We now have a new routine for any trips to the airport – make a stop at Grecian Gyro. Their motto is “Once a Week Go Greek” and given the magical properties of their secret sauce, we may just find our car steering us down 85 South to Virginia Avenue on a regular basis.
Despite its often being made of meats of unknown origins, a good gyro is a mighty fine thing. And I haven’t been able to find any satisfactory ones in town, despite a rather extensive search my son and I conducted this summer, as he shares my hankerings for the hunks of meat.
Then I heard about Grecian Gyro and my husband and I decided to check it out on the way to the airport. (Heading South, exit Virginia Avenue and turn left.) My husband asked if it was okay for him to wear shorts. “Sure, I’m pretty sure it’s not a fancy place.”
We got that right. Fancy it’s not. But friendly with good food? Oh yeah.
Grecian Gyro has the usual wraps, Greek salads and side dishes. But what sets it apart is the quality and freshness of the food. I got a gyro plate, which comes with a side of Grecian potatoes, which are perfectly fried wedges dusted with Grecian seasoning. (Note: these gyros are made with beef and lamb.)
On the suggestion of the manager, Deara Sewood, Chris ordered the Souvlaki plate, made with grilled pork tenderloin. Which gets me to the reason the food at Grecian Gyro is so much better than similar places. The food is made with fresh, high quality ingredients. It can be rare to have pork cooked correctly but his pork tenderloins was so tender and deliciously seasoned.
The Greek salad, which we both got on the side, comes with huge chunks of feta, generous slices of tomato and cucumber and a delicious dressing made with excellent olive oil. The Kalamata olives are the real thing – imported from owner Nick Koulouris’s hometown.
Nick opened this first Grecian Gyro in 1982. As the website says, “with $50 in his pocket, a dream in his heart and his secret sauce recipe locked tightly in his head.”
So let’s talk about that secret sauce. It’s so thick you could turn over a small container and it wouldn’t even run out. Beyond lots of yogurt, dill and garlic I don’t have a clue what makes it so delicious. But we’ll be stopping by to pick up a bottle to take home with us to apply liberally on all future meals.
The portions are large and we were quite full but Chris couldn’t resist tasting the baklava. His review: “You could taste all the individual flavors and it had a great consistency. It’s some of the best I’ve ever had.”
We were almost out the door when Stephanie Hobbs, the grill operator who had cooked our gyro and Souvlaki to perfection, pointed out the Spanakopita. “Just get one to go,” she urged. Well we got it to go but it didn’t go far. It wouldn’t be nearly as good cold, I reasoned. I’ll never get the chance to find out because one of these will never last that long. It was warm, tender, flaky and gone in about 20 seconds.
Grecian Gyro has two other locations, in Tucker and Forest Park. Go check it out for yourself. And bring me a bottle of special sauce.
Grecian Gyro, 855 Virginia Avenue, Hapeville, 404-762-1627