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Messini on the Danforth

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Connie May 20, 2006 11:04 PM

I went to Messini today to try their gyros and I have to say it was very tasty! They put french fries inside their gyros and then pile on the meat. The onions and tomatoes were fresh and the sauce didn't splatter everywhere. I will be going back to try some of their other items, but I absolutely recommend trying their gyros. Apparently, it's "normal" to have fries in the gyros in Greece!

Link: http://www.messini.ca/home.php

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    bluedog RE: Connie May 22, 2006 07:48 AM

    While the gyros are authentic the service is indifferent to rude. Personally I would avoid and go to alexandros or squareboy instead

    3 Replies
    1. re: bluedog
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      hungryabbey RE: bluedog Dec 17, 2006 11:49 PM

      I agree on squareboy, the guys there are the most fun guys on the danforth

      1. re: hungryabbey
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        chalenegirl RE: hungryabbey Dec 18, 2006 06:34 AM

        square is fab! i lvoe them too, but this place is think is BETTER. i've never ordered a gyros fomr SB's only the soulvaki on a bun and chicken, but i've been told by my friend who lvoes SB that Messini's is better. Abbey, you have got to go TRY it and let me know!! it's by the Wimpy's on the Danforth west of Logan.

        1. re: chalenegirl
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          hungryabbey RE: chalenegirl Dec 18, 2006 12:17 PM

          I actually have had Messinis as well. And I did enjoy it. Theyre different though, and I really need to try them one after the other bc I cant recall which I like better. At Messini's they put the fries in it and I find it a little 'heavier' then SB.. so, it depends on your appetite I think. Though one day Ill have to try them a little closer together to get a better idea.

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      sunnyside RE: Connie May 25, 2006 10:40 AM

      I love Messini Gyros...their Vegetarian Pita, Village Salad,and Greek Fries(with feta and oregano) are great, too. One of the few Greek places that actually stacks pieces of meat on the spit, rather than using processed chopped and formed gyros meat on the spit, or gyros bricks.
      I've been at least 10 times and I've always had good service.
      Sorry to hear Blue Dog hasn't been as lucky.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sunnyside
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        bluedog RE: sunnyside May 27, 2006 01:57 AM

        I'm sorry too!

        I also have to (cautiously, without accusaitons) add that on the last occasion we were there the meat in our souvlaki smelled...off. May just have been us however, and clearly others have had great experience here.

        But it was that combined with watching our drinks take 10 minutes to be delivered to us, while the waiter chatted with his friends, that have kept us from going back. In fact it was SO bad that while we could have (and should have) interupted his conversation we started to place bets on how long it would take for him to pay attention to us. Note that we were no less than 10 feet from our poured drinks and he was in between!

        1. re: sunnyside
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          Fredster RE: sunnyside Jun 21, 2006 01:47 AM

          Messini is the best on the Danforth hands down. Repeat after me: NO ICEBERG IN THE SALAD!!!!!!!

          1. re: Fredster
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            camfrye RE: Fredster Jul 14, 2006 11:21 PM

            I haven't found a better, more authentic gyros in Toronto than at Messini. The place is great for take-out. That said, I've been unimpressed with everything else I've tried there. Stick to what they do best - gyros.

        2. dinin and dishin RE: Connie Jul 14, 2006 11:26 PM

          The fries in the gyros is normal in Greece. Strange, but normal. I just came back and I was wondering where I could get an authentic gyro like the ones I had on the island of Paros. Thanks for providing the answer. I'll have to give it a try.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dinin and dishin
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            acd123 RE: dinin and dishin Nov 11, 2008 11:43 AM

            They sometimes stick fries into pita sandwiches (shawarma, falafel, etc.) in Israel too. I don't mind it once in a while.

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            chalenegirl RE: Connie Dec 17, 2006 09:14 PM

            i had my first Messini experience last night with a few friends. we all had the pork gyros ($4.80) (half ordered chicken btu they ran out of chicken, so the whole table ended up getting pork) and the pork gyros dinner plates ($10) as entrees. we also ordered the greek fries ($5) and the tzatziki ($4.50) as appetizers.
            the gyros were Amazing! they were so goood, very moist, and juicy. the meat was fresh and very tasty. it was rolled in a flat bread that was warm and SO SOFT. as prev mentioned there were french fries in the gyros, which gave it a really nice dimension. i would def. recc trying a gyro here!! the dinner plate came with a gyro, fries (the fries were medallion cut and very crispy), a bowl of greek salad that was covered in feta and was SO DELISH w. large chunks of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, with red onions and herbs - no lettuce!, the bread was also warm and soft, and it came with a black olive paste that was pretty good too. the tzatziki was very fresh tasting served on a plate with a few drops of olive oil drizzled on top and warmed flatbread. the greek fries were the medallion cut fries topped with melted feta and herbs. the boys were really enjoyed this dish but i found it a bit too oily. and one person ordered iced tea and it was extremely watered down. otherwise it was a great and affordable meal! i can't wait to go back and get another gyro.
            to respond to the above posts, i must mention that the 4 of us were there for 3.5 hrs and we had great service, the place was a bit cramped but the waiter was very nice. i also should mention that the entire time we were there it was PACKED, esp by the door which was jammed with ppl getting take out. in the eating area, i don't think there was a table empty for more than 1 min. lots of families and younger adults in the place.
            i will def go back for the great gyros!

            1. satoorisme RE: Connie Nov 11, 2008 11:34 AM

              Don't know about their gyros but, their souvlakis STINK... and uh, I also had their so-called BEEF kebab pita, but I got a chunk of smelly-and-dry-as-hell lamb on it instead... couldn't send it back because I ordered take-out. I do plan on going back to see if their gyros are good enough to make up though.

              7 Replies
              1. re: satoorisme
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                currycue RE: satoorisme Nov 11, 2008 12:01 PM

                You want a good, cheap souvlaki? Go to King's Park at Pape and Mortimer. I've been going there since college 13 years ago and it's still the bomb. Stick to Gyros at Messini. They're really good at what they do. Can't stay I've had any service issues there, but that said, the servers are mostly young students, so I don't expect bistro service when I'm there.

                1. re: currycue
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                  embee RE: currycue Nov 11, 2008 12:58 PM

                  Does kings Park barbecue the whole lambs through the winter, or is this only available during patio season?

                  1. re: embee
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                    currycue RE: embee Nov 12, 2008 07:03 AM

                    Not sure. They changed owners recently (but the food has not changed and maybe even improved slightly) so I'd recommend calling first.

                2. re: satoorisme
                  foodyDudey RE: satoorisme Nov 11, 2008 12:23 PM

                  I ordered a take-out lamb gyros from Messini about 3 weeks ago, and it was terrible: dry and teased like left over bits from the day before.
                  I know the chicken is good. The place just to the east (Lous Meats) has good gyros and souvlaki also.

                  1. re: foodyDudey
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                    currycue RE: foodyDudey Nov 12, 2008 07:03 AM

                    That's good to know. I noticed on my last visit that they've put in seats too.

                    1. re: foodyDudey
                      dinin and dishin RE: foodyDudey Dec 12, 2008 12:42 PM

                      I just had the same experience. It was my first time and I was really looking forward to it after living on these for a couple of weeks in Greece. Imagine my surprise when instead of cutting fresh meat for me, they grabbed it from a pan. I felt like I'd been had when I got home because there were lots of bits that were just fat and none were tender. They seemed to have all the right ingredients on hand, but in the end they didn't pull it together for me. I'm not sure I'll return.

                      1. re: foodyDudey
                        duckdown RE: foodyDudey Dec 12, 2008 12:45 PM

                        Loui's served me very pink (rare-ish) chicken before... beware

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                      fatman0000 RE: Connie Dec 12, 2008 01:05 PM

                      hAD A GREAT LUNCH THERE. gREAT GYRO AND A REAL GREEK SALAD.
                      SERVICE WAS GOOD

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: fatman0000
                        dinin and dishin RE: fatman0000 Dec 12, 2008 01:50 PM

                        Are you a regular?

                        1. re: dinin and dishin
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                          fatman0000 RE: dinin and dishin Dec 12, 2008 01:58 PM

                          NO, NOT A REGULAR, BUT HAVE BEEN A FEW TIMES. PROBABLY BEST TO GO WHEN THEY ARE BUSY. LUNCH OR DINNER HOUR

                          1. re: fatman0000
                            duckdown RE: fatman0000 Dec 12, 2008 03:42 PM

                            I LIKE THE CHICKEN

                            1. re: duckdown
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                              tjr RE: duckdown Dec 12, 2008 05:21 PM

                              My caps lock key is broken; I've had some pretty good gyros at Messini, fresh off the spit. If they were serving them off a tray I wouldn't be eating them though.

                              1. re: duckdown
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                                neighborguy RE: duckdown Dec 12, 2008 07:37 PM

                                Their chicken gyros plate is my go-to meal for when on the Danforth. Really like the toothsome rice and creamy roast potatoes. Will go for this anytime over souvlaki dinners.

                                They have the best salad! And I'm not particularly a fan of those 'greek' salads on the strip.

                                Service has only ever been either inattentive or rude.

                                1. re: neighborguy
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                                  Paradocs RE: neighborguy Dec 12, 2008 09:42 PM

                                  I guess that's the overall consensus - the Chicken gyros' good and the service is on and off, with a touch more on the inattentive side.
                                  First time I went I had the lamb gyros and thought it was really well done, the second time I went they ran out of lamb but the chicken was a a welcome substitute.
                                  I think I had the octopus as well - maybe because I've never had it done that way before but I thought it was pretty good.

                                  For the price, it's a really good bang for the buck, I don't think I paid much more than 10 with the octopus shared among my friend and I, with each of us having a gyro as well.

                                  1. re: Paradocs
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                                    phoenikia RE: Paradocs Dec 13, 2008 04:33 AM

                                    Messini doesn't serve lamb gyros. It's either pork or chicken.

                                    The taste (amount of seasoning/salt, how greasy/non-greasy it is) and size of Messini's gyros varies quite a bit. The last chicken gyros I had was at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and it was twice as big as other visits that had been during the day or earlier in the evening.

                                    I agree with neighbourguy that they have the best salad (specifically the best village salad/horiatiki) on the strip.

                                    1. re: phoenikia
                                      foodyDudey RE: phoenikia Dec 13, 2008 07:37 AM

                                      How sure are you that they don't have lamb gyros?
                                      I had one. And it's on the menu: http://www.messini.ca/menu.php?id=220...

                                      Lamb Gyros Pita - 5.00
                                      Lamb shaved from the spit and served in a pita topped with onions, tomatoes, tzatziki and french fries.

                                      1. re: foodyDudey
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                                        phoenikia RE: foodyDudey Dec 13, 2008 11:04 AM

                                        My bad. Thanks for correcting me.

                                        I've eaten there a few dozen times over the last 5 years, and they always ask if you want pork or chicken when you order a gyro, so I didn't realize they also had a lamb version. I don't think I've seen any of my friends order the lamb.

                                        1. re: phoenikia
                                          foodyDudey RE: phoenikia Dec 13, 2008 11:10 AM

                                          maybe they don't mention it because it's pretty bad. I'll never order it there again. You should try the Louis Meats place next door, the gyros and salad are good. They also have some sliced and fried potatoes with feta cheese that I haven't seen anywhere else.

                                          1. re: foodyDudey
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                                            phoenikia RE: foodyDudey Dec 13, 2008 11:22 AM

                                            Messini also serves potatoes with feta- they call them "Greek fries". They use the round, crinkle cut sliced fries, rather than shoestring fries. Does it look like Louis is slicing and frying up potatoes or are they using frozen sliced potatoes?
                                            I haven't tried Louis, but it is a frequent stop for my friend that lives across the street;)
                                            If I'm craving a lamb souvlaki (not gyros, though- think Zorba's using gyro bricks) late at night, my first choice would be Zorba's, just east of Pape.

                                            1. re: phoenikia
                                              foodyDudey RE: phoenikia Dec 13, 2008 11:30 AM

                                              It appears to be fresh sliced potatoes.

                                              1. re: foodyDudey
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                                                phoenikia RE: foodyDudey Dec 13, 2008 11:43 AM

                                                Thanks, foodyDudey. Next time that I visit the Danforth, I'll have to give their patatas a try.

                                      2. re: phoenikia
                                        dinin and dishin RE: phoenikia Dec 13, 2008 08:24 AM

                                        They do have lamb gyros. I ordered it and the cashier said I should try it first and brought me a sample. Her reason was that it had a higher fat content and that some people didn't like it...I went with the pork.

                                        So here's my next question, shouldn't they take the meat from the skewers and not from a pan on the stove? I am feeling a little ripped off because this is what I received. I think next time I will make sure it is fresh from the skewer.

                                        1. re: dinin and dishin
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                                          tjr RE: dinin and dishin Dec 13, 2008 04:56 PM

                                          I've seen more than one place do this. Some places throw the slices (even after it was just fresh-sliced!) onto a grill, but I'm not really sure why.

                                        2. re: phoenikia
                                          gnuf RE: phoenikia Dec 14, 2008 02:17 PM

                                          What makes it the best horiatiki, phoenikia? I chose Messini last night with my GF solely on the basis of this comment :-) but couldn't notice anything that made it stand out.

                                          On another note, the loud dance music played over tiny speakers is annoying enough that we probably wouldn't return for a sit-down meal (even after asking the waitress to turn it down).

                                          1. re: gnuf
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                                            phoenikia RE: gnuf Dec 14, 2008 02:32 PM

                                            The ratio of tomatoes: cucumbers: peppers: onions: olives is more balanced at Messini, compared to many restaurants which focus on the cucumber because it's cheaper than the tomatoes and peppers.
                                            Messini also uses a higher quality, fruitier olive oil than most of the other restaurants on the Danforth. Many of the restaurants on the Danforth rely on a thin, almost commercial dressing, but the simple olive oil and vinegar with a little oregano that you find at Messini is more typical of what you would find in Greece or in a Greek Canadian home. The cheese at Messini is also a decent grade of feta, creamier than what many of the economical restaurants use, and I've never found it to have the oxidized flavour that I've noticed in feta in the horiatiki on one occasion at the Ouzeri.

                                            Sorry if the salad wasn't stand out for you and your gf last night ;(. It's possible that Messini's salads haven't been consistent lately, or that the quality of the tomatoes available this time of year mean it's impossible to have a great horiatiki in December. I've found their gyros to be incredibly inconsistent.

                                            In the summer, I've noticed their tomatoes are always ripe, and I haven't seen them use the cardboard winter tomatoes that many places rely on.
                                            I have to confess, I don't usually eat raw tomatoes outside of Ontario tomato season, so I order maroulosalata this time of year if I'm on the Danforth.

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