Going GreekApr 01, 2022 ● By Lisa Sciortino
Here’s a confession: I am a hummus snob.
In recent years, it seems I cannot get enough of the creamy, garlicky dip made of chickpeas that typically is served alongside toasty pita triangles. Believe me when I say that not all hummus is alike. There are few things more disappointing than a bowl of bland hummus that falls flat on the palate. Or one that’s a bit dry and lacking in its signature silky creaminess. And heaven forbid if the pita bread happens to be a bit stale. Game over.
Luckily, some of the most flavorful (dare I say dreamy?) hummus that I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting is served at Platia Greek Kouzina, located adjacent to Stonebriar Centre, where my teenage children and I enjoyed a casual late lunch on a recent Saturday afternoon.
We were greeted promptly at the host stand and immediately led to a table in the back corner of the dining room. The space oozes with old-world charm courtesy of thesizeable wrought iron chandelier that hangs above the place’s dark-wood tables, about a dozen of which were occupied when we arrived. Conversations bounced off of the faux stone-painted walls and swirled in the air amid the sounds of festive Greek music.
Although I had previously dined at Platia Greek Kouzina a few times, this was my kids’ first visit to the restaurant. I have been heralding its heavenly hummus to them for a while, so there wasn’t much point in studying the menu before server Cudi approached the table to take our appetizer order. “We’ll start with the hummus,” I announced. (Platia Greek Kouzina calls it Revithosalata – garbanzo beans pureed with fresh garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini.)
When I did finally stop to take a longer look at the menu, I began to wonder whether I’d been a bit hasty in my decision. I had completely overlooked the Dolmas Yialantzi, grape leaves stuffed with rice and served cold with a side of tzatziki sauce and topped with crumbled Feta cheese. I couldn’t get the idea of them out of my head (more on that later).
Alas, the hummus soon arrived at the table and – as expected – our trio made quick work of the generous serving of dip topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of rust-hued paprika. There was no resisting the warm, fluffy pita pieces, which were clearly a game changer for my kids. “That was fabulous,” my daughter proclaimed after she and her brother had devoured all of the bread, which they used to wipe the plate clean of the hummus.
Cudi returned to take our entrée orders. My son chose the Pastitsio with Yigandes (giant lima beans baked in tomato sauce) and Greek-Style Rice on the side. I selected the Greek Salad with Chicken and a crock of the Avgolemono Soup while my daughter went with the Loukaniko Pita sandwich.
The salad arrived and it certainly was substantial. The oblong plate brimmed with romaine lettuce, big chunks of tomato and cucumber, strips of red onion and bell pepper and several salty kalamata olives as well as salty feta cheese crumbles, all of which was complemented by a delightfully vinegary dressing. A small cup of cool tzatziki dip (made with Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber and garlic) made the perfect dip for the slices of tender grilled chicken that rested atop the vegetables. This is a hearty salad, and the same can be said of the lemony Avgolemono soup with its thick broth featuring a generous serving of rice. It’s a bowlful of comfort.
Speaking of comfort foods, the Pastitsio was perfection. For those unfamiliar with this classic baked casserole, it features a layer of ziti pasta topped with flavorful ground beef and a creamy bechamel sauce. Platia’s pastitsio is a winner. While I’ve never been a fan of lima beans, I was pleasantly surprised by the Yigandes, which (as advertised) were giant and practically melt in your mouth with their slightly zesty sauce.
There was a slight mix up with the Loukaniko Pita sandwich (a different sandwich was delivered to the table), but that was quickly corrected. As promised, the flame-broiled sausage (topped with tomatoes, onion and feta and wrapped in a full-size pita round) was indeed spicy, tempered only by the cool tzatziki that accompanied it.
About halfway through my salad, I realized the stuffed grape leaves were still consuming my thoughts. I simply had to try them and knew I’d regret it later if I didn’t. So, at the risk of looking like a glutton, I flagged down Cudi and ordered them. The small rolls are tightly wrapped and sprinkled with crumbled feta. They did not disappoint with all of their chewy, vinegary goodness.
Along with serving hummus to write home about, the numerous outstanding dishes on Platia Greek Kouzina’s menu – coupled with the authentic atmosphere and superior service – have made it one of this writer’s favorite Frisco restaurants.
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