One new Dallas business that's sprung up during the coronavirus lull specializes in Greek food, with all of the best classics of the cuisine packaged up in a tidy box to go.
Called Mezes & More, it features "Mediterranean gourmet to go," and it's from a Dallas baker and chef whose family is Greek.
Owner is Anne Marie Cariotis, who also does catering and pastries for Greek Cafe & Bakery in Oak Cliff, owned by her cousin. She was emboldened to launch Mezes & More after encouragement from friends.
"Everyone is stuck at home, and my friends and I have all been ordering charcuterie boxes," she says. "One day I threw it out there that maybe I'd put some Greek stuff together. They all ordered it, posted photos on Facebook, and suddenly I had a business."
She has four offerings:
- Small meze box with hummus, pita, dolmas, spanakopita, cheeses, and olives
- Large meze box with hummus, tzatziki, pita, dolmas, spanakopita, tiropita, cheeses, and olives
- Vegan meze box with hummus, pita, vegetarian dolmas, and spanakopita featuring house-made vegan feta cheese
- Dessert box with 6 baklava, 2 Nutella baklava, and 2 cookies
The meze boxes are $35 and $55, and the dessert assortment is $20. She accepts orders Monday-Wednesday, via a message on Facebook or through her website. The food is ready for pickup/delivery on Fridays from 3-5 pm, either in the Lake Highlands area or in Oak Cliff.
Offering a vegan option was in response to customer requests.
"At the Greek Cafe, we'd have customers who came in and said how much they'd like vegan options," she says. "I am not vegan by any means, but I began experimenting and created a vegan feta cheese and a really good vegan version of my baklava. A lot of our customers ask for it."
Cariotis grew up in Duncanville, after her parents moved here from Connecticut back in the '50s. Her recipes come from her family.
"But I like to give them a Texas twist — a cookie that might ordinarily have almonds, I use Texas pecans," she says.
"It's all self-taught or through my grandmother," she says. "I grew up around restaurants. I worked in sports marketing for a while but gravitated back into this industry, which is very rewarding."