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Long Island Gyros

So another shout out to Gyro Time on Larkfield - which has 3 different meats rotating on the rotisserie, all excellent, as well as charcoal calamari and octopus.

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  1. Name me one place that makes their own gyro on the island (I didn't say doner. souvlaki, schwaarma, or chicken gyro). It does not exist.
    I'll even take it further, and add Brooklyn and Queens...
    There are just a handful left.

    23 Replies
    1. re: byrd

      I think Gyro Time does, will ask again next time I go. I think the owner said it was store made.

      http://www.gyrotimeny.com/About_Us.html

      1. re: mcf

        That's what I was told when I asked. Unless they now make "fake homemade looking spindles" in addition to the cones.

      2. re: byrd

        I can't guarantee the gyro is house made, but every single thing I've had there is head and shoulders above any other Greek restaurant I've been to on Long Island.

        1. re: sbp

          I believe you, but the days of on premise made gyro cones are a thing of the past. MCF, give me the word that they make their own cones and I'll be there forty or so minutes after I read your post.

          1. re: byrd

            I promise to re-confirm when I go, which will be soon. Or you can call them yourself from your car on the way: 631 266 3300.. ;-) Did you note MrPhil's response? I'm pretty sure I didn't hallucinate the conversation I had, but I won't give a flat out assurance until I verify it once more.

            Edit: I saved you a phone call and did it myself. They make their own gyro meat IN THE STORE. Try it, you'll like it! I expect to read your review in an hour or two. ;-)

            1. re: mcf

              I would just add a link to their menu:
              http://www.gyrotimeny.com/OUTGOING_ME...
              which also notes that their gyro is homemade.

              1. re: Scott_R

                Byrd must still be savoring the experience; no report after 40 minutes to get there. ;-)

                1. re: mcf

                  If all goes as planned field trip this coming Wendsday afternoon...

                  1. re: byrd

                    Seftalia is particularly good.

                    1. re: sbp

                      Love the seftalia. Excellent. I don;t like locaniko but my husband said it's the real deal.

                    2. re: byrd

                      You were bluffing, eh? ;-)

                      Be sure to report back!

                      1. re: mcf

                        I don't know, he picked the day of a blizzard. I'm sure there will be some excuse. All this talk about it's gyro time is making me plan a trip over there this weekend.

                        1. re: MrPhil

                          Just don't sit anywhere but to the left of the door; my favorite spot when it's cold. They need some sort of barrier/vestibule there.

                          1. re: mcf

                            You're right. They have those nice full length windows, but the insulation is horrible.

                            1. re: sbp

                              That plus the wind blows your hair back any time someone opens the door.
                              But that table to the left of the entrance is cozy warm, right next to the gyros and the heat from the cooking area.

                              1. re: mcf

                                Good tip. My wife is always cold, so it's been a real problem.

          2. re: byrd

            Pita House in Patchogue buys his own lamb and marinades and cooks himself. I shouldn't say it because it's probably against health board regulations, but he hates Kronos gyros and is very proud that everything, including grape leaves, are made from scratch following his family recipes from his humble Turkish roots.

            1. re: byrd

              I think It's Greek to Me in Syosset makes their own gyros.

              1. re: synergy

                Can you find out for certain and let us know?

                1. re: synergy

                  it wouldn't surprise me if It's Greek To Me makes their own, they are my favorite on LI.

                2. re: byrd

                  Though this may be subject to interpretation, the recent Long Island Press review of Pita House in East Setauket
                  http://www.longislandpress.com/2010/0...
                  refers to "the moist, greaseless, homemade lamb and beef that makes up the Gyro-Doner Kebab Sandwich."

                  Yes, it says doner, but it also says gyro.

                  1. re: Scott_R

                    Don't they put out those completely unreliable Best of... lists? Most of their favorites are places I hate. And I like a little grease. :-)

                    1. re: mcf

                      Yep, that's them. :)
                      Seriously though... I've spoken to them about those ridiculous "Best of..." listings, and they basically say they can't help it, it's how the people voted. Whether that's true or not, it's still a different issue than them possibly making a false assertion of fact (compared to silly opinions). The only reason I put the quote in was for the claim that the meat is homemade, not as to how good it is.

                3. We went to Gyro Time this past weekend - wasn't that impressed. I had the gyro - it tasted like every other gyro I have ever had, maye even a little underseasoned. The lemon potatoes had no lemon flavor and were undercooked. The place was freezing. The service though was very very nice - the waitress was very friendly and was super nice to my son

                  1. Just got back from our most recent visit to Gyro Time, and it was as satisfying as all our other visits, except for the arctic type breezes every time someone opened the door, despite the heat blasting away to compensate.

                    The gyro my husband ordered was as good as ever, definitely much better than is typical of most Greek storefront restaurants, IMO. It was very thinly shaved but still extremely moist. I thought it was very well seasoned. Our salads were huge even though we specifically said not to give us extra to replace the rice/potatoes we asked not to have on our plates. There were lots of big cubes of feta, olives and roma tomatoes. I really appreciate that they don't just pile a plate with iceberg lettuce, the greens and salad overall are very mixed. I often get charcoal calamari, and it was moist and very smoky, totally addictive.

                    This was our second or third visit with the newest server there, and things run so much more smoothly in the dining room now, she's very sweet and on top of everything.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mcf

                      Does anyone else notice the following at Gyro Time? 1. the pita which, when the restaurant opened, was soft and fresh and almost home made now seems as commercially made as anywhere else 2. the chicken donner gyro which should be thin strips of the hanging cone now is bits and pieces of the stuff that has initially escaped the blade or is it just me?

                      1. re: budcar

                        I didn't like the grilled pita as much this past visit. Haven't had the chicken gyro, though.
                        My husband's gyro pieces were definitely smaller than the long strips, but just as moist and tasty. When I looked over at the gyro station, I could see that they were down to the inner part of the cone and that it was solid pieces of meat stacked there, but small in cirucmference.

                        1. re: budcar

                          Went to Gyro Time last week for first time in a few months. The pita definitely lacked the freshness I've experienced in the past. I usually get the charcoal calamari but instead opted for combo plate of gyro and souvlaki. Both overcooked and dry and delivered w/o yogurt sauce. My daughter had falafel plate (she's a vegetarian). It, too was overcooked and delivered w/o sauce.. It was extremely difficult to get the one wait person's attention with a full house. Disappointed to say the least.

                          -----
                          Gyro Time
                          354 Larkfield Rd, E Northport, NY 11731

                          1. re: dixdiner

                            Wow, that is so disappointing to hear. I hope the lapses are occasional and not part of an unstoppable slide downhill. They've always seemed to take such pride in their food before. :-(

                      2. Aloha,

                        I've eaten at many, many Gryo joints, but Gyro Palace Cafe in Rocky Point is probably the best. Everything is made fresh, even the pita's. The tarama is out of this world, the portions are immense.
                        Anything I've ever ordered is out of sight with right balance of herbs, meats, and freshness. It's hole in the wall place, near KFC on the corner of 25a and Rocky Point rd.

                        BTW, I'm a new poster but read often and an avid foodie - LI is in no way, shape or form a chowhound wasteland. Just because people don't post, doesn't reflect the chowhound situation.

                        Here's the link -

                        http://www.gyropalace.com/

                        18 Replies
                        1. re: lisurf

                          What places would you speak to to counter the "LI as a chowhound wasteland" impression?

                          1. re: lisurf

                            I drive by there all the time, guess I'll have to stop in and sample, so thanks. I usually stop at the pizza place next to Del Fiore when I'm in the area, it's sort of strange to me around there, destination wise.

                            Hmmm... just glanced at their menu, their gyros are made of 100% beef? I don't know...

                            1. re: coll

                              Del Fiore, still on Broadway? I had my first taste of fresh mozzarella back there in the early 70s, I believe.

                              1. re: mcf

                                Yep, still there and in Patchogue Village. The pizzeria next door is owned by the chef/owner of La Plage and is way above average.

                                1. re: coll

                                  We've had both fabulous and horrible meals at La Plage. I love the location, though, but the last visit was just so awful, from the kitchen to the service. Several years ago, though.

                                2. re: mcf

                                  Yeah, Rocky point can be a "behind god's back" destination. Del Fiore is still there as is the pizzeria. However, the pizzeria also attached to a great restaurant "Caruso's" which is also owned (as someone mentioned) by the guy who runs "La Plage".

                                  Caruso's used to have a very adventurous menu - for example, they had an app of tuna/avocado/grapefuit crudo to die for. Now their menu is a mix of old style Italian (for the demographic - though it's still great) and new combinations that are still delicious. I highly recommend it. They also have a cocktail called the "Caruso" which is phenomenal, though you have to ask for it.

                                  As far as "La Plage" goes, I've never had a bad meal there. The menu is always fresh, local and changing.

                                  1. re: lisurf

                                    I love La Plage too, and will have to ask for the "Caruso" next time in Rocky Pt. Will the waiter sing an aria as he serves it? ;-) Last time I was there, Wayne was in the dining room overseeing everything and doing a great job.

                                    1. re: coll

                                      Coll, no the waiter won't sing an aria - but the drink probably will. This cocktail got me really got into "Bulldog" gin and I'm definitely not much of a gin drinker. Wayne's not there anymore - but Pat is. She knows her way around food - we ended sitting next to her one time at Kotubuki.

                                      1. re: lisurf

                                        Pat is the nicest person, I look forward to seeing her again. I'm not a big gin drinker myself, so looking forward to trying this cocktail.

                                    2. re: lisurf

                                      It was so awfully bad that one time that we've since stayed away, but I've never heard anyone else complain of a similar experience. We had awful, slow service, received fried calamari thick with greasy gobs of uncooked batter. We'd brought an out of town guest and promised her a rave meal, so it was really embarrassing, since the server also was terrible. I'm sure it was highly irregular for them. I don't think we really liked a single dish that night, like the regular staff were all MIA.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        I never let a single bad experience out of many very good experiences keep me away. Any restaurant can have a bad/off night due to whatever factors, just like everyone else.

                                        Seriously, optimism helps - if I walked into every restaurant with a "LI sucks" attitude, it would affect my meal. There are some things I don't put up with and will cut a meal short. If a dish is that bad, I'd send it back. But out of all the great experiences I have had at "Caruso's" - I wouldn't let a bad meal deter me.

                                        1. re: lisurf

                                          I don't have that attitude at all. But it was about as bad an experience in every way that one can have, including no attempt to make up for it. We found other places that always served us food we liked to go to instead. Then we moved to Huntington, so it's less convenient to give it another go.

                                          We did send the dish back; then our guest waited forever for a replacement that was cooked, but still not very good. And the management never came over nor made any attempt to make amends. I'm not saying we would never try the place again, but we sure didn't feel like it much after that.

                                          BTW, you know I'm talking about La Plage, not Caruso's, right?

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            My apologies, mcf. That wasn't clear.

                                            I agree, many things that can go wrong, can really spoil a meal. Poor food is just one of them. I'm sorry to hear that your experience then was bad, soup to nuts, so to speak. Still, I would really urge you to try La Plage again. They were definitely not having a great night. My experience with them has been stellar.

                                            I was just reacting to LI bashing - the food here is great - you just have to travel. Some of the BBQ joints (Bobbique in patchogue in particular) I've eaten at on LI are better than the so-called "Holy Grail" places BBQ I've eaten at, all over the US. This summer I ate at about a dozen of them as I was driving out West, they weren't even close to Bobbique.

                                            1. re: lisurf

                                              My apologies, mcf. That wasn't clear."

                                              Actually, it was, you just have to follow all the posts in the thread. It's the only one of the two I described.

                                              As for LI bashing, I haven't seen it, and I don't do it. As a rule, I try to address only the information in a person's posts rather than to attack a poster's character.

                                              Nuff said? :-)

                                3. re: lisurf

                                  Are you certain that they make their own gyro meat in the store, rather than purchasing it and cooking them there? I used to live out that way, and did take out there once, and I don't remember it as having been good at all. Maybe it's changed hands since then?

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    Another item on the menu mentioned filet mignon, which seems strange but I'm figuring they get it for half the price of lamb so why not. But I WANT LAMB!

                                    1. re: coll

                                      I want lamb and I want to like the meal. I recall unanimous disappointment with what we got there.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        there is a little turkish store/restaurant in deer park called nazar that i believe makes their own gyro meat. and on mondays they do chicken instead

                                4. I was just in Ephesus in Massapequa Park for lunch, and I watched them making the gyro, building it on the spit layer by layer.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Scott_R

                                    Okaaaayyy... But didja eat any??? If so, how was it? ;-)

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      Well, I've posted in the past and said how much I enjoy the food in general at Ephesus--don't recall if I specifically mentioned the gyro, but I do like that too. In this case, though, I'd gotten there a bit early and ordered the gyro, but the owner pointed out (literally: he pointed to where it was being put together) that it was in the process of being made so I had the adana kebab instead (the gyro had a ways to go before it was cooked).

                                      I was just posting in response to the discussion about places that make their own, having just seen with my own eyes it being made at Ephesus.

                                      1. re: Scott_R

                                        Okay, thanks. Been a while, and I wanted to hear how they were. Glad you had a good meal. I don't recall Byrd ever reporting back on his speedy visit to Gyro Time, either.

                                        -----
                                        Gyro Time
                                        354 Larkfield Rd, E Northport, NY 11731

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          I go to Ephesus pretty regularly, and I suppose I didn't think to post my reaction because I sort of take the place for granted: I expect a good meal there.

                                          In fact, I'm going back tomorrow.