And, personally, since gyros are just as healthy as greasy burgers and tacos, I have no desire for them to be walked from a fancy kitchen, through a luxurious dining room to a well-appointed table. I just need to get that gyro from the spit to my belly as quickly as possible.
That’s the beauty of Gyros Etc.
There’s no pretense. It’s hard to have any when your restaurant is a basically an old Fotomat with a drive-thru.
But, hey, books and covers, people. The food is good. Let’s start with the gyros, then we’ll get to the “Etc.,” yeah?
right, Samir Mahmoud
The gyro is one of the best in the city (And, yes, there are some bad ones.). The meat is right in so many ways. Cooked so it’s crisp at the edges, it’s cut a bit thicker than most.
It might seem odd to say, but there’s also not too much of it. Some places — and I’m not complaining — pack so much into a sandwich that you can’t fit the pita in your mouth. Gyros Etc. gives enough to fill you up, but not so much that you need help eating it.
Oh, and the tzatziki sauce. It’s thicker than most, but with lots of tang. It’s nice to get all that taste without worrying that it’ll come dripping out the other end of the sandwich.
If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, you probably shouldn’t go to a gyro stand. But if you’re already there, the chicken shawarma is your friend. I didn’t see it being made, being I was in my car, but the traditional shawarma method is to stack big hunks of meat on a skewer, cook it and shave down the sides. Those shavings go in a pita, which goes in your mouth. The chicken is a lot less greasy than the gyro meat, although the seasoning still gives it lots of flavor.
The real find, though, is the falafel. Call ahead if
you want, but it won’t matter. The falafel doesn’t get fried until
you’re there. They make their own, you see. Flavorful little balls of
crushed chickpeas, fried so they’re crispy outside and pillowy inside.
When you get them in a sandwich, they’re smashed up, so they can soak up
the spicy sauce.
There’s more, of course.
The spanakopita are crispy fried wedges of phyllo dough encasing spinach
and cheese. They are also addictive. The tabbouleh has a lot more green
than it does cracked wheat, which is a blessing. Lots of flavor. Nice
and light. The hummus is a little expensive, but if you love good
hummus, I think it’s worth trying.
It’s not a fancy place to eat (unless you drive a really fancy car, I guess), but Gyros Etc. is doing everything I want in a gyro restaurant, and they’re doing it well. Especially that falafel.
Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive
aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or
service when appropriate.
Photos by Mark Hancock