Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
Dec 18, 2007 09:52 PM

What restaurants make their gyro meat in-house?

I had a gyro from Austin Greek Deli, today. It's sizable and flavorful enough to justify $4.95. But the pita breads are kept in their manufacturer's box in the RC Cola refrigerator for all to see. I've also seen his store-bought tzatsiki sauce in there. And today, for the first time, I saw him dip into a bucket of pre-sliced gyro meat to top off my sandwich. Normally I watch him slice it off the loaf. Does he make his own loaf, if he buys everything else pre-made?

Sarah's Mediterranean Grill uses those prepackaged individually sliced gyro products which are way too salty. They had a gyro on a vertical spit for about a week before they gave up, I guess.

And then I saw an episode of the F-Word (a Gordon Ramsay show on the BBC) where one of Ramsay's buddies did a report on what goes into the donner kebabs (which are gyros to us) people buy off the street in England. He went to a factory where the loaves were made and was happy to find out that they were basically just meat and spices. No wheat germ or weirdness.

So who here can say definitively which restaurants use either home made loaves of delicious gyro meat, who buys the weird slices that Sarah's uses, and who makes the loaves themselves? And if most of the gyros in Austin all contain the same meat, do you think Austin would flock to a restaurant with real home-made gyros?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I guess the only way to find out how they source or make their meat is to ask them. In general, if you've had the real thing, you'll find the gyros offerings in Austin tend to fall short, although I haven't tried this place in Bastrop yet. My thoughts on Tino's "Greek" Cafe are summed up here: .

    Good luck in your search, and keep us posted!

    1. El Greco - just north of UT Campus on Guadalupe is house made. It's made of pork, not lamb, but it's not the formed "loaf".

      Milto's and Athenian Grill (to re-open soon at 6th/Congress?) appear to use pre-made loaf.

      Recent thread on Cheap Greek near downtown:

      (Side Note) The most amazing Gyro I ever had was in London near the Picadilly Circus tube stop - house made, huge chunks of lamb, amazing...

      7 Replies
      1. re: LakeLBJ

        Yes, the kebab shops of London are pretty good. Many of them are Turkish or Cypriot, rather than mainstream Greek. Let's hope our thread doesn't get shifted to the UK Board!

        1. re: TAF

          Kebab's ARE Turkish food. Doner Kebab, Schwarma, w/e else they call it, it's still the same rotating meat dish that was invented in Bursa long ago.(at least this is what the turks tell me)

        2. re: LakeLBJ

          El Greco's gyro is marinated pork stacked up on the spit like you'd see with chicken schwarmas. I had it. It was good but it was expensive. $7.50+ for a gyro with about 1/2 the meat of the gyro at Longhorn Po-Boys, my regular place.

          I put the plus on the price because El Greco has variable pricing on their food items. They only buy natural meats and organic produce so they market price a lot of their food. I had a gyro, fries and a drink and it was $13.50. That's a little too expensive for an everyday lunch for me.

          1. re: The Tres Leches

            Cripes! $13.50 for a lunch gyro?! uhm, Milto's is just dandy for my gyro cravings.

            1. re: The Tres Leches

              I agree on the pricing. I touched on that in my review in the recent greek thread. The problem is - it's a lunch place with a lunch atmosphere with dinner prices. I can't see it lasting. Most of the things on the menu were $12+, there were just a few sandwiches in the $8 range. And that's JUST for a sandwich. They need to get some lunch combos for $7.99...

              1. re: The Tres Leches

                The best gyro I've ever had is from a street vendor in Athens, Greece. I went to El Greco because I thought it might come close to something authentic, but I was disappointed with what I got. Certainly the processed beef and lamb hunks you get at every other supposedly Greek restaurant in town would never ever be passed off as a gyro in Greece. How about some real meat instead of all that mystery stuff? Or how about quit calling it a Greek gyro when it isn't? I guess at least El Greco tries, but, in my opinion, fails.

              2. re: LakeLBJ

                El Greco only serves "gyros" with the most sarcastic of quotation marks. Ask for one and you had better relish your tiny pork taco on pita bread because the chunk of change they'll ask for could put you in hog heaven at some other eatery. I spit in their general direction for being conveniently located for me while having ridiculous prices, middling portions, and the nerve to foist 8 dollar pork tacos on the neighborhood.

                1. re: ieathereforeiam

                  And Phonecia makes their own pita bread too. Buy a bag to go and then snarf two of them in the car on the way home. Oh, wait, that's me. Actually I'm fond of several things at Phonecia - the roast chicken sandwich is really good - rolled up in a fresh pita with lettuce, tomato, and VERY garlicky mayo.

                  Also, their house bagged nuts and seeds are somewhat unique. I like the lemon pistachios. And they have some squash seeds that are totally addicting. It says squash seeds on the label and I have no idea what kind of squash it is, but they look and taste like regular pumpkin seeds, which I realize is a squash so maybe it's a language thing. Anyway, they have heavy salt and light salt - get the light salt or your tongue will fall off trying to eat them.

                2. But... the Kronos Gyrokones are awesome. I've tried a few house-made versions and I keep going back to the places that serve Kronos. I'm actually looking to buy a whole cone or two if anybody knows a source. I asked at a few restaurants but they weren't too keen on selling or ordering any for me.


                  It has to be the beef and lamb version. Even their economy "Titan" version is very edible.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sqwertz

                    At the Kronos web site, click on the distributor link and I wouldn't be surprised if he would call an Austin area company that would sell it to you at a reasonable rate

                  2. The original comment has been removed