"We could be gyros…just for one day."

Last night’s solo excursion to Bay-Dyker Ridge-Heights (in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge run-up) was inspired by Friday’s Sietsema article which promised good, cheap gyro.  I felt a bit like those people who immediately swamp the latest chic restaurant after the NYT offers its esteemed opinion.  Difference being that, when I got to Spartan Souvlaki, there was one table taken, rather than hordes of review-chasing glitterati stuffed into every corner.  Thank goodness.

Spartan Souvlaki’s premises are anything but undecorated – it’s the only restaurant I’ve been to in the last few years (with the possible exception of the dining room in my great-grandmother’s nursing home) that has had flowers painted on the ceiling.  The rest of the décor seems to be like the living room in a suburban McMansion as imagined by someone whose hobby was painting reproductions of ancient pottery.

Let none of this distract you from looking to your right upon entry – behind glass and running rampant over the condiment cooler is a pile of some of the ripest tomatoes I’ve ever seen.  On days like today, when the heat is so bad that cold meals seem far preferable, it’s enough to make you wish for a cucumber or possibly some fresh mozzarella.  They find good application, though, in the gyro sandwich – a true monsterpiece that adds enormous heapings of yummy meat, lettuce and red onions to the tomatoes, and adds a generous dollop of tzatziki to bind it all together.  Warning: this tzatziki has so much raw garlic in it that it is just as pungent as a hot pepper, only without capsaicin.  It’s enough to ward off Dracula, or maybe just figure out if that cute girl you dragged out here really likes you or just wants a weird story to write about on her blog.  Mmm, garlic-breath.

A brief word on the meat itself: Gyro meat should not be the same formulation as doner kebap meat.  Something about the spicing changes between the Turkish and Greek meat, despite visual similarity.  In my opinion, too, it shouldn’t be dripping – the meat should have fat, but it ideally walks the line between un-rendered grossness and dripping greaseness.  Spartan Souvlaki gets this, and I’m glad they do – it’s the best Gyro I’ve had in a long time, and maybe ever.

Did I mention it was huge?  Okay, fair enough, but you should also know that it’s sided with fresh, skin-on, hand-cut French fries that are mighty tasty.  Save some room.

I used to go to a Greek place outside the city walls of Rothenburg o.d.T, Germany – it was one of the few places in town that served anything but German food, and was also the last place to eat (besides the Shell station, which sadly had no microwavable burritos) on the way back to the place I was staying.  I’d grab a table in the leafy garden (I actually don’t think I ever went in!) and have a leisurely meal.  Spartan Souvlaki, which also has a fairly pleasant-looking outside garden that I’ll investigate on a cooler day, is Brooklyn’s equivalent, and I actually think the food is better.   Sweet.

1 Comment

Filed under NYC

One response to “"We could be gyros…just for one day."

  1. Puns are usually not fun. But your title is the funniest f**ing thing I’ve ever seen.

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