SAN ANTONIO — Ancient recipes passed down through generations is the backbone to a Greek restaurant that has been serving the Alamo City for decades. They're celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, and we had to visit them on Neighborhood Eats.
It's called Papouli's Greek Grill. They have two locations:
- 11224 Huebner Road
- 8250 Agora Parkway
"Restaurants in my blood. It's my passion. I started in the business when I was 9 years old and I worked for my parents," said Founder Nick Anthony. "I've always loved serving people, and that's what it's all about. We have heart in our restaurant. That's what I believe has made us successful. When they leave here they say, 'Wow, the food was fantastic,' and that just melts a Greek's heart."
He told us that Greek food can sometimes appear "intimidating." However, in 2004 when the Olympics took place in Athens, people began to embrace the culture and food here in the states. "The culture is not so far off from our Latino culture in this area of the country," Anthony said.
And we got to see their scratch kitchen in action where they made their famous Zeus, a huge gyro sandwich.
"[It's] a double portion of meat. So we start with our freshly grilled pita. Gyro meat, fresh tomatoes and onions, our house-made tzatziki sauce right on top. So it's fresh and creamy with our fresh house-cut fries," said Catering and Community Leader Nicolle Juarez.
They also made the literal Feast.
"We do start with our large tossed salad, crumbled feta, fresh sliced tomatoes, our peppers, drizzle it with our dressing and then our salad spice, add our little bowl of tzatziki of course for your meats to be dipped in. Assemble the four pitas that it comes with, and then we have the meats that we layer. So that is our grilled chicken skewer. Our beef skewer, our 100% pure leg of lamb skewer, and then our shrimp skewer and our hand-carved gyro meat," said Juarez.
They also made their Fish Burger which is now a permanent item on the menu.
And for dessert -- Baklava.
"[It's] made fresh in-house. Layer that with phyllo dough and some cinnamon and walnuts and some sugar in there," she said.
Although food is what connects them to locals, their roots go even deeper.
"What's more important to us are people -- the people and relationships that we've built over the 20 years and leaving that legacy for the next generation to see what it is -- what Greek culture is like -- what eating healthy is like and having that become a part of your everyday culture," said Juarez. "We're happy to bring the warmth and the genuineness and the hospitality so that you feel like you've walked into a little village in Greece."
For more information about Papouli's Greek Grill, like their full menu and hours, click here.