By: Bob Gourley
It almost feels like Zorba the Greek should be entering the building. The feel and food at Meraki Greek Grill is authentic and delicious. Nestled into a busy shopping mall, the place is often crowded with folks on their way to Summerlin and surrounding areas.
Of course, you can find a fitting Hummus on the appetizer list with a mix of garbanzo beans, tahini and lemon. But there are some other more exotic tastes like Tirokafteri made with Greek feta cheese and spicy roasted peppers. For those who like to experiment with different spreads you can order a sampling plate with pita.
The classics are just that with a signature Spanakopita of baked phyllo dough with baby spinach, mint and peta. Saganaki is lightly-fried imported Kefalograviera cheese and if you want to try you hand with just about everything order the Mezze Plate.
It is enough for two. In fact, every dish is huge, and you will want to take the leftovers home for another meal.
Many who crave the Mediterranean diet like a salad and their “Greek” is a combination of so many things it would take a book to list them, but the highlights include romaine hearts, Kalamata olives and a terrific Greek vinaigrette.
You don’t often see bowls at Greek restaurants but at $9.49 to the start you can craft a fine meal. Add-on meat options are plentiful with seared Ahi Tuna, grilled organic Scottish salmon and pork along with some veggies like marinated baby beets and avocado.
Meat plates continue the tradition of substantial portions. My Chicken Kalamaki Plate was so big I thought I would never finish it.
Not only are the skewers bountiful but the sides include a choice of Greek rice or French Fries, salad, pita and tzatziki. The steak plate is made with Nebraska gold filet mignon and the shrimp are jumbo white.
A creative list of sides is highlighted with the usual suspects, but you can also order Aegean quinoa or lemon broccoli.
There is a quintet of sandwiches including a Falafal Pita with a choice of meat, tomato, red onion, baby arugula, tirokafteri and grilled ciabatta. A scrumptious lamb burger is enhanced with Greek spices on brioche. A street sandwich will put you in the mood to stroll.
Desserts are often an afterthought at Greek establishments but not here as you will find a nice list of sweets. There is of course a layered phyllo baklava with walnuts and honey syrup. Ravani is semolina cake with fresh citrus zest and authentic Greek yogurt is also available with honey and walnuts or preserved sour cherry. And there is also a fine rice pudding made with cinnamon and vanilla.
The little ones have their own fare that includes a classic grilled cheese sandwich, chicken fingers and a gyro plate. A choice of rice, fries or sliced cucumber is included as is a juice or box or fountain drink.
A lot of folks like to eat at home and they offer a Meraki Feast with spreads, pitas and eight skewers plus a choice of dessert.
If you decide to visit, come with a big appetite because you definitely won’t go home hungry.
Meraki Greek Grill, 4950 S. Rainbow Blvd., #160. Las Vegas. (702) 202-1002. www.merakigreekgrill.com.