Southern Hospitality Meets
Southerners are practically born knowing how to set a welcoming table. But when the Alabama natives Keith and Amy Richards traveled to Greece in 1997, their perspectives on hospitality blossomed. As they ate their way around the ancient country, sampling lamb gyros and bright salads dotted with feta, the duo not only fell in love with the region’s fresh, nourishing cuisine but with the ethos of the cozy, mom-and-pop cafes in which they dined. The restaurants offered a crucial connecting place for family and neighbors, where the act of gathering around the table was integral to daily life. Inspired, the couple set out to create a destination that would bridge the gap between the convivial cuisine of the Mediterranean and the Southern values they cherished back home. In Birmingham the following year, the first Taziki’s Mediterranean Café was born.
Some twenty years later, that love of bringing people together over food still resonates: More than ninety Taziki’s locations, featuring a full Mediterranean menu infused with Southern spirit, can now be found across the United States, including many in the founders’ native South. Taziki’s shareable plates especially honor that original mission, such as this summer’s beloved Whipped Feta, a light, homemade appetizer and that elegantly marries the savory Greek cheese with a sweet drizzle of honey; the classic hummus with a touch of cumin; and the Taziki dip—a refreshing classic with cucumber and dill. They all perfectly accompany a good time, whether you are gathering with friends for lunch at the restaurant, ordering off the catering menu for a shower, or taking home a pint for a family dinner. After all, in every detail, Taziki’s strives to foster eudaimonia: That’s Greek for wellness, or rich, flourishing life. Served, of course, with a deep sense of hospitality bred only in the South.