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Food & Drink

Eat Local: The Olive Oil Restaurant

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The Olive Oil Restaurant, a family-owned Greek restaurant in The Woodlands, Texas, has served authentic Greek food to our community since 2008.

Olive Oil Owner Toula Huliaris. Photo By Nick Rama
Photo Credit: Nick Rama; Olive Oil Owner Toula Huliaris. Photo By Nick Rama

The Name

The Huliaris family inherited the name, The Olive Oil, from the original restaurant owners. In Greek culture there is a lot of extra virgin olive oil in their daily cooking, which made the name fit perfectly, so The Huliaris’ saw no reason to change it.

Whether you go for lunch or dinner, you are in for a treat with their expansive menu. The Olive Oil  features  a belly dancer, Greek dancing and plate smashing on Friday and Saturday nights. Opa! This is an excellent spot for a casual family dinner or even a date night, in a relaxed atmosphere.

The traditional Greek favorites are not to be missed; they taste like someone’s Greek grandmother is back in the kitchen, cooking up a storm! But while Greek food is obviously their specialty, The Olive Oil offers so much more, like burgers, fish and chips, Fettuccini Alfredo, pork chops to name just a few of their non-Greek choices.

Grilled Pork Chops with green beans and rice : Pastitsio - Baked Layers of Greek pasta, Kasseri and mozzarella cheese, ground meats cooked with sweet tomatoes and spices, then topped with béchamel sauce.) Photo by Nick Rama
Grilled Pork Chops with green beans and rice : Pastitsio – Baked Layers of Greek pasta, Kasseri and mozzarella cheese, ground meats cooked with sweet tomatoes and spices, then topped with béchamel sauce; Photo by Nick Rama
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The Story

The Olive Oil Restaurant, a family-owned Greek restaurant in The Woodlands, Texas, has offered authentic Greek food since 2008. Freshly prepared Greek cuisine has been gaining fans since the day they opened. Owned by Toula Hulliaris and her husband, they bought the restaurant from the original owner in 2010 who decided to return to Greece. The Huliaris family saw the potential that the restaurant had for The Woodlands area. We asked Toula how much of the menu are now family recipes, she replied “All of them. We changed all of the recipes when we bought the restaurant and trained our chefs to our expectations of fresh ingredients and the homemade sauces and food.”

The entire family had a hand in the restaurant, including daughter Marianna and son George. Toula said, “We love working with our family! We treat everyone who steps into the restaurant as family, whether its staff or customers.”

Interior of The Olive Oil Greek Restaurant Photos by Nick Rama
Interior of The Olive Oil Greek Restaurant; Photos by Nick Rama

Speaking of family, they all also have another concept called The Omega Grill, in the same center three doors down. (see Hello Woodlands article on The Omega Grill at this link)

Toula contributes their success to giving their customers what they want as a consumer. Great food, service, quality and hospitality with a great price.

Community

Toula and her family believe in helping the local community around them and working with area schools and churches.

They also help with drug awareness for parents with children with drug addiction for an organization called Marisa’s Purpose by donating to their fun run and selling basketballs. Recently they helped with Nick’s Local Eats Drink For Charity by donating money to the Montgomery County Food Bank.

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The Family’s Favorite Dishes

Toula: Moussaka – Bakes layers of eggplant, potatoes, Greek cheese, ground meats, Mediterranean spices, and Roma tomatoes topped with béchamel sauce

Loans: Octopus Appetizer – Tender Octopus marinated in Olive Oil, Lemon, Oregano and served with grilled pita bread. I like it as a meal with a side Greek Salad.

Marianna: I love all of our appetizers, so definitely the Bekri Meze sampler – Loukaniko, keftedes, calamari, tyropita, spanakopita, dolmathakia, olives, kefalograviera cheese, tzatziki, hummus, and pita.

George: Vegetarian Moussaka – Baked layers of potatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and squash topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and béchamel sauce

What to order

Appetizers:

  • Saganaki – Pan-fried flaming kefalograviera cheese with ouzo and lemon (flamed tableside), and served with pita
  • Dolmades – Three (3) grape leaves stuffed with ground beef, rice, and spices; topped with egg-lemon-dill sauce
  • The Big Dipper – All four homemade dips served with grilled (hummus, tzatziki, taramosalata (caviar dip) and eggplant).
Toula Huliaris table side Saganaki. Photo by Nick Rama
Toula Huliaris table side Saganaki; Photo by Nick Rama

Saganaki appetizer. Photo by Nick Rama.
Saganaki appetizer; Photo by Nick Rama.

Soup: Chicken Orzo And Vegetable Soup – Our famous chicken soup with lemon, carrots, celery, and orzo pasta

Salad: Traditional Greek Salad – Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, capers, and our famous homemade Greek dressing. Excellent with optional Gyro meat.

Greek Specialties:

  • Zeus Platter – Moussaka, pastitsio, tyropita, spanakopita, gyro meat, dolma, tzatziki, pita bread, green beans, chicken souvlaki, and oven-roasted potatoes.
  • The Athena – Lamb souvlaki, lamb chop, beef souvlaki, chicken souvlaki, pork souvlaki, and shrimp souvlaki and choice of one side.
Chicken, Pork and Shrimp Souvlaki. Photo by Nick Rama
Chicken, Pork and Shrimp Souvlaki; Photo by Nick Rama

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Beef, Lamb & Pork:

  • Beef Souvlaki – Two (2) skewers of char-grilled beef, onions, and peppers. Served over rice with choice of one side.
  • Lamb Chops – Four (4) lamb chops marinated in olive oil and spices, then char-grilled served with choice of one side
Galaktoboureko / Ekmek Kataifi / Chocolate Baklava Tart. Photo by Nick Rama
Galaktoboureko / Ekmek Kataifi / Chocolate Baklava Tart; Photo by Nick Rama

Desserts:

  • Galaktoboureko – layered filo dough with custard topped with honey syrup and cinnamon
  • Ekmek Kataifi – shredded filo dough cake with matcha flavored cream patisserie and pistachios
  • Chocolate Baklava Tart

The Bar:

The beer and wine bar offers an exclusive selection that you will have difficulty finding elsewhere! If you are new to Greek cuisine, the friendly staff will guide you along the way and help you select items that suit your unique tastes and beer or wine to pair with your meal.

Bruno Matiola showing off Greek wine / Bar area / Mythos & Fix Greek beers. Photos by Nick Rama
Bruno Matiola showing off Greek wine / Bar area / Mythos & Fix Greek beers; Photos by Nick Rama

Wrapping it all up

What you will find at The Olive Oil is a family-friendly atmosphere, expert and welcoming staff, and authentic Greek cuisine with something on the menu for all. The Olive Oil Greek Restaurant also has an expansive lunch menu, where you can stop in for a quick Gyro sandwich, salad, burger, and of course some reasonably priced Greek fare.

Our last question is always… What are 5 Words to describe The Olive Oil Greek Restaurant?

Toula said, “Family, authentic, welcoming, wholesome, savory.”

The Olive Oil Greek Restaurant is located at 373 Sawdust Rd, Spring, TX 77380. Learn more by calling 281-367-0114 and visit their website at https://theoliveoilrestaurant.com/.

 

Nick Rama is a food writer, contributor of Hello Woodlands, and shares his restaurant experiences on Nick’s Local Eats at NicksLocalEats.com and the TX BBQ, Burgers and Brew Facebook page. Nick enjoys helping the small business owner, supporting his community with fundraising for food banks, and plans tasting events with locally owned mom and pop restaurants.

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