By Carolyn Bahm
Bartlett’s latest restaurant, the 3,000-square foot Taziki’s, opened Tuesday to crowds at 7974 U.S. 64 (formerly Tellini’s). Owner Isaac Riddle said the chain’s family-style teamwork and use of fresh ingredients inspired his interest in the Taziki’s name.
Some customer favorites at his other two Taziki’s locations in Germantown and East Memphis are Mediterranean salmon, the lamb gyro, chicken dishes and hummus. His restaurants also offer Southern favorites such as pimiento cheese and a beef tenderloin sandwich with horseradish, Swiss cheese and grilled onion.
Taziki’s menu is known for its original chef-driven recipes prepared daily from more than 100 fresh produce items as well as more than 60 herbs and spices flavoring the food; including freshly grilled meats, original sauces and healthy side dishes, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Riddle worked previously with Jim ’N Nick’s BBQ Restaurant before serving as general manager for the Taziki’s East Memphis location, where his wife, Jamie, still works. Then he found investors and branched into ownership.
“It’s something new and different for me, being in the business for 25 years,” he said. “I’ve done it all. I’ve washed dishes to being the cook, bartended, served.”
His new Bartlett restaurant seats about 100 people inside and 24 people on the outdoor patio. This location features all aspects of Taziki’s “Mediterranean-Coastal” restaurant design, including community tables, which provide a welcoming environment for conversation between regulars and new customers. Taziki’s restaurants are centered around a deep and enduring sense of happiness, or what the Greeks call “eudaimonia.”
“We’re trying to create an extraordinary environment for people,” he said.
Riddle said Bartlett attracted his interest because he lives in the area and wants to see more fast-casual dining options with really fresh food.
Because half the business at Taziki’s locations tends to be from takeout orders, this location also boats a larger space for customers to pick up their to-go orders. The restaurant offers ways to order ahead with a mobile app and online ordering options. Taziki’s also has catering and delivery options.
Nationally, Taziki’s has more than 86 restaurant locations in 17 states. The fast-growing chain has more than tripled since 2011. The company takes pride in its nourishing made-from-scratch food and the artisanship that goes into doing this without the use of fryers, freezers or microwaves.
Visit tazikiscafe.com for more information. Follow events and promotions on Twitter at @Tazikis, Instagram at @tazikis and on Facebook (search for Taziki’s Mediterranean Café).
Hours of operation in Bartlett are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.