Apparently I am in the minority when it comes to my opinion of the Greek restaurant, Nikos Nikos, in Houston, Texas. It has won numerous awards – including awards for being clean – however I can’t find any recent awards; no the most recent one was back in 2005 so maybe I’m not in the minority after all.
My big gripe with Nikos Nikos is that it is an expensive joint with uneven floors, massive crowds and average food. You’d never know the economy was down in the dumps with the amount of Houstonians lining up to eat on a Saturday afternoon.
If you live in the Montrose area then consider walking to Nikos Nikos because parking is a nightmare. Despite having a large parking lot, drivers were waiting anxiously for customers to exit so they could take their parking spot – imagine a supermarket the day before a hurricane. We finally found a spot after playing tactical games with the other cars, and made our way to the entrance only to find ourselves waiting in a long line.
Fortunately Nikos Nikos is a fast food restaurant where you order at the front, receive a buzzer, and find a seat. When your buzzer flashes it’s time for you to go to the pick-up counter and get your food, so that made ordering much faster than we had anticipated. We grabbed a menu and decided to share the hummus as an appetizer – it turned out to be a smart move since that was one of the menu items they had made plenty of which meant we didn’t have to wait long for it. We wound up waiting 20 minutes for our entrees but we were given advance notice so we were prepared.
The hummus was green and tasted like it was mixed with cucumber but the flavor was not overwhelming. One large pita (sliced into several pieces) was served with the hummus as well as bell pepper slices, tomato slices, and Kalamata olives. Part of the pita was baked and crispy while the other slices were soft and fluffy. I suspected the soft ones were put in the microwave but my husband did not concur. The half order of hummus cost $5.95 which is a bit high for an appetizer in a joint if you ask me.
I ordered the small Greek salad ($4.75) and added grilled chicken breast ($3.75). The salad had all of the usual suspects: lettuce, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese (in a block that looked like tofu), and even one banana pepper. The grilled chicken had a lot of fatty gristle in it so I was glad I had been with my husband for 15 years – it made it OK for me to spit out my food in front of him. The salad dressing was all at the bottom and tasted better as I went along, but I wish they would have tossed the salad more. The portion size did not look large but because I had the hummus and pita as an appetizer and added the grilled chicken, the Greek salad was too big for me to eat all at once. So my husband grabbed a plastic cover for my plastic container – yes, that’s how they serve the food – and I ate the rest at home.
My husband had the gyro sandwich ($7.95) which along with the Greek salad seemed to be the most popular item on the menu. He said it was hard to eat because it was so messy but he enjoyed it nonetheless. His gyro sandwich came with a huge plate of fries – and I mean huge – so I thought his meal was better value than mine.
Nikos Nikos has good food but it’s not amazing enough to warrant their popularity, especially considering there are so many restaurants in the Houston area that serve similar cuisine.
The wooden booths were wobbly (which made it uncomfortable for me whenever the patrons sitting at the table behind me moved), the floors were uneven and dangerous, and the long lines made it difficult to get to the soda fountain area where the plastic utensils were – notice the trend, only plastic is served at Nikos Nikos.
Although I was glad to know Nikos Nikos puts an emphasis on having a clean restaurant, I found it a bit off-putting that the cleaning woman swept every five seconds by our table. The one thing that struck me about Nikos Nikos was its popularity with people of all ages, classes, and ethnicities. I guess Houstonians really like their Greek food no matter where they come from.
Nikos Nikos is located at 2520 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, Texas, 77006. Their phone number is 713-528-4976. To view their menu or find out more about Nikos Nikos visit their web site at http://www.nikonikos.com.