Pete and Jim Pappas (the owners of the famous Pappas restaurants, of which, Yia Yia Mary’s is one of them) aren’t Mexican or Spanish in their background, believe it or not. (I know, I know–Pappasito’s is awesome.) They’re also not Cajun (Pappadeaux is also awesome also.)
Nope. They’re Greek.
And being in the great state of Texas, there’s not a ton of really good Greek places. Yia Yia Mary’s is an exception. This place is excellent.
But, I suppose, what did you expect, coming from a long line of great, ground-breaking restaurants owned by the Pappas brothers? Note that all of the Pappas restaurants are available in Houston, as all of the original ones are in Houston. They started here. As a general statement for the other Pappas restaurants in Houston, go to the original locations, as they use those typically as more “flagship” locations–testing out new dishes before rolling them out to all locations.)
But enough about the Pappas restaurants. (I know I am obsessed.) Yes, the food is wonderful. When I come here, I generally get the Gyros, as it’s so rare to find good gyros in Texas. I also typically get the Saganaki cheese (which, to no surprise, is done authentically here). I’ve had other things here as well–nothing disappoints.
I think the atmosphere is really awesome–it’s classy, clean, and welcoming. It seems like most Greek places that I’ve been to are in old, established, somewhat run-down buildings (I don’t know why this is….) but Yia Yia Mary’s is well manicured, warm, and always inviting. (Again, so are all of the other Pappas restaurants.)
I’ve had hit or miss on the service, but nothing the awesome food couldn’t make up for.
Every time I go to Houston, this is one of the places I go out of my way to go.