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Aug 17, 2009 05:00 PM

Chrys's Greek Restaurant - Old Orchard Beach, Maine

We were intending to meet some friends for dinner here but they weren't able to make it. So sad for them. ;D I ordered the Mezzethakia ($10.95) and my husband had just the gyros sandwich ($6.95). Service was friendly and prompt. The dining room was very clean with nice, don't drink so I can't comment on their beverage selections.

They probably don't make their own gyros spits, but they meat they serve is still about 500% better than any of the lame gyros I've had in Vermont. At least they're actually on a rotisserie. I found the gyros meat (which was part of my appetizer plate) tasty, spicy, well-cooked, slightly browned, and totally worth the trip. The tzatziki was wonderful. It -has- to be fresh made there. It was very garlicky, which how I love it best. Also on my plate were two well-stuffed domathes filled with ground lamb, rice, and spices. YUM! Several slices (at least six or seven) of lounaki (eerr somethng like that) sausages that went very well with the tzatziki, a wedge of spanokopita, and 7 kalamata olives. The spankopita was a little squidgey and I wouldn't order it under normal circumstances anyway. I can't recommend it.

My husband's gyro was -very- full of meat and the veggies were fresh. We couldn't eat more and ended up bringing a bunch back to the motel with us. I'm sure people with normal sized stomachs would find appetizers and mains plenty more than filling.

I highly recommend this place over what looks like a plethora of frightening options in the OOB main drag. :)

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  1. Thank you so much for the info. I will have to give it a try.

    1. Let me preface this by stating I don’t like Old Orchard Beach. I find it an odd assortment of Maine rednecks, New England white trash, carny’s and Quebecois that think this is some sort of American Riviera. It’s a slice of humanity that gives me the creeps. That being said, I drove 45 minutes to OOB due to the following quote:

      “At least they're actually on a rotisserie”

      Morganna, if you were told this gyro meat ever spent any time on a vertical spit, you were lied to. If you just happened to make this comment for some unknown reason, you’re wrong. The gyros at Chrys's are made with a prepacked sliced meat that is unlike the meat cooked revolving on a rotisserie. The prepacked meat tends to be greasier and has a unique sponge like texture, unlike the firm, cooked meat thinly sliced off the spit.

      The place itself is ok, run by a nice family; they have a Greek, Italian and NE seafood menu. (Another example of Jack of all cuisines, master of none, common to this vicinity.) They had a wine/beer list with a nice assortment of overpriced Greek wines. The service was good. I only ate the gyros sandwich. Found the lettuce, tomato and onion to be fresh. The white Tzatziki sauce was thicker than what I’m accustomed and a bit heavy on the garlic. The pita was warm, fresh and smelled/tasted slightly of fried shrimp.

      Overall it was ok, but I’d never recommend it to anyone looking to relive a trip to Greece, nor would I ever return.

      7 Replies
      1. re: bewley

        Bewley, You're dead on in your description of OOB. Its a hilarious description but a sad state that OOB is in. As for rotisserie gyro meat.... I've never had a gyro with actual rotisserie meat. Street gyro's, greek festivals and now these low end "greek" restaurants all serve this pre-sliced meat. The only thing that separates the good from the bad are the pita and tzatziki. I'm assuming fresh lettuce and tomatoes.

        Morganna- The sausage could be loukaniko.... Old Neighborhood makes it. Known for the orange zest that dominates the flavor. Does this sound right? The Waterbury,VT area could use a good, greek restaurant in your neighborhood Morganna. I've never even seen a greek restaurant in the entire state.

        1. re: bewley

          I tried not to give the impression this was anything at all like authentic Greek food that would transport you back to Greece! Yes, this was food service gyro, but it most assuredly was -not- the loaf style baked in an oven like I have found everywhere else in New England so far. It was definitely cooked on a spit and shaved off with a knife. That much was obvious from the shape and browning of the meat. That, itself, makes it superior to the loaves most "greek" places in New England get. I also mentioned specifically about how garlicky the sauce was and that I preferred it that way. Honestly, I feel like you're upset with me for misleading you in some way, but I've reread my post and I don't see anything in it that sets up an unreasonable expectation.

          The meat I had was definitely from a rotisserie spit. There is no way they could have gotten it the size and shape that I had without shaving it off vertically from one of those spits. If you got something else, I can't explain that. Yes, they didn't make their own meat, I -said- that, too. Yes, it has that food service quality. But being from a spit, as the meat I had most assuredly was, still made it a better gyro. That, plus the sauce that I really liked, and the fresh produce, made it a decent experience and worth the trip to us.

          I guess I should have flat out said "this is not authentic greek food but is merely superior to what you find in -most- pizza places in New England" or something like that, so I wouldn't have set you up to be disappointed.

          BTW, I agree with what you said about OOB. :) If I hadn't been meeting friends who lived there, I probably wouldn't have made the trip just for this place.

          1. re: Morganna

            You know I have said before that I value your opinion, so when I read the post and looked up some other online comments, especially since their byline is “King of Gyros” I said to my wife, “Honey, we’re taking a road trip!”

            I grew up in an area that had a lot of Greek restaurants in the 1970’s and 80’s and, if they served Gyros, they all had the vertical spit in the front of the restaurant. People like to see it roasting and cut out front. I was friends with the man who first imported this “Kronos” meat to Connecticut.

            The factory that makes the Gyro meat used to exclusively form the beef and lamb into a 25lb cone with a hole through the center so it could easily be slid on the spit. As with all good things, some restaurants (especially Greek diners) wanted to offer Gyros on the menu, but didn’t want to have to invest in the vertical rotisserie and pay to have it running all day, so the meat company offered an alternative, albeit not the same. This is what is being served ay Chrys’s. It is preformed and cooked (usually fried) to look as if it was carved off a spit (but tends to be thicker) and more uniform in shape. Think veggie bacon in that it is supposed to look like bacon, but it’s not quite bacon. It’s sort of like that.

            A good rule of thumb is if you don’t see the vertical spit in or from the dining room area, they don’t have one.

            All this being said I still highly value YOUR opinion! :)

            1. re: bewley

              so they form it to be thinner at the edges and a little ragged to make it -look- like it was on a spit?! That's insidious, and it seems like a huge waste of effort, yet.. suckered me... *sigh*

              1. re: Morganna

                Yes, I'm afraid so.

                There's another Greek eatery in Portsmouth NH, Cafe Nostimo, that serves the same faux Gyro meat (though they do have excellent lamb and pork souvlaki). Which leads me to the other thing that sort of bothered me about Chrys's is that they didn't offer a souvlaki pita option on the menu. They did have a ""kebab" platter as a main, but not the more affordable alternative.

                There's a casual Greek eatery in Portland that serves roasted lamb on pitas. Its sliced lamb kept warm in its jus, then served on the sandwich. He's located in the "new" Public Market and though its not exactly what we've been talking about, it's pretty tasty.

                Here's an interesting article about gyros in America:


                1. re: bewley

                  I've had what you're talking about at the Spartan Grill in Monument Sq. and it was dry. I was told it was braised leg of lamb which came from a farm in Westbrook. I'll have to give it another try to see if it is moist this time.

          2. re: bewley

            I too enjoyed your discription of OOB. I used to have to take 8th graders there for their 3 day class trip. A nightmare. Isn't OOB's claim to fame that Fat's Domino, Fats Waller, Chubby Checker or some other corpulant singer ate 16 or some other obscene amount of hamburgers there?