Words & Deeds

Alabama restaurant chain to open in Eagle, then Boise. The food? Not exactly Southern

Taziki’s features daily specials. Nosh on a Taziki’s Taco ($8.99) on Thursdays.
Taziki’s features daily specials. Nosh on a Taziki’s Taco ($8.99) on Thursdays. Taziki’s/Facebook

A Birmingham-based restaurant franchise will make its Idaho debut this spring — and Southern food fans are in for a treat.

OK, Southern European food fans.

Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, a fast-casual chain, is slated to open as early as May at 1592 E. Riverside Drive in Eagle. The menu will include gyros, Greek salads, grilled dishes, sandwiches, soups and more. After the Eagle restaurant is up and running, Taziki’s plans to work on launching two more locations in the Boise area, including one Downtown.

Touting made-from-scratch recipes and fresh produce, Taziki’s attempts to strike a balance between affordability, taste and nutrition. In 2015, Taziki’s became the first national franchise to receive REAL Certification from the United States Healthful Food Council. The Taziki’s website lists nutritional information for all entrees.

Yelp reviewers praise Taziki’s for quick, helpful service and the food’s sheer deliciousness. Started in 1998, the franchise has surged in growth recently. There are now 83 restaurants in 16 states, concentrated in the southeastern United States.

Popular, health-conscious items include the Basil Pesto Chicken Gyro ($7.99) and the Grilled Salmon Feast ($13.99). Or dive into a more traditional Greek option such as the Grilled Lamb Gyro ($9.99). On Thursdays, “mix a little bit of Mexico with the Mediterranean” and order the daily special: Taziki’s Taco ($8.99), grilled tilapia in a flour tortilla with slaw, spicy herb sauce and diced tomatoes, topped with a lime.

In a press release, local franchise owner Shawn Tierney says Taziki’s will offer menu diversity and a chef-driven approach.

“All meals are prepared from raw ingredients much like you would use in your own home,” Tierney says. “Taziki’s does not use fryers or microwaves while preparing meals for customers.”

Taziki’s also offers vegetarian and gluten-free choices, along with kids’ menu items.

At about 3,000 square feet, Taziki’s in Eagle will seat 80 customers inside and have room for more than 40 on a covered outdoor patio.

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner. It also will offer take-out and catering services.

Online: tazikiscafe.com.

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