Everest Grill offers charm, home-cooked meals
by Staff Writer
by Cathy Swiney
DENVER – A certain charm exudes from small, family-owned and operated restaurants that keeps you coming back.
Maybe it’s because you get to know the owners, who are generally there from open to close. Maybe it’s because you are treated like family. Maybe it’s that one place to go because nobody does that one particular dish better.
Around Denver, that place is Everest Grill. Owned by sisters, Kiki Kaloudis and Maria Spirou, and their husbands, Peter and Gus, the couples opened the diner-like restaurant to bring “a mountain of taste” to the area that reflected their Greek heritage as well as traditional diner fare such as sandwiches and plate specials.
All four have worked in the restaurant business at some point in their lives and decided to open a restaurant eight years ago so they could be their own bosses. They also hoped to possibly pass it along to their children one day if they showed an interest.
Little has changed since the restaurant opened in a shopping center at the busy corner of N.C. 73 and 16, but their dreams have. Their plans to open a second location so that each family could run one were derailed by the economy.
“Since the economy changed, our path has changed also, and we’re just looking to survive,” Kiki said.
What the economy can’t change is the bonds they’ve formed with their customers. Those who sit at the same booth each time they come in. Those who order the same thing each time they come in. Those families with children whom they have seen grown up.
Those regulars, who have become like family, will find Kiki or Maria doing anything from greeting customers to taking orders at the counter to bringing food to tables. They’ll more than likely see Gus through the window of the semi-open kitchen.
They know they also will find an affordable home-cooked meal, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Breakfast at Everest, which is available all day, features ham and egg dishes, along with a few omelets. Among the usual omelets, try the Greek variation with gyros meat, onions, tomato and feta cheese.
The lunch and dinner menus bring items such as sandwiches, burgers, salads and plates.
“There are people that come just for our gyros,” Kiki said.
What makes the meat special is how it is cooked. A lamb and beef loaf cooks on a rotisserie and is shaved off as ordered.
“All the grease drops off as the meat cooks so it’s not as oily as if it were cooked on the grill,” Kiki said.
The shaved meat is served on a soft pita with sliced onions, tomato and pita sauce – sour cream, garlic and diced cucumbers – that is easy to fold and enjoy as a sandwich. Or, order it as a plate with pita bread, pita sauce and Greek salad.
The grilled chicken is the most popular item on the menu, Kiki said. Marinated in a secret blend of Greek spices and olive oil, it is available on everything from a sandwich and salad to pita and plate.
Philly steak, Rueben and club are other sandwich options while plates also include fried Calabash shrimp, flounder and perch.
Hand-cut onion rings double-dipped in cracker meal are a favorite side item, Kiki said.
For dessert, try a traditional Greek favorite, baklava, or head to the freezer case and order a scoop or two of Edy’s ice cream.
Bonefish Grill is tentatively scheduled to open May 6 in Huntersville’s Birkdale Village. The Florida-based chain is known for its market-fresh fish and wood-grilled specialties. It serves a variety of eight species of fish on any given day. The menu also features beef, pork, pasta and chicken.
The Melting Pot
On Thursdays in April, the Melting Pot in Huntersville will donate $10 from the purchase of a four-course dinner for two to Autism Speaks.
In honor of Husband Appreciation Day on April 21, Galway Hooker in Cornelius is offering a free $5 gift card with the purchase of a $20 gift card from Monday, April 16, to April 21.
North Harbor Club
North Harbor Club in Davidson has unveiled a new spring lunch menu. Entrees include charred balsamic and honey mopped portobello on ciabatta, chicken and fresh mozzarella melt, Apple cider-brined pork loin, flame-grilled queso fundido burger, fried green tomato “blt” and a south of the Mason-Dixon meat loaf sandwich.