Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Gyro

Why oh why is the gyro not a more universal item? I love them, they're nearly the perfect sandwich and they're oh so filling. What's more, I've never had a bad one. I've had some that are better than others, but they've all been good.

This weekend we ventured south to go to Deanna Rose and do some fishing and some goat petting. After an hour and a half of cutting worms into thirds and threading them onto hooks in the hot sun and pulling the boy's stroller back onto the boardwalk after he inexplicably tried to pull himself into the lake, Stella and I had built up quite a hunger. Luckily for us there is a Mr. Gyros just down the street from Deanna Rose on 135th St.

We stopped off and got some chicken nuggets for the kids at the nearby KFC and took their food in with us. I took a moment to figure out our order and got Stella and I each an original gyro. The original is the only thing either of us have gotten at Mr. Gyros because I can't imagine them making something better. To be honest, I would feel like a douche if I were to order the chicken, KC strip or vegetarian gyro and I think only a jackass would order the gyro melt, I get enough cheese in American food, I don't need to muck up my Greek food with cheese too. At some point I need to try the beef souvlaki or the dolmades just to round out my Mr. Gyros experience but that will have to wait for another day.

By the time I got our drinks filled up and taken to our table, the gyros were ready. Mr. Gyros has a very simple presentation, pita with sliced gyro meat on it, 2 tomato wedges and 4 or 5 rings of onion. The tzatziki sauce is in a paper condiment container like the one you might find at your local McDonalds. The problem with that is their tzatziki sauce is a little thick to pour out of the container so you either use a knife to get it out or you squeeze it out making a mess of your hands. I don't know why I would worry about such things since eating a gyro is anything but a clean experience.

The portion size is excellent, at least 1/2 pound of meat. I could probably use a little more tzatziki sauce each time, I find myself rationing it. The meat is wonderfully flavored and usually quite moist and tender. This weekend the meat was a little overdone, but it was still very good. I've never had a Mr. Gyro experience where I was left wanting more to eat, but I could see needing a little baklava or a dolmade or 2 on the side.*

*This is the first occurrence of this actually happening. While writing this post I was looking at the Mr. Gyros website and found the chocolate almond roll. Within 2 minutes I was in the car driving to Mr. Gyros for a couple of gyros and a couple of chocolate almond rolls, which are fabulous too.

The location on 135th Street feels like any generic local fast food place with the exception of the Greek tourism video that is similar to the DVD's they play at Nebraska Furniture Mart to sell HD TV's and the mural on the back wall. The decor was actually well done, making you feel as though you were in a Greek restaurant, but not beating you over the head with that fact. Also, I like the seating at that location. It allows for large groups (like the kids soccer teams*) to sit together but each table is still separate. The Metcalf location is similar in design to the newer 135th Street one, but quite a bit smaller.

*Stella and I talked about the kids soccer teams (the new soccer complex is next to Deanna Rose) eating in the neighborhood. I told her if there was a kid's Greek soccer team, they would absolutely love KC and talk about KC for the rest of their childhood. I was reminded of when I was a kid and my baseball team went to the little league World Series regionals in Rockford, IL (we lost to the eventual LLWS runner up) and we ate at McDonald's at least 6 times and Bonanza twice in our 5 days there. A little variety in Rockford would have been nice.

Mr. Gyros is obviously a good little restaurant judging by its tenure and expansion. But they're also filling a niche in the market. In my mind, there is no reason the gyro isn't served in nearly every restaurant. I don't know what goes into making the gyro meat on the spit, I don't want to know. I do want the gyro to be a menu staple like the Philly, Reuben or club sandwich. A gyro would be a perfect addition to my little dream of ChefStreet. Let's get this done.


m.v. said...

I never get why people insist on feeding their kids crappy chicken nuggets or whatever the generic kids' items ethnic restaurants put on their menu.Everyone eats the good stuff or nothing.

The DLC said...

There's a place called Greek Cuisine across from JCCC that does decent gyros. Not the same as Mr. Gyros but worth a try for some variety.

Aimee said...

I love Mr. Gyro and will probably hit the one at around 80th for lunch today because of you. Yum!

I usually get the traditional gyro and the side salad which is huge. Really great stuff, fast friendly service and not gonna break the bank. I have to say Yum again cause it is.

Erin said...

Gyros were our drunk food while I was in Granada, Spain. Actually, shawarma, which is a better version of the gyro. We would have to be vigilant and stop drinking while we still had 1.30Euro left. If I had 1.40, I was pumped. I could get cheese.

Erin said...

And I would like to say a HUGE AMEN to m.v.

Seriously, why would you buy your kid nasty fried food when they could eat pita, etc?

Bull E. Vard said...

The kids wanted chicken nuggets and since it was their morning, they got what they wanted. They usually have to eat what we eat. We were also unsure of what was on the Mr. Gyros menu that they would enjoy.

winedoofus said...

I admit ignorance; how to pronounce "gyro?" Or just ask for the "original?"

Stacy said...

Mr. Gyro's is one of my favorites for sure (the one on Metcalf at least.) I always go for the gyro (sometimes chicken...guess I'm a douche, but it's good!) a side salad, and a spanikopita. Galaktobureko (sp?) for dessert is delicious, but I have to save it for later, because it is filling on it's own. I only wish that Sahara Cafe still existed right down the street from it. That place had crazy good food too! Did anybody use to go there?

Faith said...

(winedoofus, I personally say "year-o" in my head when I read the word, although I think "jy-ro" is also universally accepted in these here parts.)

I went to Sahara once. We were the only people in there at the time, and it was 6:30 on a Saturday night. Not a good sign. I can't say I wasn't worried eating the food! It was good, though. I like Jerusalem Cafe better, though.

We've only been to Mr. Gyro's once. It was delicious, and shockingly filling for the price. I wonder why we haven't been back there

Anonymous said...

Try the Pastichio. Casserole of layered ground beef and
macaroni, baked with a cream topping,
served with small Greek salad and
dolmades. It is so good! Greek lasagne.