Stayed in a gyro kind of mood and went looking for Mr. Gyro over on west 38th street. It is in a plaza that USED to have a Best Buy. Machu Picchu and Absynnia are in the plaza behind Mr. Gyro's stand-alone building.
(Indy Grub Review - home of the worst food blog pictures in town!)
Mr. Gyro definitely reminds you of a lot of grills in the Chicago-land area. The menu must have about 70 items. I went in wanting a gyro, but when looking at the menu I was definitely considering trying their Italian beef sandwich (especially since this rating entry from Serious Eats was in my head). Anyhow, I got the gyro and a Chicago dog. The Better Half had the gyro special, which came with a side (fries or salad).
I should first take a step back. Mr. Gryo is a pretty simple, unadorned place. It is an early 80s style fast food joint, with simple laminate tables and booths. Fairly clean, but not fancy by any stretch. Still, this place had me excited. It seemed grub worthy!
The Chicago dog I got was fairly true to form, but not the "right" neon green relish, and no sport peppers! You gotta have the sport peppers. Otherwise, ti was a decent dog, but nothing that Hot Doug or Gold Coast Dogs would consider the genuine article.
The gyros are enormous. Like, a mountain of sliced meat on a nice thick pita. Like, between the two of us, we left enough for likely another healthy gyro if one was so inclined to stuff themselves. This is not a thin pita pocket like at Sam's Gyros, but a 3/8ths inch thick pita disk. Lots of onions and tomato slices, some pretty average taziki (don't feel like looking up the spelling...) sauce. But... i don't know. The taste was good. But, maybe I was just over enthusiastic about the grub potential and the huge portion for your dollar. But... overall, it was just a pretty average gyro. And, I even felt like it needed a bit of salt, which is rare for a pita sliced from those enormous meat cones on a vertical spit..... The salad was a nice sized portion, lots of feta, quite a few olives, but just iceberg lettuce, which is pretty common even at nicer Mediterranean restaurants.
So, really, while I felt like it was great value, and very filling, I thought the taste was a bit below average on this visit. The Better Half definitely concurred.
The verdict: 2.5 belly rubs (out of 5) - huge portions, average taste.
Now, I got thinking about gyros some. I've stated my preference for the one at Saffron Cafe, and it is a more truly meat item that is presented on the pita. But, for most of the more mid-range to cheaper places, they are the giant cone of meat (or meat-like substance). And, I'm not sure, but how many places offer said meat cone? Mr. Gyro had a poster for Kronos, and you can check out their meat cones here. They offer a 35 pound meat cone. That'll be a winner at your next tailgate party. Anyhow, if you start with the same meat-like substance from the giant cone of meat, how much can some of these places really differ? Are all meat cones alike? I don't really know, but it is something to consider.