Zorba's the Greek

Zorba's is the quintessential hole in the wall.  Tucked away in a little strip mall with a dingy looking sign, it's easy to dismiss this place.. but don't.  Zorba's serves the best gyros, along with other Greek favorites, on the west side of Mobile.

There have been some changes to Zorba's recently.  Gone are the beige tinted walls. Now the walls are painted a dark blue, with paintings alongside posters of scenic Greece.  The dark blue is complimented by the checkered pattern tile and what I thought was new black booths.  I was mistaken.  The springs  are still shot but I will endure for the seriously delicious eats.  

But enough about the atmosphere and onto to the important stuff; the food.  I love the appetizer combo plate that Zorba's offers.  At about $11, there is a good amount to share.  The hummus and baba ghanoush is drizzled with olive oil and served with some chili sauce, sprinkled with parsley.  The hummus is a little more lemony then what I make at home, but deliciously so. The baba ghanoush is just as good.   I love the slight smoky and cumin flavor. The falafel is made from ground chick peas, cumin, coriander, onion, parsley and flour. These are a little denser and good when dipped in the accompanying tahini sauce. The dolmathes are grape leaves stuffed with like a rice salad inside.  It's super lemony but there wasn't as much of it stuffed inside.  Also, beware of the olives.. there's still pits in them.

There's a variety of pita sandwiches available, including the standard gyro with lamb meat.  There's also a chicken version.  I love gyros and these are the originals.  The meat is actually sliced off a big, tall vertical spit - then slightly grilled before it goes into a sandwich.  I love Zorba's tzatziki sauce.  I don't know if it's homemade or store bought but it's great.  There's just perfect balance of cucumber, onion and yogurt.  My brother loves extra sauce on his gyro and the people are always happy to oblige.  

The gyros are served with a yellow rice.  These could be hit and miss.  Sometimes the rice is cooked perfectly, others it's still a little hard.  When done correctly, it's a wonderful side to the sandwich.

Along with the typical gyros and hummus, Zorba's also have some "dinner" type entrees.  I've had the moussaka before and wasn't too impressed.  I decided to try it again and boy, am I glad I did.  Moussaka is basically a casserole with eggplant, a meat tomato sauce, potatoes, cheeses and a Bechamel Sauce. The flavors are really good here.  The sauce on top could have a gelatinous feel to it though, so if that's a texture that throws you off.. this may not be the best choice.  I loved it.  There was just enough sauce to vegetables.  And you get plenty of sides. For $10, you get the moussaka  or pastichao, a spanakopita, choice of dolmathes or hummus and a pita.  It's a great deal. 

Although the decor has been updated, I'm glad the food is still the same.  The owner is always super nice and talkative.  If you're a regular, he remembers your preferences from food to drink.  I love the open kitchen where you can see the food prepared.  No hiding here.. and the lady that's in charge of the kitchen is very sweet and helpful. Zorba's has also recently come up with lunch specials. A gyro, hummus, pita and a drink for $10 or Happy Hour gyros 5-7 Monday - Thurs for $6.  I always leave happy after a visit to Zorba's.
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