100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 91: The Spanakopita at Greek Cafe and Bakery

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

The Bishop Arts District has no shortage of trendy eateries, lines winding out the door and down the block during peak hours. On weekends, this corner of Oak Cliff is wall to wall people, woo-woo girls teetering in sky-high heels, families wobbling on rented bikes, out-of-towners taking selfies in front of murals. On those days, grabbing a quick bite at Lockhart Smokehouse or Emporium Pies becomes a futile endeavor; those who visit Bishop Arts from afar seem to think long lines are part of the charm. 

But tucked between the open-air bars and expensive home decor boutiques lies the real charm: small, hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pops with no $22 entrees and no pretension. These eateries seem almost invisible to the tourists and suburban families who came to stand in the heat, paying their penance for smoked brisket and biscuits and gravy. Hidden nearly in plain sight on Davis Street, a little cafe serves up delightful Greek and Mediterranean fare in a low-key, BYOB setting. 

Greek Cafe and Bakery isn't much to look at, but this eatery puts their attention where it counts by churning out buttery desserts and fresh traditional Mediterranean dishes. At this spot, it's easy to make a meal out of appetizers like the Taramosalata, a "caviar-style dip made from fish roe and blended with oil, lemon and spices," and the Dolmas, grape leaves stuffed with ground beef, onion, dill and mint. But our favorite appetizer here is the perfect hybrid of Greek Cafe's savory dishes and pastries: the Spanakopita, a baked spinach pastry filled with feta cheese, dill and herbs in a flaky filo dough. Dried herbs and feta are sprinkled on top with a small, crisp veggie salad on the side, and the brightness of the herbs mixed with the fresh filo dough and warm spinach creates a bite of pure magic. 

If you can find a better Spanakopita in DFW, please let us know — but frankly, we're not sure it exists.
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Beth Rankin is an Ohio native and Cicerone-certified beer server who specializes in social media, food and drink, travel and news reporting. Her belief system revolves around the significance of Topo Chico, the refusal to eat crawfish out of season and the importance of local and regional foodways.
Contact: Beth Rankin