Mykonos Grill offers taste of Greece in renovated Ketner Center
Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 13, 2011
By Robin M. Perry
For the Salisbury Post
SALISBURY — “A taste of Greece — fresh and healthy” is what the menu for Salisbury’s new Greek restaurant, My-konos Grill says.
At the Ketner Center, you will be amazed at the transformation of the building from a retail clothing store to a neat dining room. Borrowing the color scheme from the famous island it is named for, Mykonos is filled with sparkling white and deep azure blue. There is even a mural of the island that is among the top vacation spots in the world.
Steve Paparoupas, along with partners Billy Demopoulos and Angelo Stamatiou opened Mykonos Grill (pronounced me-ko-nos) in July at 1714 Innes St.
“We tried to come here 15 years ago, but it did not work out. We always wanted to be here, and are happy to be open now,” Paparoupas said.
He likes the location, near Catawba College, the hospital, the VA and close to downtown.
Paparoupas has been in the restaurant business for 30 years or so. He started his career as a jeweler in Greece, but when he visited his sister in the United States, he could not find a job. So he started working in his brother-in-law’s restaurant in Winston-Salem.
After a few years, he opened his own place, Steven’s Restaurant in Winston-Salem. Since then, he has opened Captain Steven’s Seafood and Steaks in Davidson County and a Mykonos Grill in Burlington a year ago.
“We serve a Mediterranean diet, using a lot of olive oil, bringing in fresh produce and poultry every day,” he said. “Nothing is pre-cooked and Angelo travels to produce and farmers markets each day bringing in fresh vegetables and even chicken.”
The menu offers a variety of Greek specialties and American fare. Subs, burgers and spaghetti are all available, as are soups and salads. Prices run from $2.95 to $7.95.
The Mykonos specialties are well worth trying. We sampled some Greek items and found them all to be extremely good. One of the most popular dishes is the authentic Gyro (pronounced year-ro). It is a blend of beef, lamb and spices roasted on their special gyro rotisserie and served as a sandwich stacked with green peppers, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and tzatziki sauce. ($5.25) It was tender with a great blend of flavors.
The chicken and pork souvlaki is another favorite, and was ours too. These were skewers of marinated chicken or pork tenderloin, grilled just right. Paparoupas marinates the meat for 24 hours in his own marinade secret recipe. He created it after visiting Mykonos island and tasting some amazing souvlaki at a restaurant there. He went every day for 10 days, trying to get the owner to share his recipe. Finally, the owner told him the ingredients, but not the proportions. However he does it, the results are great.
They have several vegetarian choices, such as the Spanokopita, a combination of spinach and feta cheese cooked in phyllo dough. This was my favorite, along with a fresh Greek salad topped with their homemade Greek dressing that is both tangy and sweet ($6.95). They also have a Greek vegetarian platter with spanakopita, dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice), falafel (vegetarian meatballs) and hummus with a Greek salad and pita bread ($7.95).
Paparoupas is proud to serve his favorite, Pastitsio, a Greek style lasagna made from his mother’s recipe. “She was a great cook,” he says. This dish is offered on Tuesday and Saturdays only, for $8.75. They also have Greek beers and wine. Mythos is the most popular beer in Greece and Aris is another favorite. They serve domestic and imported beer also.
He has Greek wines, both reds and whites, with the most intriguing called My Big Fat Greek Wine. They will let customers taste them if they wish.
Of course, they serve baklava for dessert ($1.95) — and it is rich. It’s also a great way to finish a fresh and healthy meal.
The Mykonos website is www.mykonosgrillnc.com and the restaurant offers takeout service and catering too. Hours are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.