Friday, October 26, 2012

Ten Facts About Greek Pitas

Credit to Wikipedia Commons.
Ask anyone you know to name a Greek food. You'll likely hear 'a pita' as the most popular response. Pitas are loved the world over so today we thought we would share some facts about pitas. Opa!

1. A pita is a round slightly leavened flat bread that is consumed all over the world in many different cultures.
2. The word pita is a Greek term, which means “flat.”
3. Pita is spelled 'pitta' in the UK, 'pide' in Turkey, Romania, and Greece.
4. In addition to being flat, this bread generally has two layers which separate to form an internal pocket. The pocket is created via a steam bubble that develops during baking.
5. Peeta Mellark, one of the main characters in the Hunger Games series, is named for the pita. His parents are the local bakers so it was very fitting to name their son after one of the most popular breads in the world.
6. After the pita is baked and cooled, it is cut in half, the result is two crescent-shaped pockets of bread. This pocket can be used to hold meats, cheeses, cooked vegetables, even salads.
7. Pitas are often torn and used to scoop up sauces or dips, such as hummus, making spoons superfluous.
8. Using one slice of pita bread (two pockets) rather than two slices of regular sliced bread lowers your calorie intake for that sandwich you're contemplating.
9. Pitas were so popular in the middle east because they required no special equipment to bake. Just mold the dough, pat flat with your hands and bake.
10. You can find the best pitas in DFW at THE GREEK in One Arts Plaza. Special thanks to the Dallas Observer for a great review of our newest restaurant.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Greek Fall Celebration - Chestnut Festival of Elos

There's no denying that we Greeks love our festivals so it's no surprise that Greece has a few fall festivals of their own. Family, food and fun...almost the motto of our Greek traditions! The most curious celebrates something American's sing about every Christmas season in the phrase 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire.' In Elos, the chestnut takes a more prominent place among their traditions.

The Chestnut Festival of Elos takes place in Kastanitsa, one of the few remaining traditional Greek settlements that still boasts the sights, sounds and aromas of yesteryear. Every autumn the village dons its finest and prepares to welcome hundreds of visitors from near and far.

The village of Elos is surrounded by chestnut trees, providing picturesque scenery and an annual harvest of big, gorgeous chestnuts. To mark the coming of autumn and the chestnut harvest, local villagers devote special attention to the annual Chestnut Festival. This tradition gives the people of Elos a chance to show off its beloved chestnut and attract a crowd over the weekend. Visitors to the Chestnut Festival can enjoy witnessing and participating in some traditional local entertainment, including drinking, eating, music, dancing and of course indulging in the pleasures, both sweet and sour, produced by roasting the chestnuts.

The chestnut, unlike other nuts, is low in fat and calories, but is rich in starch, which makes it a great source of carbohydrates. In fact, in many African and Asian countries, the chestnut is used as a substitute for the potato. It is also an excellent source of fiber, potassium and Vitamin C. What’s more, thanks to its sweet taste, it can satisfy those winter cravings…without the fat and the calories. Definitely something worth singing about!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recipe Week: Greek Style Leg of Lamb

If anyone is an expert at cooking fabulous tasting lamb, the Greeks are. Of course, we reserve serving lamb for the most special of occasions. And we do know how to throw a party! Opa!

Lots of lemon, garlic, rosemary, and oregano infuse this spring roast.

Yield : Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, coarsely crumbled
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 leg of lamb, 5½ to 6 pounds, excess fat trimmed
¾ cup water


1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.

2. In a small mixing bowl combine the lemon zest, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and flour. Stir in the lemon juice to make a paste, then season with salt and pepper. Make ½-inch, deep slits allover the leg of lamb. Rub the lemon paste all over the leg, making sure it gets into the slits.

3. Put the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and pour the water into the bottom of the pan. Roast the lamb 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325° F and continue roasting until a meat thermometer registers 145° F for medium-rare meat, 1 to 1¼ hours longer.

4. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let sit 10 minutes before carving. Skim the fat from the pan juices and spoon over the sliced lamb.

If you try this recipe, be sure to tell us what you thought in the comments!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Greek - Pita, Meze, Wine

Back in August we shared some exciting news with you remember what it was? We were working on something special...a new place in One Arts Plaza for you to enjoy fine Greek cuisine.

We're thrilled to tell you our opening date is set for October 15, just a few short days away. In the midst of making our many, many preparations we came to a realization. We found the name Meze was too limiting and confused the public who did not immediately recognize that meze was Greek. Thus, the new name, 'The Greek - Pita, Meze, Wine' is a perfect description.

The Greek - Pita, Meze, Wine is going to be a perfect fit at One Arts Plaza. For those with a refined vision of life experience, One Arts Plaza is the place to be. Casual sophistication, the best of the arts, one dining destination with five delicious options...what's not to love?

Of course, we know The Greek is going to be your favorite. We're delighted to be working with the renowned Jason Kosmas for the cocktail menu. And equally delighted to tell you Richard Silva is on board as our Director of Culinary Operations.

We can't wait to share it with you in person. Mark your calendars...we want to see you there!