Friday, February 5, 2010

Gas Station Gyros

I've made no secret of my love for gyros. I think there should be a gyro stand in nearly every neighborhood. So when I heard (from KC Wort Hog) that a gas station at 75th and Penn has gyros and falafels, I knew I was going to be there within the week.

Today was the day. I braved the snow and ventured into the best part of Missouri (Waldo) and found the Shell gas station at 75th and Pennsylvania (just across Penn from 75th Street Brewery). It's a rather unassuming looking gas station, neither run down nor shiny and new. I didn't quite know what to expect as I walked in. I was pleasantly surprised by the setup. The gyro stand was a well cut out little area with a fake stone counter and a professional style stainless steel range and prep area. Everything was quite clean and if you just looked at the gyro stand you would think you were in a Subway or Quiznos. It was clean enough in there that Stella would have no problems eating there (it took me 6 months to convince her that Oklahoma Joe's was safe enough to eat).

The stand is staffed by just 1 cook who takes and then prepares your order. The cook who helped me looked like his name could be Joe. He wasn't super friendly, he was more no nonsense the way you would think a short order cook would be if he were suddenly thrust upon the public. As I was waiting for my gyro sandwich the owner (I presume) of the gas station was trying to sell me on the chicken shawarma samples he had on the counter and some Mediterranean tea samples they had while you were waiting. I've never had shawarma and I've never had any kind of a chicken sample in a gas station. The shawarma would have been better in a sandwich but it was alright, good enough that I might try a shawarma sandwich sometime. Joe finished my sandwich and dressed it with tzatiki sauce and hot sauce (he asked first).

I got my gyro home and unwrapped it. I was a little disappointed in the size and the amount of meat. Plus, it had shredded lettuce in it. What the what? I didn't sign up for vegetables in my gyro. But all that was forgotten when I ate it. The gyro was the perfect proportion of pita, meat, vegetable and sauce. The hot sauce added just the right amount of heat to give your mouth the happiness it deserves. Everything about the gyro was delightful. The only drawback was that it wasn't big enough. I'm no competitive eater but I could have eaten 2 of them, they have about half the meat of a Mr. Gyros gyro (on the other hand, I have to be really hungry for gyros to eat an entire Mr. Gyros gyro).
As a side note, it was nice hearing the owner talk about his little gyro stand. He was quite proud of it and rightly so. His gas station has probably the second or third best food in a KC gas station. It's nice to hear the kind of passion he had and you simply can't get that kind of passion in afranchise or bigger restaurant. I wish him well. I certainly can see myself getting a beer at 75th Street Brewery and walking across the street for a gyro snack. This is the perfect opportunity to get some good street food in your system while you're drinking.

14 comments: said...

I just saw the sign for it last night on my way home to my little Waldo house. Will definitely have to give it a try. Wonder if the falafal is good.

m.toast said...

It is. I'm a falafel fiend too...

Mar said...

reminds me of the days I used to walk to Yummy's from KUMC for a lunchtime gyro. It was in that old, decrepit convenience store with Yummy (or whatever his name is) cooking up gyros while ringing up people's purchases. . . now it's another Jerusalem Cafe but it used to be a place to get good food at a great price!

Anonymous said...

Just drove over from perfect village. Awesome in a word. Badass with a spatula cracked me up. Supercool. Went in w/o the hot sauce though. Wish them much luck, will be back!

Anonymous said...

Have not had schwarma in the US. But the version in Saudi began a long love affair w/ street food. They warned us GI's that the mayo based sauce would make us sick from sitting unchilled, etc., so most people steered clear of the stands. We hit a brick and mortar w/ smoothies and schwarma that I've never forgotten. Yummy(Chef Kamal) is the bomb. Every time I see him at Whole Foods he shoves that lebaneh on me. That stuff is rich. The shattah is the go-to for snack nirvana.

thediaana said...

i too absolutely love gyros. since i was in high school latin class and we went on a field trip to mr. gyros. i am excited to check this place out!

Anonymous said...

Looks a little pricey for something in the back of a gas station. Knock a dollar off the prices and we can talk.

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