Let’s Go Falafeling!

by Ellen Ritscher Sackett

Can you Spanakopita? Dare to Dolma? Think Greek when you dine at Yummy’s Restaurant in Denton, Texas.

Don’t judge Yummy’s by its postage-stamp size or its location in a tiny strip-mall off a main commercial drag. This hole-in-the-wall has been a local favorite for traditional Mediterranean cuisine since 1986.

I arrive for a late lunch and most of the tables are full. I chose a spot near the counter where there’s a short line of customers waiting to pay for their meals. Mohammad Apache, the owner who’s busy in the kitchen, converses in Lebanese to the young woman at the register. The lime green booths are long gone, replaced with stackable chairs and tables that can seat 36 when the place is packed. The addition of a mirrored wall makes this cubbyhole look bigger than it is, and the posters of Greece and Lebanon make me hungry for travel in addition to food.        

I’ve ordered just about everything off the menu at one time or another. Of the sandwiches, the Gyro (yeer-oh), a rotisseried combination of heartily sliced beef and lamb, is juicy and Yummy’s most popular seller. It comes with a side of tzatziki—a light yogurt cucumber and garlic dip. I often order the leaner grilled chicken souvlaki with a side of tahini sauce. The falafel, a fried ball of spiced chickpeas, is a vegetarian favorite, as is the dolma sandwich made with onion and garlic rice-stuffed grape leaves and hummus. All sandwiches can be made “supreme” by adding hummus and tabbouli, and the meat sandwiches can also be ordered as dinners with sides.

Yummy’s exceptionally plump pita makes a moist sandwich wrap that’s tough to wrap your mouth around but worth the stretch. As a side, I use the pita to mop up every last bit of the earthy baba ghanouj and creamy hummus appetizers, laden with olive oil, topped with a single black olive. Watch out: The bread is addictive, and it’s a little known fact that packages can often be purchased to take home.

Yummy’s serves several combination plates for an overall Greek food experience. The Yummy’s Feast or Mixed Grill for Two are excellent choices for meat lovers, with samplings of many menu items as well as side Greek salads. Vegetarians won’t go hungry either; there’s plenty for them on the menu as well, including a Veggie Combo plate and two appetizer platters. The moussaka can be ordered with or without meat (beef or lamb) and practically everything on the menu can be ordered a la carte. Make sure to leave room for a few bites of dessert. Yummy’s baklava is a rich, slightly dry version that combines walnuts with honey and thin layers of phyllo dough. A little goes a long way.

Souvlaki? Tabbouli? Moussaka? Baklava? Is this all Greek to you? No worries. Forget the names and explanations. The descriptions won’t mean anything to you until you taste them anyway. The best way to experience Greek food is to simply dig in.

$-$$
Yummy’s Greek Restaurant, 210 W. University Drive, Denton. 940-383-2441
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.

 

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Filed under Denton, Ellen Ritscher Sackett, Greek

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