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"Fast Casual" Greek / Kebabs / Skewers / Gyro / Souvlaki - Boca Raton and Elsewhere

CFByrne Jul 21, 2011 04:48 AM

Suddenly a few "Fast Casual" Greek / Mediteranean / Kebabs / Skewer / Gyro / Souvlaki restaurants are opening up.

In the Boca area we've got "Souvlaki Fast" (one in Mizner and one on US1 and SR).

http://www.souvlakifast.com/

Also just opening is Gyroville over by Five Guys near Town Center.

http://www.gyroville.com/

I think these places are smart and they're going to put some hurting on some of the more traditional Greek / Med spots. Walk around say Washington DC and you can find these new type places all over.

IMHO a lot of the traditional places are over-priced.

Typically you get a small amount of cheap protein (ground meat formed as a skewer or kabob) over boring rice/carb with a boring side salad of iceberg lettuce, hothouse tomato and blase dressing. And this often goes for $12-$16 range.

There new places are dropping the price point and giving you much more interestiong options.

Souvlaki Fast looked very clean and "organized" when I walked by recently.

Gyroville looks like a Greek "Chiptotle" from the website.

Comments / buzz? I'll be visiting both soon.

  1. s
    smartie Jul 21, 2011 05:08 AM

    Ooh I'm excited by Gyroville it's right by my office. What is gyro meat? Is it lamb which is what I'd hope and expect.

    1. OysterHo Jul 21, 2011 05:15 AM

      Don't forget Boca Skewers (near Mizner Park and the post office) - recommended by Mat Josher and his girlfriend :) I haven't gone there yet, but I will.

      I went to Souvlaki Fast on Spanish River and Federal yesterday for lunch. I can walk there in less than 3 minutes so I plan on going there more often.

      I really enjoyed it. I had a greek salad (it was huge, very fresh and loaded with feta) and I had them add the beef/lamb gyro meat on top. The salad was great, but you know that meat always looks and tastes better in a pita/gyro, not really on top of a salad. It's just not a pretty meat lol. But what better way to put that meat to the test than to eat it all by itself? :)

      I thought it was delicious. I wouldn't hesitate to order it again or the chicken (which looked very good). It's a cute place and very clean. I do want to try some of the other meats like the fish, pork, rib eye and chicken.

      They had some of the best tzatziki sauce I've had anywhere. :) The menu is basic gyro and souvlaki dishes, salads and some Greek sides like spinach pie, baklava, hummus and dolmades. I really like that they have different meat and fish options for gyros, souvlaki platters and salads.

      http://www.souvlakifast.com/

      Oh, one thing, at the moment, since it's new, it's cash only. I imagine that will be resolved soon but I didn't ask.

      2 Replies
      1. re: OysterHo
        s
        seminole phil Jul 21, 2011 10:17 AM

        pga and military mr. gyros truly authentic saganaki and all

        prosperity farms and pga olympia greek awesome

        1. re: seminole phil
          freakerdude Jul 21, 2011 05:18 PM

          Oh yes, Mr. Gyros in PBG is a great place for lunch and inexpensive. Charles Passay gave them a great write up over a year ago or more. They have great wraps and side salads, owner is super friendly, appreciative of all customers, and their homemade hot pepper salsa sauce is worth buying a bottle for take home.

          http://www.mrgyrosflorida.com/

      2. f
        florastar Jul 21, 2011 12:27 PM

        I liked Gyroville. Tasty tazatziki, the grape leaves were yummy... it is basically Chipotle gone Greek, but the owner is actually Greek and it shows in the food. Though it annoys the heck outta me that they pronounce gyro like how gyro-copter would be pronounced. ON PURPOSE. My boyfriend got a job there and was let go quickly, as they hired about 3x the number of people that they actually needed, and they trained him to pronounce it wrong because that's how most of the population thinks it's pronounced.

        4 Replies
        1. re: florastar
          s
          smartie Jul 21, 2011 02:30 PM

          I tried Gyroville today had the gyro (schwarma or doner would also be used in other parts of the world) which was a mix of lamb and beef they said. I had the stuffed gyro pita which is more like a thick wrap. You then tell them what you want added like lettuce, tomatoes, tzatziki. It was pretty good and fresh and not bad for $6.

          1. re: smartie
            CFByrne Jul 26, 2011 02:46 PM

            We liked Gyroville as well. It is very much like Chiptole where you move along the line and pick what you want... you can really load up a pita if you like and it's going ot be a ton of food for $5.99 or something like that. The flavored tzaziki sauces are terrific and one - jalepeno spinach I think, was fantastic. I like hot and spicy and I can rarely combine that with Greek.

            We also tried Souvlaki Fast, it was not bad but I'd say all the options
            give gyroville the edge here.

            1. re: CFByrne
              s
              smartie Jul 26, 2011 03:22 PM

              we got Pita Principle today at work, nowhere near as good - bread was stale as can be, meat tasteless - as Gyroville but Gyroville does not deliver sadly.

              1. re: CFByrne
                CFByrne Jul 26, 2011 04:24 PM

                Just tried Souvlaki Fast again, and I'd say Gyroville definitely superior.

                S/F for starters has a very odd layout. At the Federal Hwy store, you order, then there's the cooking line, and there are the 2 trash containers basically right in the middle of the counter, and then there's the pickup area, and then there's a bunch of supplies stacked up. Plus. aluminum "covers" block you from seeing your food as they are assembling it. Something was not clearly thought out here or they ran out of space, or something.

                Contrast with Gyroville where everything's in it's right place and out in the open. Plus the choosing your options with multiple sauces, far superior. Too bad the Boca store is hidden in that back corner. S/F was busy and if nothing else has a high viz location on corner of S/R Blvd and US1.

          2. b
            Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jul 21, 2011 02:28 PM

            Man, I would kill for a place like this in Orlando! My favorite Greek restaurant moved to the other end of town to a more upscale area, so they've gotten fancier and pricier to match. I just love a good gyro and spinach pie, though!

            1. CFByrne Jul 21, 2011 05:08 PM

              So which is "correct"?

              Yee-Row

              Guy-Row

              4 Replies
              1. re: CFByrne
                freakerdude Jul 21, 2011 05:14 PM

                YEE- roll your tongue with the r sound - O . Well, that's how it was pronounced on DDD.

                1. re: CFByrne
                  CFByrne Jul 22, 2011 01:40 AM

                  And there's also the Ji-Row option as well

                  Yee-Row

                  Guy-Row

                  Ji-Row

                  and I've even heard

                  Gear-Row

                  "Let's call the whole thing off"

                  1. re: CFByrne
                    s
                    Semprini Jul 27, 2011 10:42 AM

                    A Lebanese place near my office likes to play games with the pronunciation. If I order a "yee-row," they'll repeat it as "gy-row." If I say "gy-row," they say "yee-row."

                    At first I wasn't sure if they were messing with me, but now it's become quite entertaining...

                    1. re: Semprini
                      LiveRock Jul 27, 2011 02:53 PM

                      Ok, so now I'm more confused that ever...My wife always insists that it's pronounced yay-row. Although I must admit...I always call it Jy-row just to annoy her! I will definitely be giving gyroville (yay-rowville?) a try since it's so close to work. I just hope the line isn't out the door and around the block as it is at Chipotle so often.

                2. freakerdude Aug 12, 2011 09:04 AM

                  My dept. at work ordered in from Gyroville last Friday. Everyone was happy with what they had. The gyro pita with spicy feta was very good as was the small greek salad I had. Two thumbs up from me and my co-workers.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: freakerdude
                    CFByrne Aug 14, 2011 06:34 AM

                    Glad you liked it Freaker. Wife and I went Saturday again for lunch to the Town Center area store.

                    This is now my fav gyro anywhere, I love you can build your own and put in all sorts of interesting sides other than the usual onion, iceberg lettuce and hot house tomato.

                    The 5 or 6 varieties of Tzatziki are especially interesting, last time I had the Red Pepper, this time I went with the Jalepeno/Spinach which is really excellent. Spice up my gyro!

                    It's a great deal for about $7. OBTW their fries are way above average too. They "double cook" them and they get nice and crispy. There's one fellow behind the counter who's quite a foodie, ask a question and he'll be glad to chat for as long as you like.

                    I am worried about this location a bit though, it is pretty hidden away, far back in that corner of this "non-strip" "rectangle" mall.

                    Hopefully that new New Haven Pizza joint, along with existing Hooters and Five Guys, will bring in enought traffic though.

                    1. re: CFByrne
                      OysterHo Aug 14, 2011 07:38 AM

                      I need to check out this place soon! With our postings here and on facebook, I'm sure we can get people going there. :)

                      1. re: OysterHo
                        s
                        smartie Aug 14, 2011 08:51 AM

                        no free lunches at work most of this week so I will probably use one of the days to get a gyro here again because it's a couple minutes from my job. We got gyro's from Pita Principle last week and the bread was stale and the filling minimal so Gyroville is a no brainer for me. Wish they delivered though.

                      2. re: CFByrne
                        LiveRock Aug 23, 2011 06:42 AM

                        I really enjoyed my Gyro and the whole grain pita was super fresh...based on that I will be back. Sadly, I will be a little hesitant to order the fries again. Maybe the fryer wasn't quite hot yet or maybe they were prepped by the wrong guy but they were literally dripping with grease.

                        Again, the Gyro was excellent and most definitely big enough that I could have done without the fries anyhow...I will be making Gyroville a weekly lunch stop.

                        1. re: LiveRock
                          CFByrne Aug 23, 2011 07:58 AM

                          Glad you like the Gyroville gyro. Did you try the jalepeno/spinach tzatziki?

                          Hmmm too bad about the fries. I will have to take a closer look at those... But you are right, my wife and I had 2 gyros and fries and we could barely make a dent in the fries. Although I think they have a 99 cents size so not a great loss.

                          1. re: CFByrne
                            LiveRock Aug 23, 2011 01:16 PM

                            I went with all the traditional ingredients...wish I'd seen your post first. I'll definitely branch out next time around!

                    2. freakerdude Nov 10, 2011 04:23 PM

                      Boca Skewers was really good. It is a very small place inside. We tried the falafel and was very good even for my first time trying it. The lamb kebab was very good and the sweet rice was very different but good too. I sure hope this place makes it b/c it was empty on a Friday night and with a concert in Mizner later that night. Minimal menu and personalized service. Go and check it out!

                      http://www.boca-skewers.com/

                      1. CFByrne Dec 11, 2011 04:05 AM

                        It's not exactly "fast casual".... but anyone been to ZaZa's Mediterranean Food in Boynton?

                        http://www.zazasfresh.com/

                        Menu looks somewhat similar to Boca Skewers

                        1. m
                          Mat Josher Mar 20, 2012 11:51 AM

                          I just visited Greek Corner Taverna. It's a worthy competitor to the other places. It's less casual, but still has the walk-up counter.

                          http://www.greekcornertavern.com/

                          This is located in Smokehouse's old space on Federal

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