Zorba's makes comeback at Taste
CHAMPAIGN — If you've had a hankering for a gyro from Zorba's, this is your weekend.
Zorba's owner Matt Mortenson and his crew are back cooking the Greek specialty sandwiches along with pita and hummus and baklava at the Taste of Champaign-Urbana in West Side Park through Sunday.
The restaurant has been closed since a fire swept through the Campustown building home to Zorba's, restaurant Mia Za's and clothing store Pitaya back in March. At the time, Mortenson said he would reopen the restaurant, and he still plans to do so.
"We miss everybody and we're looking to have fun with it. Usually we are stressed out keeping the store open and running Taste, but this time I think we're going to have fun," Mortenson said. "The community's been great and so supportive," he said.
Zorba's has been selling food at Taste of C-U for well over 20 years, Mortenson estimated. He bought the restaurant in the late 1990s from previous owner Jerry Heintze after working there for 15 years. Zorba's itself dates to 1973, he said.
Mortenson is hoping for a good crowd.
"Summer is usually a slow time on campus and with the Taste we've always tried to reach the community," Mortenson said.
They always sell the classic gyro and the chicken gyro sandwich at their booth (look for the Zorba's tent on the west side of the park toward Elm Street) and baklava. This year they've added pita and hummus as an option.
More in Satuirday's News-Gazette, including an update on progress at the Green Street space.