The week right before the first day of spring, I rode to work four days; the week after, just the opposite (Technically four and a half). As I stepped out of the office Tuesday afternoon I suddenly had the feeling that Mr. Meteorologist was wrong about “evening showers”. After checking the radar, I donned the 45 degree appropriate gear and booked it across town to grab yet another one of my favorites, Chicago Gyro’s and Dogs.
A buddy of mine on this side of town dropped me a hint about this place a while back. Having spent two years in the Middle East, I actually love the food. I have no doubt that some of my brothers-in-arms would just as soon have plain hamburgers the rest of their life rather than have Middle Eastern anything. I, on the other hand, love Falafel. Truthfully, shawarma is actually my favorite, but this place isn’t Middle Eastern anyway, so we’ll discuss that later. Technically I think Gyros are Greek, but considering Falafel is on menu, I’m grossly lumping the two together (we’ll get into a history lesson later, certainly the cultures have “blended” a bit over the last millennia).
Without further ado, I had the Gyro dog last November after a short local ride. I like hot dogs the way I like sandwiches, they’re finger food, and they’re convenient; need I say more? I am however expressly “thrifty”, at some point, some of these artsy folks need to remember they’re selling a hot dog with condiments, not a bacon wrapped filet. The Gyro dog, being a combination of hot dog and gyro meat still fits the bill for reasonably priced at $3.75. I have regretfully paid $4 elsewhere for an anorexic hot dog with chili in the past, I may have a chip on my shoulder about it. Taking the Gyro Dog down was a job (did I just say that?). Gyro meat piled onto a hot dog with lettuce, tomato, and topped with Tzatziki sauce; it’s definitely a two handed affair. If you don’t have a lot of time and need to make a quick decision, the Gyro dog is a good start if you’re only sampling one item from the menu, or just visiting for the first time.
Tuesday’s visit however was a different affair, short of dodging the impending rain drops due to fall any moment, I was going to try some new items from the menu. Considering my love to Greek pitas and buffalo everything, the “Fingerlickin Kickin Chicken Gyro” seemed just like my cup of tea. Fresh pita bread, grilled chicken slathered in buffalo sauce, onion, tomato, topped with Tzatziki sauce; without fail, it lived up to my expectations. I love spicy food; yet in recent days I’ve been let down a bit from various venues. I am happy to say, this gyro’s buffalo sauce was at the correct spice level that would expect from some of those “other” places. I of course didn’t stop with the gyro; how better to sample the Mediterranean fare, than Greek fries? Fresh cut fries, topped with oregano (I think…), feta cheese, and served with a side of Greek vinaigrette. The wife and I often split loaded fries at our local stops, but these fries were an awesome twist on otherwise average “American fare”. I would actually equate the fries, by themselves, to those served at Penn Station or five guys. Which alone is good, but topped with feta cheese and vinaigrette; I may have a new favorite.
Chicago Gyro’s and Dogs has a pretty legit menu. Considering I was tackling this review solo this time around, hopefully I’ll return later this spring with a follow up. I have quite a few rides planned not far from here, so I imagine I might stop in for a “small snack”. I’ve got big plans to take down the Chicago Dog and the Jalapeno Burger, stay tuned!