Words by: Jinky Romero Photos by: Rachel Benavides
The restaurant originally started as just a small deli inside the Middle East Market that served Mediterranean sandwiches and dabbled in catering. But when you give the people a good thing, they’re going to ask for more—and so the restaurant extension of Middle East Market and Deli was born.
The store has been around for 19 years now, but the doors of the quaint and homely Mediterranean restaurant first opened in 2014. With the abundance of chains and the usual Corpus Christi food in the area, owner Mitchel Hamauei wanted to introduce a new flavor to the city. The small deli’s success proved that the people of the Coastal Bend were up for it. In just three years, their excellent food and service has made them a local favorite.
Hamauei takes pride in the fact that the restaurant only uses fresh quality ingredients and that everything, from their homemade pastries to their entrees, are authentically made. Aside from their selection of fresh and flavorful gyros, shawarmas, salads, and kabobs, they also serve daily cuisine specials such as their famous Butter Chicken and Chicken Briyani.
With a menu sure to make anyone’s mouth water, their gyro sandwiches are their main specialty. Dubbed by a lot as the best in town, the sandwich is a combination of beef and lamb wrapped in a pita bread. It’s served with tomato, onions, and authentic Tzatziki sauce. The sauce, which tastes similar to sour cream, is made of yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and olive oil. For anyone who’s never tried the gyro, it might seem like an unusual choice for a sandwich sauce—Hamauei himself shared that a lot of first-timers are apprehensive about it—but it works deliciously with the meat and vegetables and, fair warning, will have you craving for more.
5405 Everhart Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78411