It is no secret how much I love food. One of my favorite types of food is Grecian. A few weeks ago after clubbing in Boystown , I found a real gem. You don’t have to travel all the way down Halsted to get Greek food. The best part is that it is just down from the Belmont Red Line at Gyro-Mena. Loosely translated, it means my Gyro. Michael Markellos is the owner of this culinary fest. He loves food and he loves to talk about it.
Michael explained how he got this great idea . “I live about thirty minutes outside of the city and that gives you time to think. When I was in Greece, I thought that nobody has actually brought the authentic Grecian gyro to Chicago. This was a no brainer. I further added the whole Subway/ Chipotle concept to Grecian food.” For the uneducated , an Athenian gyro is one that is made with either pork or chicken meat , onions, tzatziki sauce, and tomato. An American gyro is made with a mixture of beef and lamb meat. Greeks also serve the gyro with fries in the sandwich itself. Michael’s concept takes building the gyro one step further. Someone can actually add toppings like olives , different types of cheese, or peppers to their sandwich just like Subway. There is also an assortment of sauces as well from the traditional tzatzaki to chipotle and lemon terragon yogurt. Michael also is an advocate to the hands on approach. We got a chance to try the pork and chicken meat gyro , but with a twist , Michael had me cut the meat and help to make the gyros. I had to laugh and think that if my college boyfriend who worked in his father’s gyro restaurant could see me now.
The goodies kept coming. Two of Gyro Mena’s best sellers are its tasty Greek fries and Greek potatoes. With the dusting of feta cheese and sprinkling of spices, by far we agreed that we loved the Greek fries best. It was also exciting to see Mike light the saganaki . We also tried some of the traditional Greek dishes like rice pilaf and spanakopita. Dishes like these are made in large batches . There was also a unique twist on two of the favorites, Mike took a small bit of the gyro meat and put in an eggroll wrap. Voila! an gyro roll. He also did the same thing with spanakopita and it is tasty. We topped it off with a piece of chesecake cause its the perfect ending to a great meal.
We want to thank Mike and his staff for a pleasant afternoon . So if you don’t want to go all the way to Greektown or out hitting the bars, head over to Gyro Mena. They stay open till two on the weekends and midnight during the week. Gyro Mena is located at 905 West Belmont .
Gyros come with different kinds of meat. In Greece, they come with chicken or pork. This is the American version that we all know made with a mixture of beef and lambSubway? Nope at Gyro Mena it truly is your gyro. You can choose a topping and sauce for your sandwich
Opa! It the greek dish known as Saganaki . We would call it flaming cheese
Here I am learning to make a gyro. Hey ! I feel like Guy in the kitchen
Here are two of the best sellers. Greek potatoes made with the skins and these heavenly Greek fries dusted with feta
Here I am with my new friend Mike . Great food from a great guy