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Zo - Greek Lunch Spot in Center Plaza

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The new Greek place where Café Latino was originally located opened today. Just had the regular gyro and a spanakopita (I think they gave it to me for free) and it was very good – somewhere quality-wise between Farm Grill and Mediteraneo. The spanakopita was actually one of the better ones I’ve had – they didn’t hold back on the butter (or possibly oil) between the filo layers, making it nice and crispy (no tongue-piercing shrapnel from the pastry). Ingredients all fresh, and the meat was sliced from actual cuts, not the giant cone of meat-colored particle board you see so often.

 
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  1. Forgot to mention - meats are pork and chicken.

    1. I'll have to tell my friends who work downtown about this, as they all seem to like Greek food.

      I can't find anything on this place online (probably because the name is so short and unusual). Hopefully a menu will get posted soon.

      3 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston

        Where exactly in Center Plaza is this place? Are we talking the Center Plaza building in Government Center?

        1. re: mwk

          Yes, that's right - there are stairs and an escalator that lead up to the courthouses behind center plaza. Go right at the top of the escalator (I am a chowhound) and it's right there.

        2. re: hiddenboston

          Just went there today and it was great. Here's their website:

          http://zoboston.com/Home_Page.php

        3. mmm... gyro... only if this was about 200 yards closer as my office was less than 100 yards from where Mediterraneo stood.

          6 Replies
          1. re: avial

            I'd say it's worth the trek - I'm adding it to my rotation. I'm going to try the chicken, next. Looks like all white meat, so it could potentially be bit dried out.

            1. re: nsenada

              I had their original gyro today and found that the meat was a bit dried out. It being the only half-decent gyro in the area, it'll have to do but I think Mediterraneo was still better.

              1. re: avial

                I tried this place too the other day and it was pretty good, its nice to have a 2nd greek place in the area along with the Fila Buster, they have some similar stuff there as well..

                1. re: suslak615

                  Shouldn't that be the Filo-Buster? ;)

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    Or (as caught on FBI surveillance tape, to Diane Wilkerson's chagrin) the Fill-a-Bra'ster?

                2. re: avial

                  Sultans Kitchen has a very good gyro - especially on the days when it is made with lamb (some days it is chicken).

            2. Got to Zo today - had the "classic" gyro for $6.75 - it was outstanding!

              Loads of fresh sliced pork - as mentioned above, real meat - not the usual gyro-meat-amalgam. More meat than I ever have had on a gyro before - good fresh tomatoes, onions, parsley, yogurt sauce - also kept getting nice bites of fresh dill. Bread fluffy warm very fresh. The meat was too salty I think, but was not dried out at all - unlike what avial noted - hopefully they worked that out - The abundant tomatoes and sauce helped to sort of balance it out. Right now, this is my new favorite lunch spot.

              They also offer chicken, and also a tuna pita and a pita with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Fast line - clean digs. I think all sandwiches are in the 6.75 range.

              They have stuffed grape leaves for $3.75 which look to be about 8-9 per pack.

              Go now - and tell your friends.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                I had the chicken gyros last week and found it so juicy. The grilled flatbread held well but my only complaint was the over abundance of the yogurt sauce. This place will definitely be added to my lunchtime rotation.

              2. Still haven't tried the chicken, but the pork was great, again. I may try to sneak some fatback onto the rotisserie while they're not looking, and I wish they wouldn't advertise that the yoghurt is low fat.

                1 Reply
                1. re: nsenada

                  I had the chicken - less salty than the pork (no surprise) and mounds of meat - felt like at least a half lb. - I think I preferred it to the pork, but I will just have to keep re-sampling to make sure. ;)

                2. Finally got over and tried the pork gyro - tasty, but too salty. They recommended the chicken one and I'll be back for that. The mozzarella sandwich was decent and today I went for a nice little lentil soup. I like the squishy pita bread.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cindywho

                    Just had the chicken, and for the first time, I can say that I actually prefer chicken over pork. Really juicy, and slightly crispy on the outside in a couple spots. I also had a baklava, which was excellent - not gushy from having sat in the syrup for too long, and not overly sweet. Now if only they could get some galaktobouriko (sp? plural?) in there...

                  2. Made it over today for asn early lunch..great pork gyro. The owner , Andy is the former owner of Mediterraneo..so that explains any similarities. I always liked Med and like this place even more. Take the stairs up at 3 Center Plaza and take a hard right..few tables for sit down.

                    BTW, for fans of Sabrosa, the Mex place around the corner from the original Cafe Med has reopened as Maria's Tacqueria; on the 200 block of Tremont..near Tam's.

                    Without getting too deeply into Boston politics, both of these business were not treated well during the "renovation" of the Filene's Building.

                    Hopefully, they'll be able to rebuild...and I'll try to do my part..:)

                    1. Thanks for letting me know about this place. Stopped by for lunch today after hitting the farmer's market for some tomatoes to fill a BLT jones. The gyro was indeed very good - chewy pita, tasty real meat, veggies offering taste rather than just a splash of color and blessedly tangy yoghurt sauce that actually tasted like yoghurt sauce rather than the bland gluey glop you get most places, but what blew me away was the spanikopita. Best I've had since Greece. To start with, it was relatively light. Not light as in not enough to it but as a contrast to the often soggy lead bars so many spinach pies seem to be. Moist but not at all soggy or greasy and a nice balance where you know the cheese was in there but as another flavor enhancing the spinach vs chunks screaming salt at you. While the just enough layers of phyllo were still beautifully crispy and flaky at the end of the day. Thanks again, never would have known about this place given where it is without the recommendations here.

                      -----
                      Zo
                      3 Center Plaza, Boston, MA

                      1. Anyone tried the grape leaves yet? I'm wondering if they get the salt and lemon balance right, which is a very rare thing, they are almost always too lemony and salty. Also curious to know if they put currants in them.

                        1. On everyone's recommendation here, I went and grabbed one of Zo's original gyros for lunch today. Pretty good. Not super awesome the way some have implied. (Not today anyway!) Others here have mentioned a place called Mediterraneo, which I haven't tried, but there is another place called Mediterranean Grill at the corner of Franklin and Batterymarch that makes the best gyro I've ever had. (Among other things!)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: dirk

                            Tried Mediterranean Grill today for comparison - thought it was excellent, but definitely heavier than the Zo version. I had the beef, which was a trifle dry, but had great flavor. Their pizza looked interesting, though Greek-style.

                          2. Is there some reason these folks don't answer their phone (like maybe they were on a vacation break recently)? I've been wanting to try them, but couldn't verify their operating hours, and I hate going to that neighborhood to find a place is closed.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              I ate there yesterday and it was open (and excellent!). Are you sure you have the right number? I have a menu here in my office and interestingly enough it has no phone number. It has a website of www.zoboston.com I believe they are open until 4:00pm daily. Be advised, however, that the later you go, the drier the meat will be be. And I concur with others that the chicken has the most flavor. But I actually think the key to their sandwich is their wonderful warm bread.

                              1. re: Gordough

                                I feel (and most that I've introduced to Zo seem to say the same thing) that it is indeed mostly the bread, with the sauce also being a prime factor.

                                1. re: Gordough

                                  Sorry to respond months later: I missed this post. I found out in researching it for my Boston Phoenix review (16 Sept 09) that the phone number is correct, but they don't answer it because they don't do phone orders. You have to order in person to get their food. (Personally, I think that pork gyros sandwich is awesome.)

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    have you eaten here lately? worth a trip for that pork pita?

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                      I don't know that I'd make a special trip just to get it, but as someone who works a few blocks away I can tell you that it's one of the best lunch options around. Given some of the other things you scorch your shorts over you'd probably love it.

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                        I think a) it's a very tasty gyro sandwich, b) it's notable for not being a prefab minced-meat cone, which differentiates it from 90% of the gyros sold in Greater Boston; and c) it's the only pork gyro I've found in the area, which is far less common than beef/lamb in the States but is the most typical option in Greece.

                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                          thnx much slim. i don't know what is "the area" but another CH has continually raved about Esperia, in brighton, and they have pork gyros. i'm hoping to try it as well as Zo.

                                          http://www.esperiagrill.com/menu/subs...

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            Let's say, "inside 128". Esperia has been on my to-try list for a while, and I didn't even know they had pork gyros!

                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                              i wouldn't be surprised if there were a non-coincidental moment soon when i am walking in as you are walking out.

                                2. I was not impressed with Zo. The original gyro was ok, definitely not a true Greek gyro. The tzatziki sauce was weak and the pork tasted more like taco meat. The spanakopita was also disappointing. I will not be going back to this place.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Greekgal

                                    Pork like taco meat? Don't really get that, but where do you recommend instead?

                                    1. re: Greekgal

                                      I had the pork gyro on Monday and it was not up to the others I've had. The pork was greasy and cut in small scraps. The tzatziki was watery. They can do much better. Must of been an off-day.