Nostimo Mediterranean cafe serves 'delicious' eats in niche market

Nostimo server Lina Clarke brings out a plate of moussaka from the kitchen.

Nostimo server Lina Clarke brings out a plate of moussaka from the kitchen.

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Nostimo Mediterranean Cafe
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Balkan Platter ($11)
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Traditional Greek Gyro ($7)
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Moussaka ($8.95)
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lton Zeneli
Elton Zeneli, Nostimo Mediterranean Cafe owner, said it is no shock to him seeing customers leave with a happy face and a full stomach.

Nostimo Mediterranean Cafe plates were inspired from meals created in Zeneli’s kitchen growing up, he said. He also chose the name Nostimo for the restaurant because it means “delicious” in Greek.

“My mom’s from Greece, and we grew up on this food. It’s just home recipes, the one[s] my mom uses and other Greek dishes,” Zeneli said.

In 1999, Zeneli opened Italian Garden, an Italian restaurant in San Marcos, with his brother. Wanting to branch out, Zeneli left Italian Garden and opened Nostimo in January 2016 with hopes of bringing a unique taste to San Marcos.

“There’s no competition. There’s nothing like this here. It’s good to have something different in town than the Mexican food or the barbecue, so I tried it out,” Zeneli said.

The menu features traditional Greek dishes, such as moussaka—an eggplant- and/or potato-based dish with ground meat—as well as Greek chicken and gyros. Zeneli also said that except for the hamburgers, all the meats are halal— prepared in accordance to Muslim tradition—and there are a variety of vegan options.

“If someone orders something vegan, it’s cooked separately from the other dishes to make sure there’s no contamination,” Zeneli said.

Zeneli said he sees his company staying in Central Texas, but he would like to expand to New Braunfels and other small towns in the area in the near future.

Marketing his restaurant completely on word of mouth, Zeneli said that he hopes the restaurant’s vibes and food will keep people coming back.

“Casual, laid-back and good food,” Zeneli said, describing his restaurant. “A lot of my business is locals, so I want more college students [to come]. But [business has] been good and going up, so it’s a good thing.”

Nostimo Mediterranean Cafe
206 W. San Antonio St.,
San Marcos
512-667-6348
www.nostimomedcafe.com
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
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