Finding a truly family-friendly restaurant that works for tots as well as grandparents can be a dilemma, especially if you’re not used to dining out with little ones. Let’s just say it’s been years since our kids were in diapers, so we sought help finding an accommodating spot for kids ranging from 2 to 10. A savvy mom recommended her family favorite, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant in Dania Beach. It offers an affordable kids’ menu, high chairs and booster seats plus very good, authentic dishes and fun entertainment on weekends. Our crew had a blast, from the 2-year-old who was mesmerized by Luna the belly dancer to the grandparents who savored juicy lamb chops and char-grilled octopus.
Owners Aphrodite Torrealba and Sarantis Boutsikos (also the chef) opened the place five years ago. They say the name was picked before My Big Fat Greek Wedding was released, though the place could be a stand-in for the fictional Dancing Zorba’s in the movie.
Ambience: The setting is casual with a homespun charm — decorated in royal blue and white with lacy curtains, colorful murals and a small bar. If you want a lively dinner, stop by Friday or Saturday when there’s live bouzouki music and two 15-minute entertainment interludes. A few servers (who recently won the American Greek Dance competition) kick up their heels (though don’t expect Taverna Opa-style partying), and then the talented Luna gyrates her way around the dining room.
- Complimentary hummus (thin but creamy) served with bread (pay $1 for pita) An appetizer combo that easily feeds four and includes char-grilled keftedes (like Greek burgers with a spicy kick), gyro slices (a flavorful mix of lamb and beef), loukaniko (imported Greek sausage), a wedge of flaky spanakopita (spinach pie) and grilled chicken wings
- Kefalograviera – hard, slightly salty sheep’s cheese set afire
- Greek salad with romaine, lots of feta, tomatoes and a typical perky dressing
- Lemony potato wedges
- Perfectly cooked shrimp santorini with lots of garlic, onions, peppers, feta and rice in a light, fragrant tomato sauce
- Succulent charbroiled lamb chops
- Homey roasted chicken,
- Peas with tomatoes, carrots and a touch of dill.
- Slow-cooked rice pudding
- Incredibly good house-made baklava with a light, tall phyllo crust and the traditional filling of chopped nuts and honey
- Warm, welcoming & delightful service