If you have had Greek food before, you are well aware of the amazing flavor combinations that come out of simple ingredients. If you have never had Greek food before—what are you waiting for? Greek food is not spicy, but it is incredibly flavorful. Greek food focuses on fresh vegetables, herbs, and meats and seeks to highlight, not disguise, food’s natural flavor. Maggio’s carries many Greek favorites, and is committed to bringing you delicious food every time!
Olive oil is used in almost every major Greek dish, so it is no surprise that this is a key flavor profile. Olive trees grow throughout Greece and the oil adds a distinctive flavor to Greek dishes that is very different from the butters and oils of other cuisines. Olive oil can be found in our flavorful Greek salad, as can Kalamata olives. Olive oil is rich in nutrients and is considered a healthy fat. You will taste the difference in Greek food through the liberal use of delicious olive
Traditionally, dairy in Greek cuisine was mainly found in the form of yogurt or cheese. Feta cheese adds a wonderful fatty, creamy, and salty element to salads, gyros and more. Feta is a brined cheese that originates in Greece and lends a unique flavor profile to many dishes. Our Greek salad, gyro sandwich and chicken souvlaki sandwich all contain delicious feta.
You may have never heard of the popular Greek fast food called souvlaki, but once you taste it you will be convinced that it is great! Souvlaki is small pieces of meat that are marinated and grilled on a skewer. The result is tender, flavorful meat that is kept moist through grilling and is absolutely delicious. We have both a chicken souvlaki sandwich and a chicken souvlaki dinner that allow you to try this delicious Greek method of cooking meat.
The gyro may be one of the most iconic Greek foods there is, and it has steadily gained popularity in the United States as a delicious alternative to hamburgers or hot dogs. Gyro meat is cooked on a rotisserie and then sliced off in thin strips. Traditionally the meat is then wrapped in a pita with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce. Our gyros at Maggio’s are a delicious combination of lamb and beef cooked to perfection. If you have never tried gyros, you are in for a treat!
This hard to pronounce Greek sauce is a delicious accompaniment to many Greek dishes. It is made from salted strained yogurt and is mixed with cucumbers, garlic salt, olive oil, lemon, and various spices. It is served cold and is a great complement to savory grilled meats. Tzatziki comes in our chicken souvlaki, gyros, and falafel sandwiches. Tzatziki is so delicious it is good just eaten with pieces of pita!
Found in delicious tzatziki, cucumbers are a staple of Greek cuisine. Crisp and light, cucumbers add a delicious crunch to salads and sandwiches and a cool accompaniment to warm foods. Chopped cucumbers are found in many of our dishes, and the flavor of cucumber is central to Greek cuisine.
Greek food is simple, but is very flavorful due to the abundant use of herbs. Herbs grow all over Greece, and their scent permeates the air in many places. Dill is a common herb used in Greek cooking, and is often found in dressings, dips, and marinades. Both the seeds and the leaves can be used, the seeds usually in breads and meats and the leaves chopped into salads, tzatziki, and in seafood dishes. Oregano is an extremely pungent herb and adds a flavor that is unmistakably Greek to many dishes. Oregano is probably the most popular spice used in Greek cooking, and can be found in almost all Greek dishes. If you are wondering what gives Greek food that unmistakeable flavor, oregano probably has something to do with it. Mint and parsley are both used fresh all the time in Greek cooking, in soups, spreads, and as a garnish. If you love the taste of fresh herbs, you will most likely love Greek cuisine!
Lemon is another classic Greek flavor. While lemon is usually found in sweet dishes, in Greek cooking it is worked into savory dishes. Lemon can be found in tzatziki, marinades, meat dishes, and salad dressings. The tart, bright flavor of lemon really enhances food and gives it a citrusy taste.
Many cultures use garlic, and Greek cuisine makes great use of fresh garlic. There is a traditional Greek dip that is just pureed potatoes and garlic, called skordalia, that is almost like eating straight garlic! At Maggio’s we incorporate garlic more subtly into our dishes, but this classic flavor is a cornerstone of Greek cooking.
Now we are getting to the sweet side of Greek cooking. While many times a traditional Greek dessert would be a fresh piece of fruit, there are still a whole host of fantastic Greek desserts, many of which feature honey as a sweetener. Greek honey is known as some of the best in the world, and layered with butter and filo
dough in our baklava, it creates a sensational dessert. Honey can be incorporated into savory Greek dishes as well, and creates a subtle sweetness that can benefit any dish.
Found mainly in desserts, such as baklava, Greek cooking uses nuts liberally. Walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts and almonds all find their way into greek dishes, mainly ground in desserts. They can also be used as thickeners and bases for Greek dips and soups.
Lamb is not a very common meat in the United States, but it is central to Greek cuisine. Lamb has a unique flavor profile that is absolutely delicious. Lamb is found mixed with beef in our gyros, and really adds a distinct flavor. We also serve lamb shanks over rice that are tender, moist, and flavorful. Sample one of our delicious lamb dishes today!
Like many cultures, bread is a staple of Greek cooking. Bread is present in almost every traditional Greek meal, and pita is one of the more common forms of Greek bread. This soft, slightly leavened flatbread is used to wrap up meat and vegetables and forms the base of our popular gyro sandwich. Pita has a classic flavor that is great for dipping or sandwiches.
Hopefully your mouth is watering, and you are anxious to try some Greek cuisine! Maggio’s restaurant in Alexandria offers you many Greek favorites to choose from, including gyros, greek salads, lamb shanks, and baklava. Come in and taste the great flavors of Greece!