What Not to Order at Niko Niko's: Athenian Mushroom Burger

Niko Niko's is a god among Greek restaurants, the Zeus of all feta cheese delicacies in Houston. But even Greek gods falter at times.

This mistake is more than likely a diner's error, because ordering something that doesn't contain oregano or lemon juice at a place known for its traditional Greek fare is like asking Kate Gosselin to dance the samba.

Diner's remorse notwithstanding, the Herculean burger's appearance teased the taste buds with its massive chunk of feta cheese teetering atop the thick patty, and usual accoutrements of purple onion, tomato and lettuce. The awkward first bite, however, revealed a dry, overly charred mound of beef that couldn't be masked by the crumbly, tangy feta or the slather of tzatziki sauce on each side of the bun. The accompanying grilled mushrooms, peppers and onions were also sparse and cooked down to shriveled remnants of their former selves.

While a soggy bun can make for some moistened fingers, the price paid is nothing compared to the disenchantment of a dry burger, even if your hands smell of pickles, beef and grilled onions for the remainder of the day. Disappointingly, the meat had been zapped of any natural juices from its long stay at the Hotel de Grille, keeping the bun sogginess factor to a minimum along with the pleasure of eating it.

But no rain nor sleet nor snow and now no dry burger could ever keep Niko Niko's off the Houston favorites list.

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Amber Ambrose