There is a Greek restaurant just down the street from where I work. It sits on a busy street surrounded by gas stations and fast food restaurants. Parking there is atrocious. There are a few tightly packed spots right off of the busy 4 lane avenue and a few more spots tucked into a dingy alleyway just behind the building that is shared with a title loan and a Cricket phone shop. Every time I visit this place, I feel like I am taking my life into my hands with the narrow alleyway filled with loose trash, tight parking and the occasional homeless person. The restaurant is completely unassuming, I’m not sure it even has a name. I think it’s just called Greek Gyro and it shares the same building as a Subway. You actually have to walk right by the Greek Gyro to get to the Subway and I always want to grab the people who do and force them to turn around and come get lunch with me. I want to shout at them, “This is so much better than the plastic bread you are about to eat!” But I don’t. I leave them to their own devices while I venture once again into the heavenly aroma of roasting lamb.
I don’t know the owners personally, but I have been there so many times now that I have become a regular and the 3 or 4 men behind the glass fronted counter always ask how my day is going in their clipped, exotic accents. I have no illusions that these men are Greek. I think they may be Egyptian or of some Arabic descent but either way they are always pleasant and my meal is always completely satisfying.
This place is mostly a lunch spot.You won’t be getting the full spectrum of Greek food here. What you will find is a selection of Greek and Mediterranean favorites perfect for a quick meal and you will have to wait in line to get it. My favorite is the gyro plate. It’s a small salad, some amazing seasoned rice, and a lot of shaved lamb topped with fresh veggies and doused in my favorite sauce ever made, tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki is a yogurt and cucumber sauce that is packed with lots of garlic and lemon. It’s refreshing and savory all at the same time. It cuts through the richness of lamb or, in this case, brightens up the bland nature of chicken. It’s amazing on a salad or a sandwich. I like to whip together this chicken salad on my days off when I get that craving for a healthy dose of tzatziki. The best part is I don’t have to stand in line to get it.
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill or 2 t. dried
- 2 Tablespoons fresh minced parsley
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 medium cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives or green olives if you can’t find Kalamata
- ½ red onion diced
- 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Romaine lettuce
- Sliced tomatoes
- 4 Flatbreads
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients through the feta cheese. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Serve on warm flatbreads with lettuce, tomatoes and extra feta cheese.