Photo: Mark Hancock
Maybe this is a gross overgeneralization, but sometimes the landscape of quick and easy local lunch eateries can look like a barren, apocalyptic wasteland littered with the famished skeletons of the lucky few who died in the first wave of destruction. In other words, if a hungry businessperson wants food fast, most times, they’re out o’ luck.
Enter Ol’ Gyro Mediterranean Cuisine. Here, you’ll get an amazingly satisfying lunch at a superlatively fast speed without scraping all the cash out of your wallet.
Located in a nondescript Classen shopping center, at 3513 N. Classen Blvd, Ol’ Gyro is about as basic as it comes, offering no-frills décor and ambiance — which, when there’s only 25 minutes left in a lunch break, is totally fine; you can’t eat atmosphere.
True to their name, Ol’ Gyro serves up plenty of good ol’ gyros, always a perfect alternative to drive-thru burgers or heat-lamped chalupas. The moist and tender meat is a mixture of spicy lamb and beef served on a fresh, warm pita brimming with lettuce, tomato and onions. The combo special ($7.59) includes thick and crispy French fries and a drink. It’s fast, it’s filling and it’ll have any workaholic back in the office, ready to tackle those spreadsheets in no time. There are even to-go options.
But if poultry is more your speed, then the kabob chicken sandwich (formerly the chicken shawarma; $8.99) is a fine, filling meal and is also served with fries and a drink.
The juicy chunks of chicken are grilled and served with onions, parsley and pickles, but what makes it different than any other chicken sandwich is the house garlic sauce that comes with it.
Don’t forget the tzatziki. This garlic sauce could easily replace ketchup in many a diet if it were released to the general public by itself. It’s kicky and tangy but with a subtle bite that lingers long after the sandwich is gone. But not in an unpleasant aftertaste way; more in an order-more-things-to-dip-in-it kind of way, which I did.
Ol’ Gyro offers an impressive array of apps that are perfect for lapping up garlic sauce, all in portions that could easily make a meal of their own. The grape leaves ($4.99), six thick rolls filled to the point of popping with a mouth-puckering spiced rice, perfectly complimenting the aforementioned garlic sauce, were a personal favorite.
Add to this an order of their unique falafel ($4.99) that were quite different than most I’ve had before; they had more of a “popper” feel to them and were very snacky, and that is meant as a total compliment. Order a hundred of them instead of wings before the next big game.
The limited menu also offers various Mediterranean salads, homemade hummus and baba ghanouj and a falafel sandwich combo served with a crushed red pepper sauce that looked like a lunchtime triumph that just needs to happen soon.
Served in less than ten minutes and catering to tastes tired of the same-old, same-old, Ol’ Gyro might not be much to look at, but it’s a lot to eat.