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The SCENE Magazine

Bakkhus Taverna celebrates 5 years serving Greek food with a Texas twist

Aug 02, 2013 06:47PM ● Published by Corinne Moore

5th Anniversary Blow-Out on Wednesday, August 28, begins at 9 p.m.  Enjoy drink specials, freebies, and a DJ spinning tunes! Come celebrate with Bakkhus!

Bakkhus Taverna Greek Restaurant and Bar’s upbeat atmosphere and casual dining experience makes it a popular venue among locals and visitors. Located at 605 6th Street in the heart of the Lighthouse district and just seconds away from the world-renowned Kemah Boardwalk, Bakkhus offers a diverse menu that can be described as Greek food with a Texas twist.

When opening Bakkhus five-years ago, owner Demetrios Kouloumoundras had 20 items on the menu and specialized in traditional Greek cuisine. He had a “sky is the limit” mentality, but in those early days, it would make him happy just to make enough to pay the light bill. Then a little over a month after opening, Hurricane Ike hit the Kemah area. Most businesses tell a story with the timeline of “pre-Ike” and “post-Ike” happenings. In this case, Kouloumoundras had just opened Bakkhus, so this story will start with after Ike blew through…

Bakkhus was without power and the staff cooked what they had for those able to get there to eat. It was personal to the locals that Ike would not defeat their spirit and during this time, the community pulled together. Bakkhus was the first restaurant to re-open, and even though it was touch and go for the new restaurant, they endured on a shoestring budget and became beloved on 6th Street at the heart of Kemah.

“We at Bakkhus are very grateful for the community support and to all who dine here,” said Kouloumoundras. “Without you, we would be obsolete. Whether it’s traditional fare you want or a taste of Greece with a southern, home-style touch, we’ve got you covered."

“We take pride in our menu selections,” said Kouloumoundras. “We use the freshest ingredients available and make what we can from scratch.”

Over the years, Bakkhus’ menu has grown from 20 items to more than 80 items. Kouloumoundras, along with Bakkhus Chef Zach Buster, have worked together to create new dishes and tweak existing ones. General Manager Lance Cumpian says Chef Buster “comes up with the most amazing tasting soup flavors” and hints that the “proposed new menu items are pretty exciting.” Of course, not all menu items come from a kitchen think-tank. Cumpian says the “Big Bogutzki” and the “Cyclops” burger were both inspired by regulars. And that’s another pretty awesome part about Bakkhus. It’s not a part of a big chain restaurant. It’s not a job to Kouloumoundras and his staff.

Bakkhus is a family business with roots within the community it has “grown up” in.

This philosophy has made this lively establishment perfect for the whole family.

Bakkhus has weekly specials like Steak Night Mondays, 50% off wine bottles on Tuesday (valid ALL day on any wine bottle with more than 50 selections), Boil ’Em Up Wednesdays with shrimp or snow crab, Bottomless Pasta on Thursdays (includes salad and garlic bread), and the ever-popular Sunday Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Consider these customer favorites when dining at Bakkhus. For a delicious mezé (appetizer), some excellent choices include the Fire Feta Dip (Serrano peppers, olive oil, and spices to the Greek cheese for a spicy pita-chip-dipping delight), several specialty blends of hummus delight, Trojan Poppers, or an order of Greek Bar Trash.

There are many Bakkhus specialties to satisfy discerning taste buds. The Stuffed Chicken Bruschetta (a marinated baked chicken stuffed with feta cheese, fresh herbs and veggies, topped with bacon and melted gruyere cheese), or the Cadillac of steaks: the Filet Onassis (a seasoned tenderloin, rolled in bread crumbs and set atop au jus infused onions and mushrooms, topped with lump crab and smothered in béarnaise).

The items listed above just scratch the surface of Bakkhus’ vast menu. The restaurant offers gourmet burgers, gyros, salads, delectable desserts like a Baklava cheesecake, Galaktoboureko, a Greek custard baked in filo crust, drizzled in honey and dusted in sugar. The kid’s menu is very friendly to the younger crowd with chicken, spaghetti, peanut butter and jelly, and more.

There is something for everyone at Bakkhus.

Bakkhus’ staff is skilled in the kitchen and behind the bar. On the “Revelry” drink menu, there are some very unique drinks to experience and savor. The Bakkhus Rita and the spicy El Pepino are made with Milagro Silver tequila; the Pimms Cup combines Hendricks gin and Pimms British liqueur; the Bakkhus Blurricane features Sailor Jerry Rum, and the drink options keep going all the way through a long list of intriguing martinis.

The happy hour specials are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and include $4 premium wells, $4 wine by the glass and $4 drafts (13 taps). The restaurant also appreciates the brewers of local craft beer and offers several brands of craft beer for its discerning customers. “I enjoy trying new beers that are brewed well,” said Kouloumoundras. “There is a distinctive quality to craft beer’s artisan style.

Head over to Kemah’s Lighthouse District to taste what Greek food with a Texas twist is all about. Sit outside on the front patio and enjoy the sights and sounds of Kemah amid your experience at Bakkhus. To see the weekly specials and a full menu, visit www.bakkhustaverna.com. If you can’t make it out to Bakkhus, order online and have it delivered at www.mytakeoutwaiter.com.

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Dining, In Print Bakkhus Taverna kemah Greek food Demetrios Kouloumoundras Kemah Boardwalk Hurricane Ike Kemah Lighthouse District Kouloumoundras “Cyclops” burger Bakkhus Blurricane Bakkhus Rita Bakkhus Taverna Greek Restaurant and Bar Baklava cheesecake Big Bogutzki Boil ’Em Up Wednesdays Bottomless Pasta on Thursdays Chef Zach Buster delectable desserts El Pepino Filet Onassis Galaktoboureko General Manager Lance Cumpian gourmet burgers Greek custard gruyere cheese gyros Hendricks gin Kemah’s Lighthouse District Lance Cumpian Lighthouse District Milagro Silver tequila Pimms British liqueur Pimms Cup Revelry Sailor Jerry Rum Steak Night Mondays Zach Buster

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