Nick's To Go: Love it and leave with it 

Food like your (Greek) mama makes

Nick's Food To Go (240 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 404-521-2220, www.nicksfood.com) is the quintessential hole in the wall you've probably passed by a hundred times but never entered. The tiny Greek gem is a complete family affair with Nick Poulous working the front and his wife, Helen, and their daughters, Evie and Angela, in the kitchen. Although there is no dining area — don't even try to eat inside or you'll get a fatherly scolding from Nick — the comforting food travels well and is always made to order.

Helen, the apparent heart of the kitchen, uses fresh ingredients and makes everything from scratch, including the filo dough for her "village-style" spanakopita ($2) filled with perfectly seasoned spinach and chunks of salty feta. Crispy wedges of Greek-style fries ($3.50) are lemony, heavily seasoned with dried oregano and served with a garlicky tzatziki sauce. The lamb gyro wrap ($5) is a cylinder of warm, pillowy pita overflowing with lamb sliced from the iconic revolving tower and spiked with tangy tzatziki that plays well against the heaviness of the meat. Portions are huge, and the wrap combos ($6.50-$7) – complete with fries, Greek salad and drink – have been known to challenge even the most serious of eaters.

The specials ($7.50), which change daily, are a good introduction to Greek home cooking. Thursday's Greek lasagna – toothsome layers of spaghetti, creamy béchamel and a uniquely spiced meat sauce – is a favorite of "Iron Chef" Kevin Rathbun, whose grinning mug is plastered everywhere. When asked for the secret behind her mother's sauce, Evie says, "She won't even tell me!" Friday's special is the "Chef's surprise," where Helen gets creative based on how she feels and what looks good at the market. If you're craving something in particular, Evie says to call ahead and Helen will make it. Just like having your very own Greek mama.

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