A visual reminder of a restaurant’s delicious food and, in this case, its sparkling clean kitchen, is often enough impetus for me to visit or, in this case, revisit a place I haven’t frequented in a while. The kitchen of Krilakis in Ridgeland was recently shown on an episode of Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible.” Host Robert Irvine selected Krilakis as a suitable location for a restaurateur to cook a meal while his eatery was undergoing renovations. Hearing Irvine’s praise of the “clean kitchen” and seeing firsthand its pristine interior made me realize it had been far too long since I’d sampled Krilakis’ amazing gyros, salads, sauces, and burgers.
Clean kitchen aside, if you walk into the restaurant expecting to find the high drama associated with some Greek restaurants in the “Old Country,” you’ll be disappointed. You won’t find bouzouki music, cries of Oopaa, or flamboyant dancers. Krilakis is rather tame in that sense, but there’s one area in which you won’t be disappointed if you’re looking to “get your Greek on.” The delicious, made-from-scratch, authentic Greek food, including homemade sauces and dressings, is exactly what you’d expect from a restaurant offering a celebration of the palate instead of breaking plates.
Krilakis' entry into the Ridgeland restaurant scene came in 2011 and ever since, the restaurant located in the Old Towne area has garnered a large group of Greek cuisine fans. If you’re not familiar with Greek food, rest assured, there’s plenty on the menu to suit your taste, including a lineup of American burgers and salads. Likewise, don’t worry if you’ve never seen some of the names on the menu like “tzatziki” or still don’t know if “gyro” is pronounced with a “g” or “y.” Just point to the items you want and you'll be off on your journey to a Greek gastronomic delight.
The measure of a good Greek restaurant is the freshness of the ingredients and balance of seasonings in dishes famous world-wide for their distinct, rich flavors. Krilakis offers all that, along with a varied menu that contains American as well as Greek dishes, including the restaurant’s famed homemade gyros.
To get your Greek food odyssey going, try a traditional Greek gyro, a crowd favorite. Each and every gyro, whether it’s filled with thinly-sliced lamb, beef, turkey, grilled chicken or shrimp, is hand-rolled and made fresh for every customer.
Fully dressed with fresh chopped vegetables and topped with homemade tzatziki sauce, gyros are not only delicious, they’re a bargain at $6.75 for the lamb, grilled chicken, and combination; $7.25 for turkey, $7.50 for tilapia and pork tenderloin, and $10.95 for grilled steak or shrimp. Vegetarians will delight in the veggie version for $6.
Specialty-style gyros are an additional $1-$2 and come with extra feta and mozzarella cheeses while offering similar ingredients as regular ones.
Or, choose a hearty Greek salad filled with fresh garden greens, chopped vegetables, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives highlighted with homemade sauces, dressings, and pita slices. And that’s just the base: toppings include grilled chicken, turkey, fish, and shrimp. Salads start at $8 for the meatless authentic Greek version and range from $10 for the gyro salad and extend to $15.25 for the steak topping.
“Burger” is not usually a word that’s associated with Greek food, but regulars at Krilakis are glad the owners made an exception. A long list of delicious-sounding burgers including the feta, turkey, gyro, mozzarella, American, and double cheese burger can be made to order and topped with an extra dose of homemade dressing or tzatziki sauce. Prices for all burgers are in the $7-$8 range.
Sides and appetizers are reasonably-priced and include traditional hummus served with pita slices ($6), pita melt $5.50, side salad ($5.50), fries ($3), and onion rings ($4).
Daily specials include the gyro combo ($9.25) that includes a lamb, chicken, or mixed gyro with fries and a drink. Or, for $12.25, select a gyro combo with a Greek salad and drink.
Kids and adults looking for smaller portions can choose from among the American junior burger ($6), dressed with lettuce, tomato, and onion and topped with tzatziki sauce and the JR KC, warm pita bread topped with melted mozzarella cheese, grilled chicken, and tzatziki sauce for $5.25.
To top off the meal, a serving of everyone’s favorite, sugary-good Greek pastry, baklava, can be enjoyed for $4.25.
Krilakis is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and closed on Sunday. The restaurant is located at 207 W. Jackson St. in Old Towne Ridgeland. Call 601-790-9463 for more information or to place a to-go order.