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Greek Grilled Cheese Makes Mouths Water at New UES Eatery

By DNAinfo Staff on January 24, 2013 10:08am

UPPER EAST SIDE — Step aside, Gyro — there's a new Greek sandwich in town.

At Tarator Falafel & Grill, a new Mediterranean eatery that opened late last year at 1163 Second Ave. near 61st Street, diners are drooling over the $7 saganaki sandwich — a pita filled with olive oil-braised white Greek cheese. 

The soft dairy slices — akin to a slightly milder and firmer feta — are paired with succulent tomatoes and crispy cucumbers and make a sandwich that's racking up fans faster than you can say "Opa!"

Manager Assam Khalil, 28, explained that he sautees the cheese with olive oil, tucks it in the bread alongside the cool accoutrements and then places the wrap on the grill.

"I like it so much because of all the vegetables," said Khalil. "It's my favorite."

Though Tarator's culinary influences mainly hail from the Egyptian and Lebanese areas of the Mediterranean, store owner E.J. Morales said that he was fascinated by the sandwich's relative rareness.

"A lot of places don't have that, so we wanted to throw it on the menu," said Morales, 34.

The restaurant also offers up a bounty of traditional Greek dishes, including fresh made marinated, meat-stuffed pitas; tart, lemony tabouleh; rice-filled grape leaves and creamy, smoky hummus.