Jim Wick’s recent move of his 22-year-old Greek fast food restaurant It’s Greek To Me was completed last week in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood. I took a first taste during opening week and found a kitchen sticking to the same formula. As always, the gyros were shaved from a spinning vertical meat cone of ground beef and lamb, which the grill cook stuffed into a griddled pita. Plenty of tzatzki yogurt sauce mingled with crisp lettuce, onions and tomatoes, which were predictably pale pink (summer, please hurry up and deliver real tomatoes).
The big change is the atmosphere - seven tables can hold about triple the amount of diners than its previous location across the street. There’s also an outdoor patio and two bathrooms (a big improvement). Tip: The awkward door facing Sixth Avenue isn’t the best way to access the building. Park in the small lot behind the building and enter from the back entrance. The style of ordering – at the counter – remains unchanged. And the time-honored tradition of having a gyro loaded with tzatziki handed to you in your car? Still intact. The new building has a drive-thru
Plans for the move began last spring when Wick bought an old building with a lot more appeal than his original location. Wick opened It's Greek To Me 22 years ago with business partner Johnnie Dimakis in a cramped building at a weird intersection where Sprague, Division and Sixth Avenue collide. That former building was limited in space in every way imaginable - tiny kitchen, tiny dining room, a tricky drive-thru setup that became a precarious "please don't hit my car when you back out" event.
Wick has a lengthy resume in the South Sound restaurant world. After Wick and Dimakis opened the original It's Greek To Me - the duo parted ways, opening different versions of Greek restaurants, only to return to work together at the downtown Puyallup It’s Greek To Me in September 2010. The Puyallup It’s Greek To Me offers a more formal setting than the grab-and-go nature of the Tacoma restaurant. In Puyallup, there's table service and a full bar. Both restaurants have a menu of gyros and souvlaki sandwiches, Greek salads, dolmades, calamari steak, moussaka, spanakopita, baklava, pizza and pasta.
It’s Greek To Me Tacoma locationWhere: 1702 Sixth Ave., TacomaInfo: 253-272-1375, www.itsgreektomerestaurant.com
It’s Greek To Me Puyallup locationWhere: 328 S. Meridian, PuyallupInfo: 253-200-2333, www.itsgreektomerestaurant.com