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Best gyros in Birmingham . . .

I've been craving a gyro for days now. Any suggestions on who has the best?

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  1. There's a gyro and shwarma place downtown across from the Courtyard Marriott near University Hospital. I can't remember the name. It doesn't matter. The gyro was so bad, its better that you don't know, so you have less of a chance of going there. The service was fast efficient and friendly, however.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tom from Raleigh

      Was it called Sinbad's? I work at University Hospital and have tried it before. Not impressive . . . Of course I've tried Purple Onion and Al's, but I'm on the search for something extrordinary.

    2. Purple Onion and Al's is good food for late night eats but that's about it.

      I would try Nabeel's in Homewood (they also have a small grocery store) and I've heard good things about Naji's Pita Gourmet, don't be scared by the W. Valley address.

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: silonius

        For what it's worth, I thought the gyros were weak at Naji's this past Friday. Not enough meat and it wasn't grilled any more after slicing off the spit. Actually I didn't see a spit, but hope i was spit roasted rather than pre-sliced frozen lamb. Good pita though. Decent but bland lentil soup. I will, however, be back to grab some olives from the olive bins at good prices and maybe to pick up some fresh pitas.

      2. I'd fogotten all about Nabeel's! It's been years since I've been there. Their falafel was really good back then. I'll try to go this weekend and try the gyro. Thanks for the memory jog.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sheilal

          My wife got a gyro at Nabeel's and raved about it.

          We also loved the grocery--lots of yummy Russian chocolates and kickass cheese!

        2. Pita Stop was the other one that is popular. I think I ate there once, but am not sure.

          1. When I eat there I feel like I should know better, but I like Pita Loco, especially for a quick work lunch.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Ubertrout

              I've never heard of Pita Loco. Where is it?

              1. re: gyp7318

                Downtown. 2nd Ave. and 20th Street N.

            2. The absolute best gyro in town can be had at Costa's Mediterranean on Lorna Rd. in Hoover. Juicy meat with a charred edge, warm pillowy pita and tangy tzatziki. I drive out of my way for them at lunch - a bargain with a good salad on the side for under $7. Don't miss the house Greek dressing or the bleu cheese. I like to mix them.

              9 Replies
              1. re: BarbDwyer

                My pick is Naji's. No atmosphere, but the falafel is worth it. The Pita Stop near UAB is also good.

                1. re: BarbDwyer

                  Just got back from Costa's. This is definitely the best gyro I have had in town compared to the Purple Onion, Pita Stop, Sinbad's or Naji's. Still need to try the gyro at Nabeel's as I have only had the falafel there. The pita is the best part, but the huge slices of lamb meat, fresh (?) tzatziki, and cherry tomato halves plus lettuce (I think?) are great too. The warm bread loaf provided when you sit down is good as well, but should not be eaten if you plan on finishing the huge gryo and fry platter. Will try the salads next time. I think they gyro was $7.95 w/ the fries.

                  1. re: Dax

                    Ha! I'm so glad you made the trek! They really are the best in town. I always substitute a salad for the fries because the salad dressings are so delicious.

                    I think the whole shebang is $6.95 before 3 pm. After that it goes up a dollar, but either way it's worth the trip.

                    1. re: BarbDwyer

                      I've been a couple more times and the Costa's gyro still stands as my favorite in town. Just finished one from Taziki's and it was fine, but nothing special. I like the pillowy pita at Costa's the best.

                      Costas>Taziki's>Naji's>Pita Stop>Purple Onion>Sinbad's

                      1. re: Dax

                        You're right about the Costa's gyro being great. So is the one at Nabeel's, which is wrapped in locally made pita bread (for sale in the adjoining market, and sometimes available still hot from the oven). If you get the gyro plate at Nabeel's however, you will need to ask for extra pita. You just get a few wedges; not even a full pita's worth of bread.

                        My main complaint about gyros around here is they burn the meat when they're preparing the gyro. That's been the case at Purple Onion, Pita Stop and this place in Cahaba Heights I don't recommend, called the Olive Branch or something like that. The meat on the spit is cooked, so I don't know why they feel the need to char it beyond recognition before assembling.

                        1. re: Big Daddy

                          yeah everyone beat me to it...Costas...lots of thick slices od deilcious meat...good sauce too! Delicious!

                          1. re: birminghamvisitor

                            The whole family went to Al's Deli on 10th St. S last night before the UAB game. I'd forgotten their gyros were so good, so I'm adding them to my list (along with Nabeel's and Costa's Mediterranean). Atmosphere is nothing much, unless it's a nice day because they have an extensive patio area. But the gyros and falafel were good. Their mushrooms were a surprise, nothing spectacular but the sauteed 'shrooms were better than the fried glop I was expecting.

                          2. re: Big Daddy

                            Interesting Big Daddy; I prefer when the meat is grilled a little when it's taken off the spit. You have to be careful taking already cooked meat and crisping on the grill b/c you can overcook very easily. I ate at Olive Branch yesterday and thought the slightly crunchy meat was excellent as well as the thicker pita (thinner than Costas's, thicker than most other places). The tzatziki sauce was a bit of a let down - I like chunks of cool cucumbers in it, not just blended with some random red spices (same as on their fries) and the fries were frozen crinkle-cut.

                            With that said, does anyone know for sure whether Costas is from the spit or previously frozen? Last time I was there, I opened the gyro up and almost all of the slices of lamb were suspiciously of almost uniform length and thickness.

                            1. re: Dax

                              I agree with you on the cooking it some, but did not make that clear in my comment. What I don't like is them cooking it until it's burnt, where I get more carbon than flavor.
                              BTW: We returned to Olive Branch about a month ago and it has improved in that department.

                  2. Al's Deli - over by the college. Absolutely delicious.