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Best Gyro in Boston

cloudship Mar 21, 2008 01:04 PM

Going to be downtown tomorrow, looking for the best Chicken Gyro. Have been craving one for some time now. Definitely needs puffy bread. And needs to be accessible by T. What's your picks?

  1. Alcachofa Mar 31, 2008 01:11 PM

    N-E-1 know what is up with the Mediterano folk?

    1. b
      Blumie Mar 30, 2008 05:11 PM

      Thwarted again. I made it to Farm Grill for the first time since this thread was started, only to find them out of the beef-and-lamb gyro. So I ordered the chicken gyro instead, and notwithstanding the assurances of the customer behind me in line that it was better than the beef and lamb, it was not. It was fine, but not nearly as flavorful as I remember the beef and lamb being.

      Note, when I arrived a little before 6:00 on a Sunday, every table except one was taken. (They have counter service only, but a small room full of tables to eat your meal. By the time I left at around 6:30, the line to order extended to the door.

      [Edited to add: So I had ordered two chicken gyros at Farm Grill tonight, one for me and one for my daughter. My daughter was not feeling well, so I brought it home and stuck it in the fridge. I just now reheated it and ate it, but instead of eating it as a pita sandwich, I ate the chicken off of the pita, and then ate the pita separately. It was much better than the first one. Although I still think I would have preferred the beef and lamb gyro, the chicken gyro was much better without the pita, and then the pita, with the flavor it absorbed of the chicken, feta and spices, was magnificent.]

      1 Reply
      1. re: Blumie
        suslak615 Mar 31, 2008 12:11 PM

        Filabuster up on Beacon Hill makes a decent one

      2. b
        BJK Mar 29, 2008 08:35 AM

        In addition to the excellent Gyro at Farm Grill in Newton, another non-downtown Gyro worth accolades is at Greek Corner in Cambridge.


        5 Replies
        1. re: BJK
          CambridgeFoodie Mar 29, 2008 09:46 AM

          do you have any idea where I can buy gyro meat to make at home?

          Many years ago, Costco had it but does not sell it anymore.

          Thank you.

          1. re: CambridgeFoodie
            yumyum Mar 29, 2008 09:50 AM

            On the right hand of your screen, you should see "sponsored links" and the first one is for partenonfoods.com -- you can order it online from them.

          2. re: BJK
            cloudship Mar 29, 2008 08:15 PM

            Any places that ARE downtown, or in Back Bay?

            1. re: cloudship
              BostonZest Mar 30, 2008 07:11 AM

              The only place I know of is Cafe Jaffa at 48 Gloucester St between Boylston and Newbury. But, I've never ordered the gyro there so I can't tell you what it is like.

              The entry on "menu pages" says the Steve's Greek Restaurant at 316 Newbury Street serves gyro. Again, I can't comment on the quality of their offering.

              1. re: cloudship
                MC Slim JB Mar 30, 2008 07:24 AM

                My emergency backup gyros is at Billy's Sub Shop on E. Berkeley St in the South End, but I doubt it's house-made.

            2. g
              grant.cook Mar 24, 2008 11:01 AM

              Its nowhere near downtown, but I get a mean shwarma at a place called Saab's in Norwood (on Route 1) - the rotisserie's look proper - no "formed meat cylinder", but instead with cuts of lamb or chicken stacked and juicy veggies on top to marinate the meat. Being that everyone is speaking some middle eastern language, it comes across at pretty authentic to me.

              1 Reply
              1. re: grant.cook
                tbiscaia Mar 24, 2008 05:16 PM

                I'll second Saab's as a delicious shwarma choice, although I haven't explored other similar places so don't honestly know how it compares. Mouthwatering just thinking about it though... unbeatable prices, too - just $3.99 for shwarma sandwich, a meal unto itself. They also have some great fresh homemade deserts, check out the bakery counter.

                FYI it's at the Dean St. - Rt 1 intersection next to Ocean State Job Lob.


              2. MC Slim JB Mar 21, 2008 08:00 PM

                Not downtown, but an excellent chicken (though this is not my favorite) and an excellent lamb gyros (my benchmark for such a place) are to be found at Farm Grill in Newton. For an Israeli-style shawarma, I love Rami's in Coolidge Corner. My favorite doner kebab is at Brookline Family in Brookline Village, a place that amazes on a lot of fronts.

                21 Replies
                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  snifflyfro Mar 21, 2008 09:22 PM

                  I must second Farm Grill in Newton. It's excellent. Their lamb and chicken gyros are great.

                  1. re: snifflyfro
                    snifflyfro Mar 22, 2008 09:58 AM

                    A note about Farm Grill, if you get there after 7 or 7:30 you rub the risk of them running out of gyro meat.

                  2. re: MC Slim JB
                    newhound Mar 24, 2008 08:04 AM

                    MC, initiate me into the finer points of gyro/shawarma making...do most places buy the big cylinders of meat from wholesalers and just spin and carve them in-house, or do most places make their own? What's the case with Farm Grill?

                    1. re: newhound
                      MC Slim JB Mar 24, 2008 08:31 AM

                      You've got me on that one. The typical process is scalloping of the meat (lamb leg being the most popular Greek option in the States, though I believe pork is more popular in Greece, not sure what cut), marinating it in a garlic-heavy herb/seasoning mix overnight, stacking/pressing, then vertical grilling. But I have no idea how much of that process is outsourced rather than done in-house by local makers of gyros, döner kebab, and shwarma.

                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                        okello Mar 24, 2008 08:03 PM

                        Generally I think the gyros you get in the US are a mix of lamb and beef. They have an interesting bit on the types of meat used on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyros

                        1. re: okello
                          almansa Mar 29, 2008 10:17 AM

                          Yes - we refer to it as blamb. It is a processed product.

                      2. re: newhound
                        lergnom Mar 24, 2008 11:20 AM

                        There is an industry that makes the cylinders. They build them up chunk by chunk. I've seen it on film but not in person.

                        1. re: newhound
                          teaTomE Mar 24, 2008 07:52 PM

                          At Moody's in Central Square you can often see them preparing the chicken shwarma cylinders to the side - stacking the marinated chicken pieces on the central spike. It's a huge amount of chicken to make one cylinder.

                          1. re: newhound
                            MC Slim JB Mar 25, 2008 09:43 AM

                            Just pondering this question some more: I'm wondering if a looser, more irregular stack of clearly separate pieces of meat (of the kind I see at Farm Grill, Rami's, and other places) is more indicative of house-made rather than factory-made donner/shwarma/gyros.

                            The lamb/beef gyros I see at cheapie Greek pizza joints, and even at places I like (e.g., Billy's Sub Shop) clearly looks more like a factory-made product, and it tends to have a uniform, cookie-cutter kind of seasoning and less appealing, rubbery texture as well. That fact that Farm Grill sometimes runs out of gyros late in the day favors the house-made theory, in my mind. But I don't really know.

                            1. re: MC Slim JB
                              Blumie Mar 25, 2008 09:53 AM

                              Because this thread had me hankerin' for a gyro last night, I made the mistake of buying one from a Halal truck that parks outside my NYC apartment at night. The appearance of the meat on the cylinder was not at all appealing -- it clearly was one of those factory-made slabs of meat -- and the meat did not have any of the wonderful flavor that the Farm Grill gyro has. It was such a disappointment!

                              1. re: Blumie
                                MC Slim JB Mar 25, 2008 10:05 AM

                                The factory products aren't especially appetizing to behold: http://www.kronosproducts.com/p-meats... . I suspect that instead of this company's Premium product, you might have gotten something akin to its Titan meat cone, which is described as "competitively priced".

                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                  Blumie Mar 25, 2008 02:24 PM

                                  I'm sure that's what I had. But I think that the "portion control strips" tasted better than the meat!

                                2. re: Blumie
                                  galleygirl Mar 25, 2008 10:08 AM

                                  It seems I read somewhere that for street food in NY, vendors must use the cones, as opposed to the handmade variety....

                            2. re: MC Slim JB
                              Blumie Mar 24, 2008 11:52 AM

                              I just saw Farm Grill's gyro written up somewhere. The Phoenix, perhaps? Anyhow, I agree that it's awesome. Farm Grill is a wonderful place that, although loved on this board, doesn't get enough air time!

                              1. re: Blumie
                                bear Mar 24, 2008 12:24 PM

                                Do you think it would stand up to takeout?

                                1. re: bear
                                  Blumie Mar 24, 2008 12:44 PM

                                  Yes, but (1) it's messy, so would be hard to eat in a car, for example, and (2) it smells so good that it would be hard to go far without eating it.

                                  1. re: bear
                                    emilief Mar 24, 2008 12:48 PM

                                    I did the Farm Grill gyro for takeout and was unhappy because they piled the meat on top of the greek salad in the same container. It was really messy and ruined it so if you take it out ask them to separate the two.

                                    1. re: emilief
                                      Dax Mar 24, 2008 01:25 PM

                                      Weird, I ate there about once every two weeks working in Needham (usually takeout) and never had them do that with a gyro wrap plate. Maybe with just a gyro platter ...

                                    2. re: bear
                                      bear Mar 24, 2008 01:07 PM

                                      Thanks for the tips. I'll have to put it in the back of the hatchback for the 15 minute ride home. And definitely separate packaging for the meat and salad.

                                    3. re: Blumie
                                      MC Slim JB Mar 24, 2008 12:59 PM

                                      You know that was my Phoenix write-up, right? Tip of the lid to hiddenboston for spurring me to visit.

                                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                                        Blumie Mar 24, 2008 01:18 PM

                                        I didn't notice. Sorry. I guess it's a good thing I didn't post anything bad about it here! If it makes you feel any better, I was reading it while on the Silver Line to Logan and wanted to turn around and drive out to Newton rather than catch my flight to NYC.

                                  2. Alcachofa Mar 21, 2008 03:12 PM

                                    Speaking of which, does anyone know where Mediterano, formerly of the Filene's Building, ended up? If anywhere?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Alcachofa
                                      avial Mar 24, 2008 12:04 PM

                                      I would like to know as well, seriously missing those gyros.

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