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 Kombol√≥i - 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 for catering menu and more information!

We're thankful! OPA!