Nick’s Food To Go

Abby Thomasson

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Nestled in the outskirts of downtown Atlanta, Nick’s Food To Go stands as a small inconspicuous building embellished painted with local artist’s murals. “Best gyro” is advertised in the front and a small outdoor eating area with flowers and umbrellas offer an intimate space to enjoy your food.

When you order your food owner Nick Poulos takes your order. Nick and Helen moved from Greece and started the restaurant 23 years ago.

“We came from a small town called Kalamata in the peloponnese, my parents were farmers who owned an olive grove and made their own olive oil so they knew about fresh, Greek food,” Eleni Poulos, daughter of owners Helen and Nick, said.

When Nick and his family first set up shop in 1994, they sold hamburgers and hotdogs, a far cry from their classic Greek cuisine of today.

“The area back then were mostly housing projects and had a different clientele. Atlanta has changed, it has become more cosmopolitan. Back when we started it wasn’t a safe area. Now we have a lot of students and pedestrian traffic because of the beltline not that far from here. The neighborhood has totally done a 180, it is much safer now,” Poulos said.

The menu offered a broad yet simple selection consisting of lamb, pork, chicken, beef, and fried chicken gyros, greek style fries, salads, and several options of Greek plates. Nick’s also offered selections that would appeal to those seeking the traditional fast food choices such as hamburgers, and a philly cheese steak. I ordered the pork gyro ($7) and the Philly ($7).

After a 10 minute wait, my order name was called out of a window off the kitchen looking onto the picnic area. It was served conveniently in a paper bag and wrapped in aluminium foil, making it an easy take out treat. The first thing I noticed was pita bread that held it all together. It was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, seemingly serving as the backbone of the dish until I bit into the meat. The pork was tender and full of flavor, each served in bite sized pieces, amplified by the tzatziki sauce and the crunch of the lettuce and the tomato. Although the gyro did drip a considerable amount, it gave me a great excuse to dip my remaining pita bread in the leftover olive oil and tzatziki sauce mixture.

The Philly was what you would expect out of a classic American sandwich. It had all of the components such as a hoagie bun, swiss cheese, and onions, but the pre marinated steak was exceptionally seasoned and paired well with the grilled peppers.

Overall, both dishes were exceptional, especially the gyro. It comes as no surprise that the meat really played the star roll,  

If you are looking for a quick bite to eat with ingredients made fresh daily, Nick’s food to go really delivers. The small, family owned food stand takes pride in their food and offers authentic Greek food at a fair price. 

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