And if you have only a few bucks to spend on a meal, you can’t go wrong with gyros!
First of all, they’re cheap. OK, relatively cheap. In Greece, they’re about €2-3, which still amounts to about P120-180. It’s actually not that bad. Cyma charges similar prices for their gyros1 Even gyros in Santorini cost about the same, maybe €1 higher.
Second, they’re convenient. You can bring them anywhere. I obviously have great affection (and bias) for street food. The ideal way for me to have gyros is late at night by the gyro stand. One hand is a gyro and a Coke (or beer for the alcoholics out there) on the other.
Lastly, they motherfucking awesome! Gyros are the Greek version of shawarma. The difference?
- The spelling,
- The length of the words,
- Each stall probably spices the meat differently, and
- The sauce.
The same elements are found in every gyro / shawarma / donner kebab: shredded meat, pita, and maybe some veggies. The Greek variety use a sauce called tzatziki, which is an accompaniment to meat, made from yoghurt, cucumber, and garlic. Tastes like the garlic shawarma sauce that we’re familiar with, but a bit different. The one variety that I tried in Athens came with fries. Oh, and if you do get to visit these Mediterranean countries, always go for the lamb variety. Yes, even if it costs you a bit more.
It’s easy to spot a gyro joint. Basically, you see a slab of meat cooked by hanging on a vertical skewer. The good gyro joints usually have the biggest slabs and the longest lines. You can’t go wrong either way. I only had one of these bad boys over there and that’s probably the only regret I have about my recent trip.
Now, let me go all Tony Stark here and go look for a shawarma joint nearby.