If you live in the Westchase area, taking the half-hour drive to Tarpon Springs is no big deal if you have a hankering for some good Greek food.
Lately, a lot of folks are learning that a taste of Tarpon is right here. The Hungry Greek restaurant is just off Racetrack Road and owner George Constantinou said his restaurant, the second in a burgeoning chain, is only in its beginning stages. He plans on 50 restaurants – nationwide – over the next five years.
"We want to provide the best quality everywhere we go," Constantinou said. "We are the originals in this area. We have quality food and it is all made with our homemade recipes. Westchase is a growing area and we want to be a part of it."
Constantinou is co-owner of The Hungry Greek, along with his father, Dino. Dino was raised in Cyprus and started working in the restaurant business in New York before moving to Clearwater in 1975.
"There was a need for something different, a Greek niche," George Constantinou said. "We haven't even needed to do much advertising because word-of-mouth has been so good to us. I'd say about half of our customers are regulars and know us by name."
The gyros, George Constantinou said, are the best sellers. However, the menu is large, though not as large as the portions, which are as large as you can find at any restaurant anywhere. George Constantinou has been recommending the Chicken Souvlaki, two chicken breasts skewers served over rice, with a Greek salad and homemade potato salad, but there's plenty more on the menu.
It's easy to figure out what you want since everything is cooked in plain view on a wood-burning grill, and a television screen shows large-screen views of everything on the menu. Don't make your choice until staring at the screen as the menu choices go by one by one.
The restaurant is small with limited seating, but also offers patio seating outside. The Hungry Greek also offers its owned bottled salad dressing, which is a good seller. But, the ingredients are secret.
The adult beverage choice is limited to wine and beer, but go for something special by ordering one of the Greek beers, either Marathon or Mythos or one of the Greek wines.