In last November's Hidden Houston cover story, I shared some of the most interesting off-menu dishes available at the city's restaurants. At the very top of the list: Greek poutine at Helen Greek Food & Wine. The description of fries, shredded gyro meat and feta topped with gravy made from gyro drippings sounded awfully enticing. But chef William Wright has further refined the plate. Better still, it's available at Helen in the Heights on-menu from 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
That's when Helen's little sister celebrates happy hour. All beer and cocktails are half-off in that time, while a number of Evan Turner's carefully curated wines are $9 by the glass. But the food is the main attraction.
The poutine doesn't bare much resemblance to the floppy frites drowned in gravy and topped in squeaky cheese curds you'll find in Canada. Instead, they're fries loaded with one of the most flavorful weapons in Wright's arsenal, his tipiti. The roasted pepper and feta dip tops ultra-crisp cumin-laden fries that are impressively resilient beneath the sauce. Feta, oregano and shaved pieces of marinated pork complete the package. At $8, you could easily call it a meal.
Seven-dollar feta-brined wings are also a tangy, salty standout. They're fried crisp and topped in pepperoncini, Aleppo pepper and more feta. For cheaper eats, each dip, served with warm, freshly made pita, is $4, including a hummus-like chickpea spread, and a smoky eggplant dip similar to silky babaghanoush. And for those who can't decide between expending calories on drinks or dessert? The $5 Bourbon-baklava soft serve tastes like both treats in its name, and comes with a topping of roasted pecans and sticky, floral raw honey.