Zorba's: Then and Now
I will begin by saying I once ate at Zorba’s 2 to 3 times a week. I worked nights at the time, and would show up just before the daily lunch special expired: Gyros Sandwich, fries and a drink $4.99.
Headline News, back when it was still news, delivered by Chuck Roberts was always on and I could eat and get the headlines while enjoying delicious food peacefully.
Something in the mix of the pickles, onions, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce calmed my young, fretful soul.
Time passed, I started a family, got a day shift and my opportunities to eat at Zorba’s thinned. I worked in Norman and discovered the The Greek House.
By luck, my children grew to love it. When they were toddlers, it was the only meat either Luke or Kate would eat.
Owner Robert Bastani used to sell me the meat frozen so I could feed it to the kids at home.
Bastani’s family grew, too, as did his ambition.
In 2007, he left the old Taco Tico location in the 4000 block of N May for the old Monterey Jacks location in the 6000 block of N May. He spent almost a year converting the place into the restaurant of his dreams.
And yet, somehow we find ourselves going there less and less.
The new place is beautiful, the old place was a dive.
The new place has an expanded menu with more interesting dishes and pizza. There’s a full bar, belly dancers on weekends.
The old place had a yogurt drink.
I loved the old place, the new place just makes me miss the old place.
Lori swears the falafel isn’t what it used to be. The prices are certainly higher. Now, it’s full-service. The family feast used to cost $19.99, now it’s $39.00 — plus tip.
Business still seems to be good., but competition has increased. Great places for gyros, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food have popped up around the city. Places like Camilya’s, Athens Cafe, Gyros Etc., and Mediterranean Imports and Deli are in my life now.
I still like Zorba’s. But the love affair is over.
Then again, maybe it’s less about Zorba’s and more about me. The Zorba’s I loved was at a time when I had fewer responsibilities, fewer complications. Maybe my new opinion of Zorba’s has little to do with the changes they’ve undergone and more about the changes I’ve undergone.
Maybe I don’t miss the old Zorba’s, maybe I miss the young me.
Have you been to Zorba’s? Let me know what you think.