We have been huge fans of Mediterranean food for a long time now, and we have had a whole array of experiences with restaurants offering that fare. Some have called themselves Mediterranean and have only served gyros and pizza, while we’ve had Greek and Lebanese-specific fare that differs in a number of large ways. Taziki’s is a modern take on the food of the region, providing a deep menu with everything done right. We were lucky enough to be invited in to their store in the McCain Mall in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
This time around, we explored their “Feasts” and Children’s menu. We began our meal with the Mezedes Platter ($8.99) which included dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice) along with Taziki and Hummus dips. The dolmades were top-notch, with Taziki’s choosing a leaf without any large veins. The bit of tart and sweet from the lemon juice and rice made for a brief introduction to the deep flavors that were to follow throughout the rest of the dinner. The hummus was creamy and nutty, while the Taziki dip possessed the crispness of cucumbers and the unique flavor of dill.
The Mediterranean Turkey Melt ($4.99; available for children under 12) is an easy-to-hold sandwich that is stacked with a good helping of meat and cheese. The ability for parents to choose a fresh fruit bowl keeps the dish healthy for children.
A number of the dishes at Taziki’s include pita bread, which the restaurant offers in baked (left) and soft (right) variants. If you are a fan of a crisp snap and dip, we’d recommend the baked pita. We loved the soft pita because it was malleable and was able to take a good helping of either the hummus or Taziki dip.
The Herb-Roasted Pork Loin ($11.79) transforms a perfectly serviceable porcine portion into something transcendent. The pork pops in one’s mouth, while the asparagus provides a brightness and snap to the dish. In fact, the asparagus is a hidden star here – even with the decent amount of the veggie that was included, we wanted more! The tomato chutney aioli works on the pork, the asparagus and even as a dip for the pita.
The Chargrilled Lamb feast ($12.99) is similarly hard to complete in one setting. Where lamb is typically meted out in small amounts (even in entree portions), Taziki’s provides a heaping of the meat. The lamb is tender and juicy, while having just enough char to bring out additional depth to the protein. The Greek salad provides the perfect counterpoint to the rich flavors of the lamb. A portion of Basmati rice is cooked to perfection and soaks up all of the delicious juice from the lamb (alternatively, visitors to Taziki’s can receive a portion of new potatoes).
Taziki’s offers a number of distinct dessert options. The Baklava ($2.50) is baked by Hellas Bakery. Flaky, airy, and large enough for two to share, the baklava is the perfect ending to a complete meal.
The Dark Chocolate Cake ($2.50) is made from scratch and uses Richmond icing. Dense, decadent, and with a good portion of the aforementioned topping, we found that it was a good counterpoint to the healthy cuisine that preceded it.
We strongly recommend a visit to any of Taziki’s location if you want something substantially different from the typical casual fare. The hospitality of the staff here was top-notch with a number of visits from the employees and Emanuel, the general manager.
Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe at the McCain Mall is open most nights from 11 AM until 9 PM; on Sundays, the restaurant is open from 11 AM until 8 PM.