D  e  s  e  r  t     E  x  p  o  s  u  r  e      february 2005

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It's Greek to You

Tiffany's brings Greek cuisine to Las Cruces, in portions that will challenge even Olympian appetites.

We can think of several area restaurants serving Mediterranean-inspired cuisine—Shevek & Mi in Silver City and Phoenicia in Las Cruces spring to mind—but no place that focuses exclusively on Greek food. True aficionados of Greek food tell us of trekking to Albuquerque or Tucson to get their spanakopita or mousaka fix. But now there's Tiffany's in Telshor Plaza, across from the Mesilla Valley Mall in Las Cruces. Don't let the longish full name—Tiffany's Pizza and Greek American Cuisine—fool you: At its heart, Tiffany's is as Greek as the Parthenon, the only pure outpost of Greek food for 200 miles.

The setting is standard strip-mall, though inside the plain-vanilla building a few efforts have been made to add character: a map of Greece, a small flag, a few posters. You order at the counter and then the friendly folks behind the counter bring your food out to you.

Be prepared. When the food arrives, it's in portions that would satisfy a Greco-Roman wrestler. We'd skipped the tempting spanakopita, for example, because it's listed under "Appetizer" and its bargain price of $2.75 suggested something bite-sized. When our table companion's order arrived, however, it turned out to be a golden, flaky triangle as big as your hand. As his fork sliced through the cheesy, spinach-y layers, we began to look for something to distract him so we could steal a bite.

Not that we would have had room, anyway. The gyro ($7.50) proved to be a pita-wrapped mountain of meltingly tender meat, topped with a few token vegetables; we were hardly able to touch the fries that accompanied it. (Sandwiches come with fries or a tangy, olive-studded cole slaw, or you can get a Greek salad for 75 cents extra.) Gyros also come in chicken or veggie varieties. The BBQ Burger ($7.25) was a similarly Olympian-sized slathering of vinegary barbecued meat in a bun. Other sandwich choices include pastrami, Greek sausage, veggie burger and the standard beef, ham and cheese, BLT and such, ranging from $6.95 to $7.50.

Folks at the next table were splitting a salad—once again, daunting in its proportions. There looked to be about a pound of feta cheese on top. Salads range from $4.75 to $9.50 for the "Greek Village."

Tiffany's pizza choices include the more-or-less-familiar sausage, pepperoni, pastrami, bell peppers, onion and mushroom combo, a ham and pineapple "Hawaiian" and a vegetarian pizza, as well as the intriguing Greek pizza: gyro meat, feta, tomato, onion, olives and bell pepper. Prices range from $6.95 for an individual pizza to $16.95.

We visited for lunch, but given our "healthy appetite" experience we had to wonder about the mousaka, pasticho, gyro plate, baked chicken and other dinner choices (served all day, $8.95 to $10.95). Presumably each would feed a small Greek island.

Despite the indulgence-sized servings, though, Tiffany's is also a fine choice for those choosing to stick to vegetarian fare. The veggie-only options are extensive and tasty enough to tempt even carnivores.

There's that spanakopita, for instance, which we came so close to being able to sneak a bite of. . . .  At least we don't have to drive 200 miles the next time we get a craving for it.

—David A. Fryxell

Tiffany's Pizza and Greek American Cuisine, 755 Telshor Plaza G1, 532-5002,  is open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Sundays.


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