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My current favorite is at Gyropolis in Bloomington. The pita is super fresh, soft and has a bit of chew. The meat is crispy and juicy, with great texture and seasoning. The tzatziki has a great yogurt tang to it, and everything else is crisp and fresh.

If you say that falafel king is good, well then, we are miles apart on this. Anyone else have a current favorite?

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  1. By Gyro, I'm asssuming you mean the chopped-pressed-formed meat-like food product, not slices of actual lamb and beef... right?

    Because I am under the impression that all the chopped-pressed-formed meat-like food product comes from the same factory in Chicago, so the differences are in how it's treated, the pita (as you aptly note) and sauces.

    I'd go with Holyland or maybe Gardens of Salonica (nice Pita). For a time, there was a hole-in-the-wall on the West Bank (Middle Eastern Market? I'm fuzzy on the name) that did a good job. They spiced it up nicely.

    For actual Shwarma, there's not much choice in the Twin Cities, the only place I've found it is Filfillah on Central. He does a good job.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JimGrinsfelder

      Another option for actual Shwarma is Mim's Cafe on Cleveland Ave. near the University of Minnesota's St. Paul Campus. I'm not sure how it compares to Filfillah but I prefer it to ordinary Gyro.

      1. re: JimGrinsfelder

        According to this article on the history of the gyros - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/din... - there are a few Chicago-based factories that make the meat filling for gyros, but the impression I get from the article was that they're all pretty much the same.

        My favorite gyros is from Gyropolis. But the place that I go to most often is the Greek Grill & Cafe on the skyway level in City Center. It's not bad at all (and it's close to where I work).

        1. re: JimGrinsfelder

          Shwarma and Gyro are two different animals (literally), so don't compare them. Nothing wrong with the chicago factory food product....wish I could get it here on the east coast.

          1. re: JimGrinsfelder

            Mediterranean Deli is the place you speak of. Mama West Bank does a fine job and the sambusa's are delicious especially late night after the bar.

          2. Agreed that Gyropolis is good, but it is on the far southern side of where I roam. It is really nice that the guy that owns the place grows his own veggies for the gyros during the summer months.

            Other places, in NE Filfilah and Holy Land (not as impressed with the gyro at the Holy Land in MGM).

            I am definitely not a fan of Dino's since they went franchise with the concept - the gyro meat is too bland and the tzatziki has no flavor or texture. Every time I do go to a Dino's I curse myself for wasting money.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bkmnus

              I am definitely not a fan of Dino's since they went franchise with the concept - the gyro meat is too bland and the tzatziki has no flavor or texture. Every time I do go to a Dino's I curse myself for wasting money.
              not to mention the fact that they are always FILTHY. Like taco bell circa 1994 (the last time I was in one) filthy.

              As far as the meat goes, the jackpot no matter where you go, IMO, is when the IR broiler/heater thing is cranked or you get the stuff that's been spinning for a while and it's seared and a little crispy and drippy with grease.

              I will look forward to trying some of the suggestions here--great thread!
              It's Greek to Me is the best last gyro I've had, other than whatever the variant of gyro is that's served at Doner Kebab in Spain, which I call reindeer sandwich and which I obsess about on a regular basis.

            2. Its Greek to Me does a good gyro. Holy Land is awfully bland.

              1. Shish, on Grand Ave. by Macalester is pretty tasty. Can get kind of crowded, though.

                1. Have you been Aida at 66th and Penn in Richfield? Its an old taco bell but they have actually done some nice updating on the inside. In addition to the industry stanard Gyro meat they also have grilled to order Kofta Kebobs. The sides (tabouli, humus, baba ganoush, etc) all have tasted realy nice and fresh.

                  1. I second Aida at 66th & Penn in Richfield-really great shwarma sandwiches & chopped shwarma salad.

                    1. Christos in the Union Depot, St. Paul.

                      1. You like crispy meat in your gyros?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: FrankJBN

                          not crispy like fried meat, but I think it should have a caramelized edge from the spit on the outside, with moist, tender meat on the inner side.

                        2. Olympic Cafe at 923 West Broadway in North Mpls is good. They used to be DT Mpls until Olive Garden booted them from their home. Then they were on 15th and Nicollet. Then at Chicago-Lake. Still the same people and good gyros with the desired crispness on the edges of the meat slices. Good hot sauce too.

                          1. I'm still a Holy Land fan because if you get the gyro platter, you'll be up to your eyeballs in extra lamb meat. Speaking of which, reconstituted animal flesh is delicious! Some day I'm going to get a hold of my own rotating spit and mount it next to my bed. Once that meat has rotated all night, I'll eat the crispy outer edges with glee.

                            Back to the OP, I like Gyropolis too but it's not as high on my list as for others. Personally it reminds me of a Dinos or food court type of gyro but maybe I need to try it a couple more times. Aida is definitely a gem. I like that I can choose my gyro options to make it spicy or add/subtract certain things.

                            1. Just had the gyro at Marina Grill, and it was great. And for a bonus - they have good fries.

                              1. Is there ANYPLACE in the TC that does not serve the pressed Chicago meat?

                                I thought Abu Nadir on Como didn't. And they made their own pita bread, tzatziki, hummus, baklava and everything. RIP, Abu Nadir.

                                There was nothing like a good gyro from there to share in the summertime. What memories.

                                Does anyone make their own pita bread?

                                1. Fifillah is good layered meat, not the loaf from Chicago. The place in Dinkytown, on 14th near House of Hanson has some fresh layered meats too. I can't remember their name though. Marina is good at both locations. There are enough places serving it around here you'd think the loaves could be made here.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: JulianPantangeli

                                    The place in Dinkytown is called Wally's Falafel. I haven't had a gyro there.

                                  2. I'm looking for a place that stuffs the pocket bread rather than wraps it. Abu Nadir used to do that but the went out of business. Any others that stuff? By the way AN used pressed meat.

                                    1. I usually seem to find myself at the Trieste Cafe when I'm in downtown Minneapolis. They make a very tasty version. It's off of 5th and Hennepin.

                                      But for the most part, I wait up for Demitri's Fine Greek Foods to show up at the state fair and go nuts there. That's without question the best gyro in the state even though it's only available for 12 days a year.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Db Cooper

                                        Seems like theirs is on not in the Pita. Looking for the stuffed variety.

                                        1. re: ibew292

                                          Sorry, I was responding to the original OP, not to your inquiry about stuffed gyros. I'm not aware of any who do it that way.

                                      2. I'm no gyro expert, but I've been ordering from Lulu's Market & Deli on bitesquad and absolutely loving their food - gyro's included!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: drew13000

                                          What's the advantage of ordering from Lulu's via bitesquad when you can order from them directly for $2? (unless you're out of Lulu's delivery range?)

                                          I've only ordered take-out from Lulu's once and found it merely ok (I think we ordered burgers and fries), but I appreciate that theirfood is certainly something different than your normal delivery... Generous portions, too, so a good value from that perspective.

                                          Have you ever had groceries delivered from them? Though I've never tried it, I love that they will also deliver anything from their grocery store.


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Yeah, unfortunately I'm across the river and out of the delivery zone. I do appreciate that it's different from a lot of the "bar and grill" fare that Bitesquad seems to have a lot of.