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Central FL area, great gyros?

i'm always in search of a delicious gyro. i don't like that limp, steamed pasty looking gyro meat either.....i want some nice thick slices that have been crisped up nicely along the edges. (either grilled or on that rotisserie thingy) and the tatzsiki sauce must be thick and delicious as well. a nice crispy yet soft pita makes things perfect.

so far, i've had pretty GOOD ones at:

mykonos mayeron in longwood
greek flame taverna in casselberry
andros on orange avenue (not sure if it's still there - haven't been in years - evidently it's gone, now it's a more upscale italian place called zabella)
and oddly enough, a dive sort of place off michigan called theo's kitchen - their tatziki sauce was the best of anyone's -- granted i haven't been in several years but used to eat there regularly when i worked in downtown orlando

NOT very good at: (these served those limp pasty things of which i spake)

athens cafe in altamonte
athenian garden cafe on orange avenue (near FL hospital)
cafe annie's downtown orlando (although their roast chicken was awesome)
athena roasted chicken in maitland

i've had hit/miss with taki's in eustis.

anyone have any good/bad gyro experiences or recs to share for central FL?

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  1. Athens Cafe is in Casselberry/Winter Springs, if we're talking about the same one. Red Bug and Tuskawilla, around the corner from Albertson's? Their gyros aren't bad, but I like Greek Flame Taverna much better.

    Right in that area, Patsio's Diner doesn't serve a bad gyro either. The worst I've had in this area are at Flea World in Sanford, but I guess as a Chowhound, I could have guessed you wouldn't get the best gyro in the world from a shady flea market.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

      the athens cafe i tried was in a strip mall off of 436 in altamonte just east of the mall area - oh wait, maybe it's athenAs - see there i go again misnaming places *grin*

      1. re: hitachino

        Yep, that would be Athena, before I left the area I worked at Staples which used to be next door to it. Wasn't ever impressed with the place.

    2. Greek Flame Taverna in Casselberry really is my favorite. You can also get a gyro platter, which IMO, gives you more meat and saves you from making a mess of yourself!

      1. If you can expand your definition of Central Florida a bit west (quite a bit), Tarpon Springs might as well be called Gyro City and is worth a day trip. The tourist area near the sponge docks (Dodecanese Blvd. and Athens Street) has about a dozen places offering all the basics.

        I'm not much of a red-meat eater but can vouch for the chicken version (souvlaki) and the tzatziki at Hellas, Mr. Souvlaki and Mykonos, to name the first three that come to mind.

        Happy hunting!

        1 Reply
        1. re: swisherb

          I second Tarpon Springs. They have a large Greek population and that means the real deal

        2. Better known for their pizzas, I liked the Stavro's Pizza gyros better than Taki's when I lived in Leesburg.

          I don't know whether the nice, crispy quality to the meat you describe is a product of freshness or not, but at Cafe Annie's, one time it's nice and juicy and crispy and the next it's mushy.

          Athenian Garden is gone, althought the condo that replaced it is supposed to have space for the restaurant when it opens later this year. I always ate the chicken, but my recollection was that they had a good gyro also.

          Theo's was open last summer, but have not checked on them lately. Didn't find it the cleanest or friendliest place in town on my visit.

          Andos was replaced by Za Bella which (long story short) is now closed. no gyros there.

          Mykenos still is a home run, despite a change in owners a year or so ago.

          I'm told the key to a good gyro is the quality of the meat. Those big molded slabs of meat can vary vary widely in quality -- obviously the best ones are the most expensive. The cheaper ones contain beef and even pork sometimes.
          No one in Orlando, to my knowledge, is making gourmet Greek food and, if they are, they aren't serving gyros.

          Tarpon Springs is worth the drive if you want a good one.

          Bob

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bob Mervine

            I was at Theo's Kitchen about a month ago, it's still there but still not terribly clean or friendly

            1. re: Bob Mervine

              I had the pleasure of dining at Taverna Opa last week. It's another new restaurant at Pointe Orlando, part of a South florida chain in expansion mode.

              Their gyro is either chicken or pork, no lamb or lamb/beef amalgamation. It was one of the few things I didn't try.

              However, go for the lamb ribs, the taramosalata (caviar spread for fresh pita bread), smelts, gorgeous, tender, smoky grilled octopus, and those are just meze. In fact, you never have to leave the appetizer list.
              Their pastitsio (Greek lagagna) is also fabulous as is their seafood, pretty much al fresh. And the feta is out of the world.

              Bob

            2. Hands down the best gyros and hummus in Orlando are made at the Mediterranean Deli on Fairbanks Avenue. It is located at the small strip mall at the intersection Fairbanks and Adanson just North of Edgewater.

              Waleed is there to greet every customer with a smile and a sample. All the food is amazing and gyros are as big is your head. The humms is smooth and delicious and the spanokopita is some of the best I've ever tasted.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tootlesquat

                Tootles,
                Went there yesterday and Waleed is there just like you said. We are sitting there waiting for our much anticipated Gyros and in comes this guy who obviously has been there before because he says to Waleed, "How are the best Gyros in America today?!!" I knew we were in the right place. I've tried 3 otehr Gyro joints in O-town nd 2 in Lake Mary / Heathrow. and not one of them compares to this one. OK, I'll give you that the meat is probably comparable in most of them. BUT Waleed's Tatziki (sp?) Sauce is the best by far!!!

                Thanks again to all those who have made suggestions for us O-town Newbs!!