Pastitsio, spanakopita, dolmades—I grew up eating it all. While later living in Greece, my Greek palate developed further. I fell in love with fish stew and fresh octopus. Upon moving to Dallas, I’ve been on a mission to find the best Greek food. Everyone pointed me to Kostas Cafe. From the start, it was puzzling: the daily menu was missing staples (pastitsio, skordalia, keftedes) and bread was served with butter, not olive oil. When I asked for a Greek rosé, I was offered white Zinfandel. Unfortunately, the food didn’t make up for the missteps. Tzatziki was all garlic, no cucumber. The horiatiki salad was a sad mix of less-than-ripe components, and the spanakopita, though served with a wonderfully flaky phyllo exterior, turned to a flavorless spinach mixture curiously devoid of feta cheese. Entrées are served with soup or salad (go with the avgolemono soup), as well as vegetables that most certainly came from a can. But there are redeeming qualities. The lamb chop was cooked a beautiful medium rare, and both pork and chicken souvlaki options were tender and seasoned perfectly. Skip dessert. Baklava is over-spiced, and galaktoboureko is more of a runny pudding than a thick custard. It looks like if I want Greek food in Dallas, I’ll be digging out the family recipes.

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