Second Helpings: Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
Chronicle writer Greg Beets serves up local meditteranean and Middle Eastern cuisine in this week's Second Helpings.
11655 Research Blvd., 342-2057
Mon-Thu, 11am-3pm, 5-8pm; Fri, 11am-8pm; Sat, 11am-3pm
The menu and dining area at Akropolis are both limited in scope, but they do what they do quite well. Their sizable gyros on thick, fresh-grilled pita bread are especially tasty. Akropolis also serves cheesesteaks, burgers, Greek salad, veggie dolmas, and baklava. The $4.75 weekday lunch specials include pasticcio on Tuesday and spanakopitta on Thursday.
2021 Guadalupe (in Dobie Mall), 480-8418
Mon-Sat, 10am-8pm; Sun, 10am-9pm
Gyro King's spicy beef and chicken gyros keep the UT student population sated during study breaks, especially those on a saltines-and-ramen budget. Their location in the Dobie Mall food court is a particularly fine respite from the culinary monotony of fast food and dorm cuisine.
290-B Medical Arts, 495-9228
Mon-Sat, 11am-midnight; Sun, noon-11pm
2801 Guadalupe, 472-9911
Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm; Sun, noon-10pm
In addition to serving a superlative menu of sub sandwiches, Longhorn Po-Boys also makes some of the city's best and cheapest falafel for hungry students and businesspeople alike. Famous stuffed grape leaves offer something different for the daring, blue-collar gourmand. Other Mediterranean fare includes hummus, tabouleh, spanakopitta, and baklava.
106 E. Sixth, 476-2010
Mon, 11:15 am-10pm; Tue-Thu, 11:15am-10:30pm; Fri, 11:15am-11pm; Sat, 5-11pm; Sun, 5:30-9:30pm
Louie's 106 is a classy way to begin an evening in the entertainment district. In addition to having one of the most refined dining rooms in town, Louie's 106 has a fine selection of tapas, including Blue Island Mussels, fried calamari, and escargots. Entrees include seafood risotto, sauteed veal scallopini, and pan-seared rainbow trout. There's also a ravioli-of-the-day selection available as an entree or a tapa.
1610 San Antonio, 472-3901
Sun-Thu, 5:30-10:30pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30-11pm
One of Austin's most eclectic restaurants, Mars features a menu predominantly inspired by Asia, India, and the Mediterranean. Their appetizer assortment starts things off right with superb pot stickers, spring rolls, baby back ribs, and Naan bread. The salmon-wrapped asparagus is also a good bet. The kafta, a North African dish made with seasoned ground lamb, and the Thai bouillabaisse, are two of Mars' most popular entrees.
601 W. Sixth, 457-8880
Mon-Thu, 11am-2pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 6pm-11pm
Tocai supplements its considerable wine bar fare with a solid Italian and Mediterranean menu. The fried calamari appetizer is exemplary, as is the asiago-sauced gnocchi. Entree-wise, the standout Bouillabaisse Portuguese is a light-bodied seafood stew flavored with saffron and vegetables. Tocai's version of Ossobuco ($17.95) accompanies the braised veal shank with an intense Masala demi-glace (wine-based brown sauce) and a serving of creamy porcini risotto.