If you’re looking for an authentic Greek restaurant we might start with the origins of the word ‘restaurant’. From the Old French restorer, French restaurant simply means "food that restores," it is a noun use of present participle of restaurer "to restore or refresh."
Ever since the Middle Ages the word restaurant had been used to describe any of a variety of rich bouillons made with chicken, beef, roots of one sort or another, onions, herbs, and, according to some recipes, spices, crystallized sugar, toasted bread, barley, butter, and even exotic ingredients such as dried rose petals, Damascus grapes, and amber.
It was in 1765 that a Monsieur Boulanger of Paris actually opened a shop selling soups and order to entice customers into his shop, Boulanger had inscribed on his window a line from the Gospels:
"Venite ad me omnes qui stomacho laboratis et ego vos restaurabo." (Come to me, all who labour in the stomach, and I will restore you).
He was not content simply to serve bouillon, and provided additional options for his patrons, including leg of lamb in white sauce.
When looking for an authentic Greek restaurant, one should seek the staple which originated in the Boulanger’s restaurant: lamb. No, not pressed lamb formed in a cone with additional filler but real lamb hand-stacked on a spit and freshly cooked on a rotisserie.
This delicious meat on a spit, shared in tandem with beef, and sliced to order is the basis for your basic pita sandwich (the Gyros), or a riced based and vegetables dish (Gyros Bowl). Marinated for two days before being hand-stacked on the spit, the lamb is tender and spiced to perfection.
Gyros is the basic Greek food item served in a Greek Restaurant but it is not the only. In line with the original concept of serving bouillons in the restaurant, Greeks have their own version of soups including Avgolemono.
Thanks to French, we have a place to restore our souls. Thanks to Mezes Greek Grill, this place is nearby the Ann Arbor campus ready to serve the hungry students, faculty, professionals and friends authentic Greek street food just off the diag.