Chicago Greek owner Tom “Tassos” Spentzos,   the “Greek Chef” George Constantinidis are working hard to get the new restaurant up and running. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

It has been said that Greek food is the best in the world. Not just because they use fresh vegetables and local meat and fish and because they don’t over-power with spices, but because it comes with the whole package of food, music and conversation that can go all afternoon or all night long. As anyone who has visited Greece will tell you, eating and drinking is a way of life. When you combine the former with a man born in Greece but who grew up in Chicago, who worked in the family business and has a passion for heritage and tradition you get what’s brand new to Mesquite-Chicago Greek.

Does your mouth water just thinking about a traditional Gyro, a Chicago Chili dog, a hot pastrami sandwich or Italian Sausage? Opening soon in Brickyard Plaza is the new Chicago/Greek style cuisine many of you have been waiting for.

Owner Tom Spentzos is excited to bring the traditional Greek and Chicago favorites to your table. The menu contains about 15 items to begin with, many of which can be purchased as either a sandwich or a dinner.

The restaurant offers Spanakopita which are delicate handmade appetizers that contain a delicious blend of spinach, cheese and savory seasonings wrapped in a crispy filo shell.

Moussaka, one of the most popular dishes in Greece, is served in almost every tavern and prepared in every household on special occasions. Traditional Greek Moussaka contains luscious layers of juicy minced beef (or lamb) which are cooked in a tomato based sauce, layered with sweet eggplants and creamy béchamel sauce and baked together until golden perfection.

Chicago Greek offers a relaxed atmosphere decorated in the traditional blue and white colors of Greece. Pictures of Greece are on the walls and the counter glass has been hand painted to mimic the feel of the cool, blue Mediterranean. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Mesquite’s Chicago Greek also has the “Greek Chef” George Constantinidis who is happy to serve you a fresh, hand- made burger or a fresh Village Salad which contains no lettuce but instead cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, olives and cheese.

For the coffee lovers in town, you can expect to be served a freshly ground and brewed cup of java. Spentzos is insistent on using the very best, fresh items in his cooking and in the side dishes. He said, “It doesn’t matter how good the sandwich is, if you get a bad batch of French fries or a bad cup of coffee, it will spoil the whole meal.” Even his buns are top of the line Brioche.

There are also a few untraditional favorites you can taste. Spentzos has taken some of the traditional Greek dishes such as Orzo, which is a staple in Greek cuisine, and mixed it with rice. He first sautés the orzo in butter and onions, adds in the rice and the chicken stock. He says it gives the rice and orzo a unique taste as well as texture and it’s wonderful.

Spentzos is excited to open and expects to be by March. Thanks to the help of friend Jeff Dorsten, everything is in place. The décor is blue and white, traditional Greek colors. Dorsten hand painted all of the chairs and blue and white checkered cloths cover the tables in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Pictures of Greece are on the walls and the counter glass has been hand painted to mimic the feel of the cool, blue Mediterranean.

Spentzos will be opening with a small staff but hopes to add to the business by eventually offering deliveries. He’ll keep his mind open to new ideas and listen to the feedback of his customers. He’s got solid plans in place for the initial opening but afterward he’s anxious to let the business dictate the direction he’ll take things whether it be a fast food, counter type of service or a sit down dining experience. He’ll listen to what his patrons want and implement the best ways to serve you.

So if it’s a taste of Chicago or Greece that has your mouth watering, stop by Chicago Greek, in the Brickyard Plaza, taste some traditional favorites, enjoy some good conversation and the best cup of coffee in Mesquite.

Restaurant hours are expected to be 10 a.m.-8p.m. 7 days a week with menu items ranging from $5.99-10.99.