Ann Arbor has been desperately in need of quality Mediterranean food. Ahmos’ is too far and not that great, and Jerusalem Garden’s menu is too small. A small spot on the corner of North University, Mezes Greek Grill doesn’t appear to be “in your face” about making you eat at their restaurant, they just know you’ll enjoy it. Could it be that a new place on campus could help revitalize Mediterranean cuisine for Michigan students? While we can’t answer that, we can recommend that you check out Mezes Greek Grill.
Mezes offer fast, fresh and excellent service for those dining on a budget. When we asked General Manager Keith Gulian about why he enjoys working at Mezes, he told us, “It’s like a family here. If I didn’t totally believe in Sam (Roumanis) and that he knows exactly what he’s doing, I wouldn’t be working here.” Sam runs the place, along with his two kids, Kurt, a head chef and a few other employees. The employees give off the vibe that you’re eating in the Roumanis’ kitchen, not at a random restaurant, and their friendliness plays a huge role in customers yearning to return.
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The Souvlaki is a traditional Mediterranean dish in a pita, stuffed with meat or chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, a couple fries and either spicy yogurt or mustard aioli sauce. I opted for the spicy yogurt, and it complemented the rest of the souvlaki pretty well. The first time I went the sauce was missing something, but Kurt assured me they added a little something to the spice level to give it an extra kick. Job well done, Kurt.
One of Mezes’ newer items they’re trying out is a traditional hamburger. Accompanied with fries, the burger is cooked with either mozzarella or Swiss cheese, a detail not totally finalized yet. The Mediterranean spices cooked with the burger give it an added layer of complexity, but the satisfaction of a great burger with onions and a toasted bun still gives customers just what they want.
One of my favorite parts of the Mezes experience was the Greek Fries. I have tried fries of many different cuisines before, and I am sure that Mediterranean French fries are without a doubt the most delicious. These fries have cubes of cooked feta cheese on top, and small olives. The combination makes for an absolutely insatiable delight.
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Last, we ordered baklava to have as dessert. Zoe, the team photographer, is Greek and has eaten tons of different types of baklava. When Zoe, Sara and I tried the baklava from Mezes, we all made the same face: eyes closed, big smile, and a deep breath. It has a philo dough crunchy outside and a sweet, honey nut-flavored inside that is the perfect fall dessert. If you’re looking for a quick snack after class that will make you feel all warm inside, look no further than Mezes’ delicious baklava.