LET’S GO FALAFELING!
by Ellen "EJ" Sackett
Can you Spanakopita? Dare to Dolma? Try Tahini or Baba Ghanouj? Yes, you too can go 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 only seats thirty-six at one time, and has been a local favorite, serving up traditional Greek food to appreciative customers, since 1986.
It’s nearly two o’clock in the afternoon when I arrive. The only booth open is by the door—a little too chilly to be seated there—so I opt for a table near the cash register, where a kid wearing a ballcap is paying for his meal. I can hear the owner, busy in the kitchen, talking in Lebanese to the girl at the register. The place hasn’t changed much, if at all, since I first ate there twenty years ago--the same lime green booths, the mirrored wall that makes this cubby-hole seem bigger than it is, and the posters of Greece, Lebanon and Italy that make me hungry for travel in addition to the food.
I can safely say that I’ve ordered just about everything off the menu at one time or another, but certain favorites call to me every time I come. I wouldn’t dream of eating at Yummy’s without ordering one of the dips, either the hummus tahini, made of blended chickpeas, or the baba ghanouj, made of eggplant. Both are presented with olive oil and a black olive in the center and come served with a basket of plump pita bread slightly warm from the grill. I’m also fond of the lentil soup, a creamy, but not too thick version that’s perfect on a day like today.
Of the sandwiches, the Gyro (yeer-oh), a rotisseried combination of beef and lamb, is Yummy’s most popular seller, but I often order the grilled chicken souvlaki with a side of tzatziki—a light yogurt cucumber dip. Falafel, a fried ball of spiced chickpeas, is the vegetarian favorite, and all three can be made “supreme” by adding hummous and tabbouli, made with parsley.
Yummy’s serves several combination plates, which I highly recommend for an overall Greek food experience. The Yummy’s Feast or Mixed Grill for two are terrific for meat lovers, combining everything Greek on one plate with a side Greek salad with feta cheese. 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, and practically everything on the menu can be ordered a la carte. A Greek meal isn't complete without baklava for dessert. Yummy's is a rich, but slighly dry version that combines walnuts with honey and thin layers of phyllo dough.
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, TX (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, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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