean Paradise—Greece

We recently returned from a fantastic trip to Greece, where we had the time of our lives. We traveled with Dorothy and “Baba” Costa’s Dad, who celebrated his 74th birthday while we were there. We ate marvelous Greek food, gazed out over unbelievable scenery, and met the most interesting and unique people. Rich with culture and history – Greece is a destination you’ll remember forever.

Preparing for a trip to Greece is exciting and fun to plan. The gorgeous Greek isles offer an abundance of interesting sights, which of course you want to see all of. But first, you have to prepare, plan, and then get packed. All flights being on time, we’re talking nineteen hours flight time, give or take an hour, from Dallas-Fort Worth airport, so dress comfortably and learn a few Isometric exercises to do in your seat, or up and down the aisles. The savvy traveler will have downloaded several books onto an IPod and stuffed an inflatable neck pillow into her purse so she can sit back and listen while the miles literally fly by.

If you haven’t exchanged dollars for Euros before leaving the States, you’ll want to do so at your bank (must order the day ahead) or at the airport. Here’s another tip: you’ll want to take along a European adapter and transformer for your electronics – computers, hair dryers, electric shavers, phone chargers, etc. Otherwise, you’ll be having fried circuits for breakfast instead of a hearty potato and feta omelet.


We’ve all heard the stories of cab drivers in NYC and elsewhere in the world – crazy, fast – and a little scary! It should be said that even though many of the streets are one-way in Greece, and there is at times a bit of a language barrier - the taxis in Greece are super nice! Most of the taxis are Mercedes-Benz - and the drivers take great pride in keeping their cabs spotless. Since the Olympics, Athens has an efficient clean and affordable sub-way system.

Also, when you make your hotel reservations, inquire whether there are other hotels by the same name. Because even though taxi rides are truly a treat in Greece – you could end up at the wrong hotel because there are several venues with similar names.

If there are other accommodations with the same name, get a few landmarks for reference and be sure to tell your cab driver. When you get out of the airport, chances are excellent you’ll want to go to your hotel, unwind, and catch a few winks. After you’re refreshed, you’ll be ready for the exquisite treat of playing tourist - indulging in Greek cuisine and festivities!

Instead, do a little research and planning - then a little shopping so your first stop after leaving the hotel is some of the delectable Greek restaurants. Or if you can’t go to the Mediterranean today, stop by Ziziki’s and get a delicious taste of Greece.

Tune in soon - for another installment of our adventures and inspirations from our trip to Mediterranean paradise!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Big, Fat, Greek Thanksgiving

History shows that 'giving thanks' is something that has been done in most cultures all around the world for thousands of years. The Earth provides mankind with shelter, sustenance, life - and in return, it's people have given thanks in celebration. Fall and 'harvest' festivals and ceremonies of thanksgiving took place during ancient Greek times, and many other periods throughout history.

In the ancient Greek traditions, of course - it was Demeter, the goddess of corn & grains and all things harvest - that was celebrated and honored at the festival of Thesmosphoria every Fall. The Greeks believed that it was because of her - that the Earth provided the bounty it did - and that honoring her with offerings and ceremonies would promise a new, fresh harvest each year.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated in several countries annually - and some for different reasons. Here in America, we give thanks not only for our wonderful provider, Mother Earth - but also for our ancestors having found the "New World". We all have many things to be thankful for... BUT we should point out that we're REALLY thankful for yummy GREEK FOOD here at Ziziki's. 

Want to add a 'Greek twist' to your Thanksgiving celebration? Try these traditions that are known to grace the tables of Greek-Americans at Thanksgiving:


Tzatziki sauce: (or as we call it - Ziziki Sauce!) is the perfect creamy accent to any table. This traditional Greek sauce is where we got our name - and is a combination of yogurt, cucumber, and garlic. It can be eaten with bread, veggies - or alone and is part of many dishes at Ziziki's Greek restaurant in Dallas.

Be thankful for FETA: Of course, Greeks know feta is the perfect salty sidekick to wine, as well as just about anything on the table.

Don't forget: Add a Greek twist with Ziziki's! We can provide delectable Dallas catering options for your holiday event - call us or  visit us at www.zizikis.com for catering menu and more information!

We're thankful! OPA!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Greek Olive—Little Fruit With A Big Taste


Greek and olive go together like Feta and cheese.  Although the delicious Feta is a relative newcomer to the dining table (a mere couple of centuries old), use of the olive in Greek cuisine dates back to Minoan times.  When?  Oh, about 3,500 B.C.  Given our human propensity to want to improve on everything, you’d think there would have been changes to the little fruit over the past 5,500 years. 
Not so.  The only difference between the olives used at Ziziki’s and those of yesteryears is the number of them growing on a tree.  The trees have gotten broader and more expansive, which means more olives for us.  These delicious fruits from the drupe family are similar apricots and peaches.  You sure wouldn’t know that at a glance, but if you open each of these fruits up you’ll find a pit with a seed or two inside of it. 
The best food olive—almond-sized Greek Kalamata Olives—range in length from a half to one inch.  Their excellent flavor has a rich and fruity taste.  Unfortunately you can’t grow this eggplant colored olive in your back yard.  It’s found exclusively in Greece.  If you live in 30° to 45° latitude, you might have success with one of the other types of olives your local nursery can recommend.  Or, you can just go to Ziziki’s and enjoy a delicious Greek meal with a friend.  While dining, impress your friend by asking if he/she knows the difference between a Black Olive and a Green Olive.
Oh, the answer . . . None beyond when they’re picked.  Green olives are, well, picked green.  Black olives are picked when they’re ripe.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Congratulations to ZIZIKIS and Thank You DALLAS

Ziziki's wins Dallas Observer Best Greek Restaurant – 2010!

Thanks to all our customers who voted for us this year in the Dallas Observer Reader’s Pick “Best of Dallas” contest. We know Observer readers have plenty of choices in Dallas which is why we are truly humbled to win this award for the 7th time in 10 years.
Sas efcharistó̱ (Thank you) Dallas!
Click Here and go to Page 62 for the Reader's Pick

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Greeks Ready For Football?

Greeks are fanatical about football – soccer that is. When the Greek national football/soccer league won the Euro 2004 championship, there was delirious celebrations all over the county of Greece.

Formed in 2006, The Super League Greece is the highest professional football league in Greece. The league consists of 16 teams and runs from August to May, with teams playing 30 games each.

Most Greeks support one of the big three teams of greater Athens: Panathinaikos, AEK or Olympiakos. And thanks to the 2004 Olympics, the teams have two magnificent new stadiums to play in. The first two teams share the Olympic Stadium at Marousi and the Olympiakos team plays at the Karaiskaki stadium.

The Greek Football Cup, commonly known as the Greek Cup, a the Greek football competition run by the Hellenic Football Federation. Because it involves clubs of all rankings playing against each other, there is the possibility for the “underdogs” from the lower divisions to become "giant-killers" by eliminating top clubs from the tournament and even possibly winning the Cup. The current holders of the Greek Cup are Panthinaikos, who beat fellow Super League Greece team Aris in the 2010 on April 24, 2010.

To find games televised on ESPN in the states or to learn more, go to www.greeksoccer.com or www.theoffside.com.

Whether you’re tailgating an American football game or having friends over to watch Greek soccer, don’t forget to call in your football party catering onsite or carry-out catering orders to Ziziki's - we've got an all-new catering menu!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fun Facts About Greece

Of course, Greeks know how unique, timeless and rich they are as a 'culture', but what of those non-Greeks? How are they to know how cool it is to be GREEK?

We've compiled some fun and well-known facts about Greece to share a bit of the Greek culture with you, in case you are not privy to the WONDERS of all things Greek!






  • The yo-yo is the second oldest known toy in the world - and comes from the GREEKS (only the doll is older) It was born over 3,000 years ago in the days of ancient Greece.
  • Greeks are 'dancin' fools' - there are 63 different folk dances in Greece.
  • Cleopatra was Greek, not Egyptian - and a seriously tough cookie of a lady in her day, and responsible for a heap of accomplishments as ruler, or - female-Pharoh of Egypt..
  • Traditionally, Greeks have been known to celebrate their "name days", rather than their birthdays.
  • Americans should be familiar with this political piece of trivia: Greece is the birthplace of democracy.
  • Greek plays called “comedy” were written about ordinary people and often mocked leading politicians and personalities of the day - the forerunners of modern comedy shows like “Saturday Night Live”.
  • The early Olympic Games were celebrated as a religious festival from 776 B.C. until 393 A.D., when the games were banned for being a pagan festival because they celebrated the Greek god Zeus. The first modern-day Olympic Summer Games took place in 1896 and the host country, Greece, won the most medals with 47.
  • It's hilly, it's mountainous - it's GREECE! Did you know? 80% of the landscape of Greece is comprised of mountains. This means that Greeks must have great legs - (all the climbing, just saying...) and one half of the country is covered by forests and the other half is barren.
  • There are about 3000 islands in Greece. However, only a few hundred of them are inhabited.
  • Greece has an area of 131,940 sq. km., which makes it just slightly smaller than the size of Alabama. Sweet Home Greece!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Greek Speak

Have you ever wanted to impress your friends by speaking Greek? Imagine greeting your friends with “yia'sou” (hello) as they walk in to meet you at a Greek restaurant or a hip Greek bar and grill. At this point they may be somewhat amused but then you proceed to ask the waiter to “parakalo' (please) bring plates of ze'sti (hot) and cri'o (cold) mezzes”. Wow! All the sudden, you’re the life of the party!


The Greek language is fascinating as it has evolved over thirty-four centuries beginning with Proto-Greek (early second millennium BC), then evolving into Mycenaean (c 1600-1100 BC), Ancient Greek (c. 800-330 BC), Koine Greek (c. 330 BC), Medieval Greek (c330-1453) and culminating with today’s Modern Greek (from 1453), which is spoken by 13 million people. Modern Greek is the official language of Greece and Cyprus and one of the 23 official languages of the European Union.


For simplicity’s sake, we used Greek words here written with the Latin alphabet rather than the Greek alphabet (as we’re assuming you haven’t had a chance to learn that yet). Using the Latin alphabet is referred to as Greeklish (Greek and English) and was developed for online communication back in the day before operating systems could handle the Greek alphabet.


If learning Greek seems, well, a little “greek” to you, parakalo' (please) don’t despair. There are many great resources on the web – some of which are even free! So start practicing your conversational Greek and bring all your friends to Ziziki’s for a fantastiko' time.


**Note: the ' indicates the accent**

Friday, September 3, 2010

Greek Festivals – Fun for the Whole Family

If you’ve never been to a Greek Festival, you must put that on your “things to do before I die” list.

Your life will be vastly enriched as you stroll along tasting distinctive and super-rich Greek food, listening to upbeat Greek music and taking in the culture that is known worldwide for being rich in tradition.

A Greek festival is a tradition of culture and entertainment and is the perfect destination for great, family-friendly fun.

At Greek festivals you will typically find:
  • Greek gourmet food
  • Greek folk music - usually performed by Greek bands
  • Cultural exhibitions including artifacts from Greece and dances performed in costumes of old tradition
  • Dancing for the public under Greek tunes.
Additionally, and depending on local arrangements there are raffles and shopping for Greek jewelry, books, music, spices, etc. Many places also organize running races and other outdoor activities.

A Greek festival is an event that you should not miss! And do not worry, even if you can't dance syrtaki or hasapiko - you will still feel at home.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dance Like A Zorba: Getting in Touch With Your Inner Greek

Greek dance is a very old tradition still very much alive all over the world and especially in Greek communities. Traditional Greek dancing is primarily a social function. It brings the community together at key points of the year, such as Easter, the grape harvest or patronal festivals; and at key points in the lives of individuals and families, such as weddings.

There are over 4000 traditional dances that come from all regions of Greece but the one that has probably had the largest impact on pop culture in the US is the Zorba dance - made famous by the 1964 Oscar nominated classic movie, The Greek Zorba. The trademark song of Greece, “Zorba’s Dance”, has been used at Yankee Stadium for years to incite crowd participation during a potential rally by the home team and is commonly played and danced to worldwide – not to mention in Greek tavernas.

So, if you’re looking for a way to get out of your comfort zone, check out the video below and see how it’s done. Then download the Zorba dance music to your iPod, stop by the best Greek restaurant in Dallas (Ziziki's and Ziziki's Taverna - of course) for a little 'culinary inspiration' and OPA! – you’re in touch with your inner Greek!



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Feta - A Festival for the Mouth

There is nothing like the first bite of a piece of tangy, salty feta cheese to make your whole mouth come alive. Made from the milk of sheep or goat, Feta could be considered the national cheese of Greece if there was one. It's certainly a staple of Ziziki's award winning Greek cuisine.

If you love the taste then you’ll love it’s versatility – feta is not only used as a table cheese, it’s excellent in salads (Greek salad), pastries, baking (notably in the popular phyllo-based dishes spanakopita ("spinach pie") and tyropita ("cheese pie") and combined with olive oil and vegetables. It can also be served cooked or grilled, as part of a sandwich or as a salty alternative to other cheeses in a variety of dishes.

The Greek word "feta" comes from the Italian word fetta ("slice"). It was introduced into the Greek language in the 17th century. Although similar white brined cheeses called “feta” are found in the eastern Mediterranean and around the Black Sea, they are often made partly or wholly of cow's milk. Since 2002, feta has been a protected designation of origin product. According to the relevant EU legislation, only those cheeses produced in a traditional way in some areas of Greece (mainland and the island of Lesvos), and made from sheep's milk, or from a mixture of sheep's and goats’ milk (up to 30%) of the same area, may bear the name "feta".

Go Greece!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

During these scorching dog days of summer, we are all looking for ways to cool off and beat the Texas heat. A visit to one of the Zizikis Dallas area restaurants (or Zizikis Taverna in Addison) for their amazing happy hour will certainly cool you off. All locations have become Dallas happy hour hotspots Monday – Friday, from 4 to 6 pm, with extra-special drink prices and $5 for select appetizers!

Their specialty drinks are only $7 and some of the best I’ve ever tasted. My favorite, the Ziziki Sunkiss, is bursting with the wonderful summer flavor of peaches. The Ziziki’s Cosmo will get any party started and the Mojito is delicious and offered in pomegranate or mango flavor for a different twist. The martinis are marvelous and come in pomegranate, lemondrop – and every girls favorite – chocolate.

Certainly, if the Texan in you is craving a margarita – Ziziki’s has those, too. For those of you watching your waistline, they offer the Skinny Margarita. This only has 100 calories – but is big on flavor.

No happy hour is complete without some amazing appetizers and Zizikis does not disappoint. The Ziziki bread, with its fresh cheese and herbs, is served with Ziziki sauce and is spectacular. Everyone’s favorite, Artichoke dip with pita, is delightful. Some other Greek favorites, Dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with seasoned rice), Spanakopita (fillo dough stuffed with creamy spinach, sweet onions and Feta) and Mediterranean Bread (pita topped with Feta, tomatoes, olive oil and basil) are all fabulous. They are all made with only the finest and freshest ingredients and are all offered during happy hour at the special price of $5.

So gather up your co-workers or meet your friends and loved ones at Zizikis for Happy Hour. The drinks are delicious, the food is amazing and the atmosphere is fun and inviting. Euphrosyne, the Greek goddess of good cheer, joy, mirth and merriment, will be waiting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A History of Baklava

Somewhere around 800 B.C., Greek seamen and merchants traveling to the East discovered a seriously sweet treat, which they brought back to Greece.

This tasty discovery was a combination of different ingredients - such as chopped nuts, honey and dough – and it was the precursor to Baklava.

The Greeks then refined this creation by rolling the dough paper thin (the beginnings of flaky filo pastry) and then alternating multiple layers of the dough, honey and nuts.

Today, Baklava is a truly exclusive treat. The layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup is a wonderfully sweet pastry. Baklava is the perfect ending to any Greek meal and is just simply - divine. Zeus would be proud.

At Zizikis, we offer two wonderful Baklava desserts on our menu, made only of the finest and freshest ingredients. We have Baklava Ice Cream Cake which is one of our exclusive specialties. Our secret recipe homemade Baklava is layered with vanilla bean ice cream – for a truly melt in your mouth treat. For the traditionalist, we have Yayakatina’s Baklava. Layers of filo, walnuts, cinnamon and our own Ya Ya homemade syrup complete this very tasty treat.

At Zizikis you can experience the finest Greek Restaurant in Dallas– just make sure you save room for dessert and enjoy a true taste of Baklava.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More About Chef Costa and Mary - Owners of Zizikis Restaurants

The Ziziki's family of Greek restaurants are owned and managed by Costa & Mary Arabatzis; long-time residents and business owners in the Dallas area.

Award-winning chef, Costa Arabatzis - is no stranger to the industry, he began his restaurant career as Assistant Dishwasher in his father's restaurant in sunny California. (also where he was born)  He winded his way around positions, and eventually became Assistant Manager and then, Cook.


In 1986, Costa and his father found themselves in beautiful Hawaii, where they opened the Greek Bistro on the island of Maui - and it's still a local and visitor must-try restaurant.

Costa moved to Dallas in 1990 and eventually opened Ziziki’s Restaurant with partner Mary Cloutier Arabatzis, and recently was awarded winner of the Taste of Addison - Taste The Competition contest.


Mary Arabatzis hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a graduate from Drake University in Des Moines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.

Mary 's been in big D since 1980, and has tons of feathers in her cap with regard to her former career in marketing and media relations. She was Media Supervisor at Tracy-Locke, Vice President – Media at Bozell, Inc. (currently Temerlin-McClain) and also Vice President, Media Director of NWAyer Dallas.

With regard to her position at Ziziki's, she is responsible for all the locations 'front of the house': that is - management of staff, sales & marketing, and the development of the wine list. And she's been nothing short of FABULOUS - Ziziki’s has been awarded “The Award of Excellence” by The Wine Spectator every year since 1995 - among several other outstanding awards for customer service.


For full bios on Costa & Mary - visit Ziziki's Taverna's about us page.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Talk Of The Town Award Winner

We talk a lot about how WONDERFUL our Greek cuisine is, how big and delicious our gigante beans are - and you already knew that Ziziki's Taverna won the Taste of Addison Competition - but did you know that Ziziki's is also known for it's award-winning customer service? The customers have spoken - and it's not just about the food itself - it's about atmosphere, location - and how you're treated while you're with us. And Ziziki's and Ziziki's Taverna has it ALL covered.

Rated 4.5 stars for Talk Of The Town's 2010 Customer Satisfaction Excellence award - Ziziki's aims to please both the belly - AND the mind.  Come experience the finest Dallas Greek Restaurant with regard to award-winning dishes - as well as an award-winning Dallas dining experience and customer service. Thanks to all who voted to make all these wonderful awards possible - you are the reason for our success!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beauty and The Greeks

For centuries, the Greeks have been known for their beauty - and wellness. The lifestyle in Greece is much more slow, and natural than it is here in the states. For natural beauty, the Greeks have known for years that the properties of yogurt - and olive oil - are perfect for all skin types - and within any beauty routine.

YOGURT FOR HEALTHY GLOWING SKIN
We all love yogurt here in the states - it's a staple of good health, great taste and healthy 'pro-biotic' properties. But back in the homeland (Greece, of course) yogurt is more than a heart-healthy and good-for-digestion snack. It's actually a highly-prized beauty treatment. Yogurt (and not the "TCBY" kind - we're talking Dannon, here - without the fruit chunks) is a natural source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It can be used on all skin types - and is a great balm/mask for sunburn. Want to try it at home? Here's how!

ZIZIKI'S YOGURT MASK
1 tablespoon natural yogurt (allow to reach room temperature - and opt for low or no-fat variety)
1 teaspoon honey (get it soft, and pliable - stick it in the microwave for a few seconds so it mixes better)
A few drops of lime juice (if your complexion is oily)

Mix ingredients together, and apply to face - leave on 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

OLIVE OIL GODDESS BEAUTY


Olive oil, a staple of Mediterranean food dishes - is also an ancient secret to the most beautiful complexions and hair in the world. (Need you ask? The GREEKS!) Here are several uses for your olive oil. (best to opt for extra-virgin for the purest oil and the best results - it's from the first press of the olives - and is mostly unprocessed)

You'll find olive oil as a main ingredient in tons of bath & body products such as shampoo, lip balms, soaps and lotion. But if you don't have any commercial olive oil products - grab a bottle at the grocery store and start working on a beautiful new you.

Bath: Turn your bath into a bath of the GREEK GODDESSES - with a few tablespoons of olive oil added to running water.


Makeup remover: Olive oil is an all-natural makeup remover. Certainly - don't drop it directly into your eyeball for ANY reason EVER- but use it on a cotton ball to gently remove makeup.

Foot Mask: Clean your feet and rub olive oil all around your feet, ankles and toes - then put on your favorite pair of socks before bed. When you get up - your feet (heels and all) will be soft and supple.


Shiny, Beautiful Hair: Haven't you heard that mayonnaise is a great conditioner? So is olive oil. Olive oil helps heal dandruff and repair split ends as well. Gently massage a few drops of olive oil on your scalp and hair. Leave on as long as possible - up to 30 minutes or so - then shampoo and rinse.  And here's a bonus - put a few drops on your hair when it's dry - to eliminate frizz. But don't overdo this or you'll look greasy.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Make Dad BAKLAVA ICE CREAM CAKE for Father's Day

Just in time for Father's Day - and any other special occasion - or just to cool off during the hot days of summer - Chef Costa shows us how to make YUMMY and UNIQUE Baklava Ice Cream Cake from his award winning restaurants - Ziziki's and Ziziki's Taverna.




Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Treat Him Like Zeus This Father's Day

He may not wear a toga, and he may not have thunder at his command like Zeus, does - but he's the man of the house - the DAD, and his day is right around the corner. Father's Day is June 20th.

What are your plans for your resident Titan? A great Father's Day gift could be anything from a golf club to a fishing trip. It all depends on the dad.

But one thing that is sure to please any red-blooded man (and they ALL have red blood) is FOOD. What better way to find his heart than through his stomach, with an exclusive dining experience at one of the locally cherished Ziziki's Restaurants, or the brand new hot spot - Ziziki's Taverna in Addison.

He can enjoy award-winning cuisine and a huge selection of wines in a fun and hip atmosphere at Ziziki's Taverna - or you could treat him to more a quieter, more traditional Greek dinner at one of three Ziziki's locations in the Dallas area.

You could make it a REALLY special experience for him by inviting some of his friends - and having a Ziziki's Private Dining experience - your own special space, with a special menu (for parties of 20 or more) - just for you. But call us ahead of time if this is your plan - you'll need reservations as Private Dining space fills up fast.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ouzo - The Greek's Favorite Pre-Dinner Drink

Ouzo is an an anise-flavored drink usually consumed prior to a meal or during mezzes (small, Greek appetizer-size plates)  - and a favorite of the Greeks!  Many say it has a licorice-type taste, and be aware - it's a pretty strong drink! Because of it's higher sugar content, drinkers of ouzo typically feel it's effects early-on.

It can be consumed straight-up, or mixed with water. Often compared to it's similar, but stronger French counterpart, absinthe - ouzo can also be prepared by louching - which is when it's emulsified with water or ice. If you add water or ice to ouzo, it  will turn milky white - because the essential oil in the anise is not soluble in water.

In modern Greece, it's found all over the country, even in very small towns and villages; and a common aperitif in the cafes and Greek restaurants. It is meant to be sipped slowly, together with mezzes or before the meal, and shared with others over a period of several hours in the early evening.

So before you order your ouzo, make sure you're planning to eat a bit, stay a while - and enjoy the atmosphere.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

ZIZIKI'S TAVERNA WINS TASTE THE COMPETITION

Celebrity Foodie Ted Allen awards Costa the TASTE THE COMPETITION grand prize for proving a yummy twist on a traditional dish - LEG OF LAMB GYRO! Visit Ziziki's Taverna to try them for yourself - and come to Taste of Addison this weekend - Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Taste The Competition

The Taste of Addison is a huge event (May 21-23) that provides visitors with the tastiest food, music, and fun that Addison, Texas has to offer.  It includes 55 restaurants that serve samples from their menus at reduced price, and there's an awesome line up of entertainment including Chris Cagle and Luke Bryan.  For the family, there are carnival rides and midway games and tons of other attractions.

Ziziki's Taverna is proud to be a part of this exciting event this year! Watch culinary magic happen in our video below - with our Chef (and Ziziki's Owner) Costa making his exclusive specialty dish - Leg of Lamb Gyros.

This is a great opportunity for you to come out and try some of our delicious food - at a great price. Ziziki's is going to be offering a variety of our most favored entrees for a price that is unbelievable! Here are some of the deals we will be offering during the Taste of Addison event:
  • Sliced Leg of Lamb Ziziki (Gyro) $6.00
  • Artichoke Dip w/ Pita $4.00
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmas) $2.00
  • Bud Light, Domestic Beer (16 oz) $3.00
  • Premium Wine (red or white) $5.00
  • Bottled Water $2.00
LEG OF LAMB GYROS

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

VOTE for Ziziki's Taverna - Taste The Competition

We're thrilled to announce that Ziziki's Taverna is one of 3 finalists in the Taste the Competition contest at the Taste of Addison Festival coming up the weekend of May 21st.

We'll be making an exclusive appearance Friday, May 21st on Good Morning Texas with celebrity foodie Ted Allen - who will also be part of the panel that will select with winner. 

We're really excited and know we can win - but we need your help! 

Let  your voice be heard by voting for Ziziki's Taverna in the Taste The Competition People's Choice Award!

Vote for Ziziki's Taverna

For more details on the festivities surrounding Taste of Addison - visit the Town of Addison website.

Come by and visit us at our booth - we'll be serving up Costa's special dish and a few other Ziziki's favorites! 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Volos Taverna is now Ziziki's Taverna



We couldn't be more excited to announce a name change for our new "sister" restaurant, Volos Taverna.    Our new name.......drum roll please......

Zizikis Taverna

Our name change allows us to extend the success of our Ziziki's brand to our new concept in Addison Walk.

In the first two months we received a tremendous amount of feedback from customers who spoke to Costa and Mary Arabatzis at Volos and requested that some of their favorite Ziziki dishes and more of the premium wines be added.  Ziziki's Taverna will continue to feature mezzes...Greek and Italian cuisine presented on small plates. We've just added a few of your Ziziki's favorites like Calamari and Chicken and Lamb Souvlaki!

This name changes captures the essence of our company and more accurately reflects our mission and products that appeal to all of our very special customers!   Please come and join us at Ziziki's Taverna for a casual Mediterranean experience!


Sincerely,

Costa & Mary Arabatzis
Ziziki's Restaurants

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Beans of the Gods

When you think of the word “Giant” you probably think about the fictional characters (depending on your era...) Shrek or the Incredible Hulk, but I can - with certainty - guarantee, that you probably do not think about a bean.

So - visualize the host of Greek gods on Mt. Olympus - (they're probably bigger than we are, right?) -rest sure that if they're eating beans - they're Greek style Gigante Beans.


A GIGANTE bean is a type of bean originating from the Mediterranean. They are a very large, flat bean - usually about one inch or more in length which is extremely large compared to your typical beans such as navy, pinto or other beans. And of course - being a bean - they're the perfect meal and alaways a great source of protein and fiber.

For Lunch - enjoy a mouth watering plate of gigante beans. These beans are straight from Florentine Greece and are baked with plum tomatoes, Feta, and pancetta. These Mezzes will truly leave you with your mouth watering for more.

For Dinner - Why not try as a side dish with something just as delicious like rack of lamb.  Being the Greeks we are - we always serve with grilled asparagus and - you guessed it - gigante beans!



Since gigante beans can be kind of tricky to find and cook, (they are considered a specialty) come try them with us - at one of our Ziziki's Restaurants or at the new and hip Addison restaurant Volos Taverna. The GREEKS knows what they are doing with this specialty - it's one of the most prized and favorite dishes!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mother's Day With Greek Style

Join Us at All Three Ziziki’s Restaurants for a Special Mother’s Day Brunch Featuring Complimentary Mimosas or Champagne.

Our regular dinner menu will be offered for dinner on Mother’s Day.




Treat Your Mom To Ziziki’s Mother’s Day Brunch!


You'll enjoy:

A Complimentary Glass of Champagne or Mimosa

A flavorful selection of your favorite Ziziki’s items:
Spanakopita, Dolmades, Mediterranean Salad, Greek Island Chicken, Rigatoni with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce, Baklava

Plus these signature brunch items:
  • Mediterranean Shrimp
  • House Smoked Salmon with
  • Bagels & Herbed Cream Cheese
  • Buttermilk Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup
  • Greek Scrambled Eggs with Feta Cheese & Basil
  • Roasted Leg of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce
  • Ya Ya Katina’s Baklava

3 seatings at 11AM, 12:30PM & 2:00PM

$24.95 per person


We accept VISA, MasterCard, AMEX and Diners Club
17% gratuity added to all parties of six or more.

Reservations are recommended for any size party; and if you have a party of 20-40 please consider our private VIP dining room at our Travis Walk location, and semi private dining room at our location on Preston Road, Dallas.

Ziziki’s has three locations:

Ziziki's Travis Walk, Dallas at
4514 Travis Street #122
Dallas, Texas, 75205
for reservations call 214-521-2233.

Ziziki's Preston/Forest, Dallas at
11661 Preston Road #309
Dallas Texas 75230
for reservations call 469-232-9922.

Ziziki's Lakeside Market, Plano at
5809 Preston Rd. #578
Plano, Texas, 75093
for reservations call 972-943-8090.
If you have any questions, please call Mary Arabatzis, owner, at 972-567-5052.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Giada Visits Plano Texas

If you’ve ever watched the Food Network, then you probably know who Giada is! She will be at Sur La Table on April 7th to sign copies of her new book - visit our website for the flyer!

Sur La Table is in Lakeside Market off Preston between Park and Spring Creek in Plano right next to Ziziki’s. Why not join us for lunch before or after this event. We have a beautiful outdoor patio so you’ll have a front row seat to all the excitement and there will be live music and entertainment throughout the day. So stop by and enjoy the best Greek-Italian cuisine in Plano!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Don't Wine About The Wine

Whether it is a night out with your girlfriends or a romantic dinner with your spouse, “wine” not… wine and dine? There are a variety of wines with a variety of flavors to choose from. Every wine has its own unique taste depending on which type of grape and region it came from.

Greece is one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world. In Ancient Greece the reputation of the wine was based on where the wine came from and not the individual producer of the wine. Wine was a very important part of Greek history, which would take pages to explain, so let’s move on to the mouth watering part of Greek history; that is the different types of wines!

First of all you might be wondering why is white wine not really “white”? Most white wines are a yellow/golden color. This is because white wines are made from the grape juice and the grape skin of gold, green, or yellow grapes. It can also be made from the juice of a red grape but not the skin( usually in champagne). Drinking white wine is most common when consuming a lighter meal such as lunch or an appetizer. It is also great during the spring and summer because it is a lighter more refreshing type of wine. Have you ever tried a white wine? ...Well if not, the most common white wines that are served in our restaurant today are Chardonnay and Champagne.

Unlike white wine, red wine is actually red. It might not always look red, but it usually is considered a shade of red on the color scale. This wine is actually true to its name because the grapes that are used to make this kind of wine are red, deep purple, and even blue. They receive their unique color and name because during the fermentation process the skins of the grapes are actually in contact with the juices which creates a wide variety of deep colors. When drinking red wine you want to make sure that the temperature is just right. If it is to warm the wine will have an overwhelming taste of alcohol. If the wine is too cold it will have an extremely bitter taste, this is why all red wines should be served at room temperature. Some of the most common red wines at Ziziki's and Volos Taverna are Cabernet and Pinot Noir.

Choosing the right wine might be difficult, but once you find it you will be asking yourself… “ ‘wine not’ go out for the perfect glass of wine tonight.”

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ziziki's Named Best Of Dallas Finalist

Ziziki’s has been named a finalist in D Magazine’s first-ever Best of Big D: Reader’s Choice Poll!

Every August, D Magazine publishes its Best of Big D issue, wherein the editors name their favorites. This year, they’re giving their readers a chance to vote for their favorites.

Ziziki’s is thrilled to have been selected by the D Magazine Editors as a finalist for the BEST DESSERT IN DALLAS – FEATURING our Baklava Ice Cream Sundae!

We need your help … support us by clicking on the link and voting for Ziziki’s Best Dessert in Dallas. It only takes a few minutes and it would mean so much to us. You can vote as often as you want – but only once a day. We value and appreciate your business and support.

Click here to VOTE NOW!

With gratitude,
Costa & Mary Arabatzis

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Volos Grand Opening A Success

Volos Taverna’s GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION on Thursday, March 4th was a smashing success! We are very proud to announce that we raised $1,000 for our favorite charity, Family Gateway!

We celebrated the night away with friends and family, the Town of Addison Council Members, Joe Chow, Mayor of Addison and many local prominent business owners in the Addison area. Guests enjoyed a full sampling of our hot and cold mezzes.

Check out the photos from the night. We hope you’ll stop in soon and see for yourself why Volos is the hottest new restaurant in Addison. OPA!



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Easter Brunch and Dinner With Zizikis

Join Us at All Three Ziziki’s Restaurants for a Special Easter Sunday Brunch Featuring Complimentary Mimosas or Champagne. Our regular dinner menu will be offered for dinner on Easter Sunday.


Hop Over to Ziziki’s Easter Sunday Brunch!

Complimentary Glass of Champagne or Mimosa

A flavorful selection of your favorite Ziziki’s items: Spanakopita, Dolmades, Mediterranean Salad, Greek Island Chicken, Rigatoni with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce


Plus these signature brunch items…
  • Mediterranean Shrimp
  • House Smoked Salmon with Bagels & Herbed Cream Cheese
  • Buttermilk Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup
  • Greek Scrambled Eggs with Feta Cheese & Basil
  • Roasted Leg of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce
  • Ya Ya Katina’s Baklava
  • Chocolate Easter Eggs for all Kids

3 seating’s at 11am, 12:30pm & 2pm

$24.95 per person

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lower Greenville Dallas

When we see the huge flames roaring and hear the sirens of fire trucks we only hope that everyone is going to be okay and safe. A fire is a tragedy that can touch so many people in such a little time. It can destroy a large structure in just a few minutes, but it cannot destroy the faith of the people touched by it. As we all know or have heard a very important part of Dallas was destroyed by a fire on Tuesday March 2, 2010.

The fire roared through lower Greenville very quickly and destroyed four very well known businesses to that area. These Businesses included: Terilli's Restaurant & Bar, Mick's Pub, the Hurricane Grill and the Greenville Bar and Grill. Although we cannot replace the historical meaning that these restaurants had on lower Greenville, we can help the owners and people out who held these places closest to their heart get back in business!

Since the businesses that were affected by this fire are temporarily out of commission until they can rebuild, there are many employees finding themselves without jobs. With the economy, finding a job isn’t as easy as it seems, but Ziziki’s is offering a great opportunity to those employees affected by this tragedy. Ziziki’s at Travis Walk location is here to help out in every way possible by offering jobs to those who are looking for employment! Please see Bobby in the evenings if you are interested.

Not only is Ziziki’s helping out lower Greenville but so has the community. Everyone in the surrounding area has come together to help rebuild.  It is such an important part of Dallas’s attractions and history. There is plenty of help that is still needed to get these businesses back on their feet.


Donations are welcome to help out this awful tragedy. Also on Saturday March 13, 2010 The LGNA (Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association) will be selling t-shirts that were donated by them at the block party between Vanderbilt and Vickery. These T-shirts will be $10 dollars each and all of the proceeds will go to help this cause.

So when a tragedy strikes a part of our history we all have to come together to give them a boost to get back on their feet, because we all know if this was our business they would be doing everything they could to help us too.