2011-12-14 / Restaurant of the Week

GYRO GOURMET

By Teresa Barile

Welcome Gyro Gourmet, which opened just about a week ago to the delight of many in Northeastern Queens and beyond. Conveniently located on Northern Boulevard. in Bayside, Gyro Gourmet offers the best in Greek and Cypriot cuisine, as well as excellent pizza and quesadillas, in an informal setting. The spotless dining room has several sturdy wooden tables for dining in, flanked by pretty murals of Greek seaside villages. Wine and beer are available and so is free delivery for a minimum $10 order.

The amiable owners Dino Constantinou and Nick Gregoriou, who hail from Cyprus, purchase only the freshest ingredients for their restaurant and everything is cooked to order for maximum flavor. The chef’s grill sizzles with souvlaki, gyro and doner kebabs while the pizza oven turns out dozens of hot, crispy pies each day.

Our polite server brought us two glasses of wine and a host o f

their tempting appetizers. Gyro Gourmet makes their own dips, including a chunkier style hummus that was perfectly seasoned, creamy tzatziki sauce made from yogurt, cucumber and dill, and savory tarama, which is codfish roe. They all spread deliciously onto triangles of grilled pita bread and whet your appetite for more to come….and there is plenty more! Next, some specialties of Cyprus were brought. These are marked on the menu with the white flag of Cyprus and include delicious sheftalia, handmade sausage scented with cumin and mild herbs that are grilled to perfection ($6.50 for 5). Koupepia Cypriot style stuffed grape leaves, filled with minced lamb, rice and mild herbs ($4.95). A plate of grilled octopus, straight off the grill was brought, along with wedges of fresh lemon and vinegar for dressing. This octopus was so fresh and tender, with a nice charcoal flavor from the grill, it needed little else except maybe some bread to soak up the juices. Crispy fried calamari are impossibly light thanks to simple pan-frying, served with a juicy wedge of lemon. Greek loukaniko sausage, sautéed cheese called saganaki, and spinach pie are also great ways to start your meal, with plenty to share. American chicken wings, fried mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders will keep even picky kids happy. A nice selection of freshly tossed salads is available, including the classic Greek, arugula, Caesar, Italian antipasto salad with provolone and pepperoni, and the Mamma Mia, with sliced mozzarella and tomato. The souvlakis, gyros and doner kebabs are the stars of the show here and their famous souvlaki sticks with chicken or pork cost only $2.50 each or 3 for $5.99 and all are cooked to order. Order them separately, or order one of the hearty sandwiches loaded with lettuce, tomato, tzatziki sauce with the meat of your choice. Souvlaki is chunks of tender pork or chicken, skewered and cooked on the grill. Doner is made from layer upon layer of tender chicken or a combination of lamb and pork, stacked on a rotisserie and slow cooked for tender goodness. One of the house favorite sandwiches is the Cyprus pita, filled with chunks of pork, diced onion, parsley, tomato and cucumber in a pocket pita ($6.50). I’ll be back to try that one. You can request any of these meats as a platter, along with French fries or rice, Greek salad, pita bread and tzatziki sauce. Top quality rib-eye steak, juicy lamb chops, and pork chops are also on the menu, cooked to order and served sizzling hot. We sampled the grilled salmon, which was excellent, and the blackboard details the

special fishes of the day.

Greek and Cypriot entrees include half an eggplant filled with rice and meat and savory spices, youvetsi, which is a traditional lamb stew with orzo ($10.99) and house made moussaka and pastitsio. Gyro Gourmet does a fine job with some Italian dishes too. First of all, the pizza is light and crispy, made with all your favorite toppings. A plain, large pie costs only $11.50, making Gyro Gourmet an economical place to eat or order from. The calzone and Stromboli rolls make a great lunch or snack too.

From the kitchen comes spaghetti with meat sauce or marinara, fettuccine alfredo, chicken Marsala, parmigiana and piccata and baked lasagna. Enjoy these home style dishes for just $6.99 to $10.99 for a generous portion.

At lunch time or anytime, pick up a veggie wrap with mixed grilled vegetables and greens, a chicken Caesar wrap with romaine lettuce and parmesan cheese, or a “Little Italy” Panini layered with marinated chicken, arugula, mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette. Crispy quesadillas are a big hit too, made with steak, chicken or vegetables and a blend of cheeses ($6.99). Of course, you’ll find juicy 100% beef burgers with cheese or whatever else you desire.

All the food prepared at Gyro Gourmet is made from fresh ingredients with simple preparation, making everything fresh, light and flavorful; not heavy, greasy or salty. Enjoy a satisfying lunch or dinner here seven days a week from 11am to 11pm. If you can’t get there, have them deliver to your home or office

with fast, free delivery. Finish your meal with the sweetness of house made baklava, dripping with honey, light and creamy galaktoboureko, rice pudding, apple cake or ravani, a semolina cake sweetened with honey and rose water.

Visit Gyro Gourmet for the best souvlaki sticks and doner around, as well as salads, entrees, pizza, and more. Yasoo Gyro Gourmet!

196-17 Northern Blvd.  Flushing
718.819.2141

www.gyrogourmet.com

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