I’m proud that Greek food has steadily picked up mainstream steam.
Observant readers may remember that, despite my Anglo surname, I am half Greek. I’ve known and appreciated the cuisine for most of my life. So I’m strangely happy that Dannon makes Greek yogurt, and I’m even glad that Arby’s is apparently doing their best to market gyros — bless their hearts.
If a restaurant serves a gyro, I’ll try it, and it’ll be my personal benchmark of the place’s quality.
Thankfully, there’s not much of a shortage of good gyros around the Triad. In Greensboro alone there are two Mythos Grill locations, Jack’s Corner, Pita Delite, Ghassan’s, Sub Station II and others offering delicious takes on the Mediterranean street-food fixture.
One came as a complete surprise to me.
When I started working with Triad City Beat, I asked what was good near the office. Ginsburg and Green both recommended Uptown Pizza and Wings, but they didn’t suggest the pizza or the wings; they said the sandwiches were worth the quick walk up South Elm-Eugene Street, not far from downtown Greensboro.
The meatball sub at this dive was decent enough to warrant more visits. The chicken and grilled onion sandwich was much better.
On my third visit, I finally noticed they offered a gyro. It ventured a try, I figured.
It was absolutely worth it.
There are a few essential elements marking a great gyro. Grilled pita is a given. If you’re serving gyros on a cold pita, you need to stop. Secondly, the meat must be a mixture of lamb and beef. Third, tzatziki sauce — you can go light or creamy, but it’s gotta be there.
Uptown piles on the gyros. The pita is grilled, warm and fluffy. The gyro meat is spot-on, savory and succulent without being overbearingly greasy.
Also, Uptown hits the hat trick with additional toppings — lettuce, tomato and onions all feature on the sandwich.
The only setback is their tzatziki sauce. It’s certainly passable, but slightly bland: the spread needs more cucumber.
If only their tzatziki was more flavorful, I’d say it would be a contender for best gyro in town.
And that’s not bad when you’re talking about a take-out place attached to a gas station.
It definitely kicks the crap out of Arby’s’.