Niko Niko’s is quintessential Greek food in Houston. The location is a bit far from me, but it’s always worth the drive. I’ve gotten plenty there, but when venturing out for a new food type, I’m always one to order the “plate of everything” in order to get a bite of each dish. This way, should something strike my fancy, I know what to order the next time I”m out.
While Niko Niko’s has parking issues, and tends to always have a line, I think this speaks to it’s food quality. It’s served on styrofoam, you get in, order at a counter, and move out, it’s loud, it’s crazy, it’s not somewhere you go to have a deep conversation. It could be a great platform for one of those Jerry Maguire-esque “We’re letting you go” moments though, I’ve never seen this place without a crowd.
My usual dish is the Greek Combo Plate which includes pastichio, mousaka, keftedes, dolmas, spanakopita, tiropita & gyros. It also includes a greek salad, pita & tzatziki sauce on the side. This is enough for two lunches. The mousaka has layers of eggplant with ground beef & potato topped with a bechamel (white cream) sauce. Pastichio is thick tubes of pasta, ground beef & spices topped with the same bechamel sauce. Served side by side these are definitely a one two punch on the stomach. As if you could handle more at this point, Keftedes which are fried greek meatballs seasoned with mint, oregano & garlic come next. This aren’t your Italian Mama’s meatballs. They are fried which gives them a different texture. The meat here all gives you a new reason to try out greek cooking – mint, cinnamon and the like dot each dish in a way that makes it uniquely different but still comfort food like. Both spanokopita and tiropita come next: a Greek layered pastry food, made with layers of buttered phyllo and filled with a spinach or a cheese-egg mixture respectively. Finally, the essential greek food “everyone knows”, the gyro, this is the greek “taco” consisting of meat, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce, and is served with pita bread Tzatziki is a lovely yogurt sauce that tends to add a richness to everything without being buttery or heavy. This is all served with a few hunks of potato – the likes of which butter and lemon and seasoning salt heighten your “regular potato” to new found heights.
If you’ve been to Niko Nikos and want to try it for home, I’ve found a pretty decent clone of their Pastichio and posted it to my regular recipes – here.
Niko Nikos – http://www.nikonikos.com/ – (713) 528-4976
Rating: Spoon & Fork : service is a bit harsh and need a bit more space to eat and park, but the food wins every time.