Every so often I get this incredible hankering for an authentic gyro sandwich. For me, authentic means a warm pita filled with gyro meat fresh off the spit not out of a pan, topped with a few onions and tomatoes and slathered in tzatziki sauce(garlic cucumber sauce). It can’t have just any tzatziki sauce it has to be made with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
On February 16-17, The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church held “Taste of Greece.” The event took place at the church’s recreation center. I was fortunate enough to go along with my family that Sunday. Right when we walked through the doors, tables lined us on both sides. One table displayed pastries for purchase and the other table sold little trinkets for visitors.
As we continued our walk to the gym, Greek music was blaring and the smell of delicious foods hung in the air. On the menu was: roasted chicken dinners, Greek Salad Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna), Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), Spanakopita (spinach pie) and the popular Gyro Sandwich (pronounced yeer-oh).
The gyro is one of my personal favorite sandwiches of all time so of course that’s what I ordered. Unfortunately for the church, I was not impressed with their sandwich. Some of the meat was too thin and crusty and the tzatziki sauce tasted more like a ranch dip than a garlic cucumber sauce. As a Greek gal the sandwich did not meet my standards. The gyro sandwiches the church serves during Greek Fest seem to be of better quality.
For those like me who crave a Gyro sandwich every now and again here are my top two establishments:
- Golden Gyros, a takeout and cash only establishment in West Allis, features a variety on its menu: Salads, Gyros, and Burgers, sides, ice cream and baklava. The small restaurant also features limited outdoor seating.
The only thing I order off of their menu is the gyro meal it includes a beverage, French fries, Tzatziki sauce on the side and a Greek side salad. It is perfect for those on a dinner run craving an entire meal with a little extra.
Pros: The meat is hot off the spit, you’ll be provided with a lot of food and the price is about $10.
Cons: The drive is far for some and the gyros are overflowing with meat. Some may find the excess of meat to be a problem due to not enough pita bread or sauce to go with it.
Address: 7233 W Lincoln Ave Milwaukee, WI 53219 Neighborhood: West Allis
- Oakland Gyros, It’s set up like any fast food place. It is located on the east side of Milwaukee and accepts cash and credit. The variety on their menu is much larger than Golden Gyros. They offer, sandwiches, combos, platters and a wider variety of sides such as rice pilaf (white rice with a tomato sauce on top) and Greek fries (Greek seasoning and feta cheese on top). The restaurant also has baklava for dessert.
Pros: I was completely blow away by this restaurant. The price range is slightly less than Golden Gyros. I recommend the Gyro platter with the rice pilaf as the side, it is my favorite. This platter does not include salad but does offer olives peppers and feta cheese on the side. The regular “combo” only includes the sandwich and a drink. Another plus it that this platter is almost two dollars less than the gyro meal at Golden Gyro.
The quality of the meat and sauce at Oakland Gyros is by far the best of any Gyros I’ve eaten in the Milwaukee area.
Cons: The two dollars saved by purchasing this meal instead of the other may end up going into your gas tank since it is a pretty hefty drive for some.
2867 N Oakland Ave Milwaukee, WI 53211 Neighborhoods: East Side, Riverside Park