Taziki’s – Behold The Lamb

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - by Willie Mae

My granddaughter was home this weekend and wanted to go to dinner with me so we drove around for a while trying to find something different. I had seen Taziki’s downtown before but they had a new one on Gunbarrel Road. Since I hadn’t written a story on it, we decided to try the new location.

Natalie knows all about ‘designer food’ so I trust her judgment when we get out together. Taziki’s was Greek and though it was called a café, it looked a like a nice restaurant. There was a long table for a large party, pub tables against the window, plenty of booth seating and many nice tables. It looked like a place where you wait to be seated so Natalie and I waited at the entrance for the hostess.

When no one came Natalie spotted a sign at the far end of the restaurant that said, “Place order here”. Now, why didn’t they have a sign at the front end that said, “Order over yonder”? Not everyone has 20/20 vision when they first walk in from outside.

When we got up to the counter, there was not an overhead menu, just something taped to the counter. I couldn’t see that either. Natalie found folded paper menus and we were going to sit down at the bench, but someone was already sitting there. There was a set of tables near us that were lined against the far wall and it had a long cushioned bench extended, so we sat there while we looked the menu over.

They had appetizers that I couldn’t pronounce, but that was alright - we didn’t really want one anyway. They had soup, salad, gyros, deli items and entrees. Natalie chose the grilled beef tenderloin for $10.79 and I got the chargrilled lamb for $11.99. The entrees came with a Greek salad and a choice of rice or potatoes.

We got to choose where we sat, so we chose a booth by the window. It didn’t take long for our meals to arrive and everything was on one plate – even the salad. I actually liked that because that’s how I eat at home. I usually have a meat, a vegetable and a starch on my plate and that is enough. When restaurants offer bread or an appetizer, you tend to munch on that while you wait and then your salad comes in a large bowl and you are stuffed to the gills before you ever get your meal!

The potatoes were hidden under the meat, I took a bite of that first. They were flavored very well. I couldn’t figure out the spice, but I liked it. The lamb was also good. Natalie enjoyed her tenderloin and rice. They gave us two small cups on the side, one was the dressing for our salad and I guess the other one was a sauce for our meat.

It was white and pasty. When I tried it, I couldn’t really taste it, all I knew was I couldn’t taste the wonderful flavor of the lamb either. I had already tried a bite of the lamb without the sauce and it was delicious.

Natalie said she liked the sauce, so I tried it once again and I still couldn’t taste anything. It was as though I was eating flour and water on my lamb.

Lamb is a bit tougher than steak depending on how it is cooked, but it was still pretty tender. As I cut the meat, I figured out why other restaurants will put the salad in a bowl. Just as I cut into the lamb, my fork bent and my meat skidded which made my salad slide off my plate and into my lap!

It was a small portion anyway, but it was embarrassing. Natalie tried not to laugh and I think she felt sorry for me. I told her, “This didn’t happen because I am old and feeble, it happened because their forks are cheap!” Then she let out a laugh. I laughed too, but I felt there had to be a better way to hold onto the lamb!

We were given a small crispy triangle of some sort of pita bread with cracked pepper. It was so crispy that when I took a bite, it snapped into and the pepper flew in my eye! This was just not my day. It wasn’t Natalie’s either - she got a message on her phone about a friend who had some bad news and it made her sad. When the waitress came to ask if we liked our meal, Natalie looked sad and I was in tears from the pepper. I just knew she didn’t believe us when we said everything was wonderful, but it was.

I enjoyed my lamb and Natalie liked her meal too. The potatoes were out of this world. I would prefer my salad in a bowl next time, but other than the flimsy fork and the peppered-pita, Taziki’s was terrific!

Hours:

Mon - Sat

11 to 9

Sunday

11 to 8 


Wally's – Good For What Ails You

The colder it gets outside, I knew I could talk Crazy Betty into going to breakfast with me. It’s hard to get Lois to get out with me on really cold days and Lou has been doing some traveling. We decided to meet at Wally’s in East Ridge. This is a fairly old establishment with a location on McCallie Avenue as well. They let you seat yourself when you walk in, so I picked ... (click for more)

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill – Dim Some

Lois and I wanted to try Firebirds Grill on Gunbarrel Road for some time now, but it has been quite crowded (even during the time old folk usually eat dinner). The lights were so dim I could barely see where the gal headed when showing us to our table. I gathered right away that this must be one of those ‘ambiance’ places you take your sweetheart. It does set a certain mood ... (click for more)

Randall Lockhart Remains In Critical Condition After Fire That Took The Life Of His Wife, Candy

The man rescued by firefighters from Wednesday’s fatal fire at 220 Houser St. remains in critical condition today in the burn unit at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center . He has been identified as Randall Lockhart, 41. His wife, Candy, succumbed to her severe injuries a few hours after she was pulled out of the burning house. The couple’s three children escaped ... (click for more)

Woman Assaulted, Man Shot In Chamberlain Avenue Home Invasion

A woman was assaulted and a man shot in a home invasion on Chamberlain Avenue early Friday morning. At approximately 4:43 a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 2708 North Chamberlain Ave. for a home invasion/shooting.   Officers discovered that a black male forced entry into the residence and assaulted the first victim,Tequla Nicole Watkins, 28. ... (click for more)

Policeman: Modern Day "Boogie Man"

As a child I was under the impression that a ghastly, grotesque creature had taken up residence in my bedroom closet, the proverbial “Boogie Man” I suppose.  This is not an uncommon thing among children and most likely to some fault of my own as I subjected myself to some pretty iconic 1980’s horror flicks. There were other kids in the neighborhood that not only claimed to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Black Friday’ Poem

On this, “Black Friday,” when frantic shopping and crowded aisles cause some nerves to wear thin, please allow me to share a poem a friend sent me not long ago called “Shoes in Church.” Perhaps it will be fitting: SHOES IN CHURCH I showered and shaved. I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat In a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes. I saw ... (click for more)