Mezze in the Montrose

At Byzantio, sit back with a drink, enjoy the good food and ignore the uneven service.

When they arrived, I chuckled warily at the gyro sliders, a mishmash of concepts and ingredients that didn't look as if it could possibly work. The sliders were served on that same tough French bread, gyro meat topped with feta cheese, tomatoes and — rather strangely — large leaves of basil. Mayonnaise coated one side of the bread, and a ramekin of balsamic vinaigrette sat in the middle of all three sliders. I contemplated it for a moment, then decided to use it in the au jus style, dipping the tough bread into the dressing to soften it up a bit.

It worked remarkably well, this gyro/caprese salad hybrid. I ate every last slider, odd slices of French bread and all. When I paid my bill, Eleni told me that I had to try the Greek toast next time. She'd been right about the sliders, after all.

Another lunch visit to Byzantio, another quiet afternoon. Eleni was gone this time, another waitress in her place, one who didn't seem to care quite as much as the previous waitstaff. She brought me more of those skinny french fries instead of potato salad, but I didn't really mind. I finally had that Greek toast.

The gyro sliders are strange but delicious.
Troy Fields
The gyro sliders are strange but delicious.

Location Info


Byzantio Cafe & Bar

403 W. Gray
Houston, TX 77019

Category: Restaurant > Greek

Region: River Oaks


Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Sundays.
Trio combo dip with pita: $9.95
Byzantio combo: $10.95
Gyro sliders: $8.95
Greek chicken pizza: $7.95
Byzantio special: $6.95
Greek toast: $5.25
Lamb souvlaki plate: $13.95
Homemade fries: $2
Caramel macchiato: $3.45

SLIDESHOW: Mezze in Montrose: Byzantio's Homey Greek Cuisine
BLOG POST: Gyro Sliders at Byzantio: A Greek-Italian-American Hybrid

On the menu, it's advertised as served on grilled English muffin bread. I don't know if that means actual English muffins, or bread that tastes like English muffins. Either way, my Greek toast was on wheat bread. And with only the thinnest possible layer of sharp, sheep's milk kasseri cheese inside, it was a huge letdown. I ate the middle out of it in despair, coveting my coworker's fluffy pita.

Tucked inside her Byzantio special pita was an entire Greek salad, another concept I wouldn't have thought would work well. But it did. Crunchy lettuce and cucumbers, salty feta and olives, tangy balsamic dressing, nose-clearing strips of white onions. It's her standby at Byzantio, she told me.

"I wish I'd ordered that," I told her. I consoled myself with the platter of spanakopita we'd ordered, which had finally cooled off enough to be consumed in shamelessly large, wolfing bites. I envisioned ordering these again with a few bottles of Mythos beer on a night out on the patio.

On Thursday evenings, there's belly dancing here starting at 10:30 p.m. But it's Friday nights, with the $10 hookah specials, that will undoubtedly reel me back in. I'll enjoy this place best when I don't have anywhere to be the next morning. I won't have to worry about how quickly my food comes out or if the appetizers arrive after the entrées. Instead, I'll be smoking shisha in comfortable surroundings with friends. After all, double apple shisha would taste great with those spanakopita.

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I have not been to Byzantio in many years but used to always enjoy the food and atmosphere. Thanks for the review. I will make a point of going back, particularly since One's A Meal was turned into Theo's and the guy who owns and runs it seems intent on driving away all long time customers. I do wonder though, if someone was in the mood for something that was not particularly influenced by Middle Eastern cuisine, could they find it at Bysantio. Say I was on a date and my date did not like Gyros, how is the General Tso's Chicken at Byzantio?


Love hangin on the patio at byzantio during the cooler autumn nights. And playing chess on the door stoop. The owners are interesting people, and there's always an eclectic crowd.

Also, love the lamb...he buys the best, which is pricier than the cheap fatty stuff from New Zealand.


This will never happen for one reason... who would date you? Nobody likes an asshole.