It’s all Greek to me: Aristo’s serves up quality Mediterranean fare

As many students walk down 1300 East everyday and stop at local eating establishments, it’s surprising how many look past the U’s local Greek restaurant, Aristo’s.

They shouldn’t.

Aristo’s, locally owned and operated by Aristides Boutsikakis, is reasonably priced and has always been student friendly.

Beginning his restaurant career by working for Atlantis Burger, Boutsikakis decided to drop out of college at the age of 21 to open Aristo’s. With the help and support of his family, his restaurant opened its doors in late 2003.

With Aristo’s proximity to the U, Boutsikakis hopes to instill the restaurant with “a different atmosphere, more of a city feel,” than other Greek restaurants in Salt Lake City. Most of the restaurants return customers consist of U faculty and local residents from the university area, Boutsikakis said.

Family recipes make up the majority of the items on the menu at Aristo’s, including such Greek classical as Dolmathes, Gyros and Pastitsio. For mezedakia (appetizers), Aristo’s serves many different Greek specialties such as dolmathes, grapes leaves stuffed with seasoned beef, rice, and a special “family” mix of Mediterranean spices.

Full of flavor, the dolmathes could be of meal of itself for any person looking for a very flavorful Greek dish. Melizanosalata, a baked eggplant dip served with pita bread is recommended for those who would rather have a milder tasting appetizer. Both priced from $5 to $6, the appetizers are very modestly priced for the quantity served.

For lunch, Aristo’s offers many student-priced key items that beat all other university restaurants for quality by a long shot. Bringing in fresh produce daily adds to the quality of these items. The Villager, a hummus-filled Greek wrap with tomatoes, red onion and feta cheese, is drizzled in balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive. At only $5.75 the Villager’s leftovers could double as a second meal later that night. Also recommended is the Athenian, a grilled chicken breast wrap, for only $6.25.

Clearly, the main staple of Greek restaurants is the gyro, and Aristo’s does not neglect this popular dish. Priced at $6.50 for a beef-lamb gyro, the size of the Aristo’s gyro beats out all other competitors in the valley. Gyros are served with either moist delicious lemon rice and two oven roasted potatoes or french fries. The usual sauce for the gyros, tzatziki, is very mild yet surprisingly flavorful. Just the prefect amount of garlic matched prefect with the cucumbers and yogurt,

During the day from 4 to 6 p.m. and 9 to close, is “Mythology Class,” said Boutsikakis-half pricing on all appetizers. Check out Mondays and Thursdays for $2 Heinekens and Amstel Light pints. With the patio opening around April, no student should miss out on eating quality Greek food at very low prices in a traditional, clean Greek atmosphere.

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