TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

Tag: Tacoma gyros

June
25th

Five-buck lunch: Great sandwich find at Gyro Zone

Gyro Zone is a great stop for a five-buck lunch. The restaurant is in University Place.
Gyro Zone is a great stop for a five-buck lunch. The restaurant is in University Place.

Cheap, filling, no more than five bucks. That’s my must-have list for a weekday lunch. Today’s quest for a good deal took me to Gyro Zone, a casual cafe in University Place that will celebrate its first year of business July 20. Read more »

Aug.
8th

First bite: Gyro and shawarma restaurant opens in University Place

Sandwiches at Gyro Zone are finished with a sprinkle of the Middle Eastern spice, sumac. This classic gyros sandwich was a big, fat mess.
Sandwiches at Gyro Zone are finished with a sprinkle of the Middle Eastern spice, sumac. This classic gyros sandwich was a big, fat mess.

Gyros and shawarma. Call them shaved meat sandwiches. Or just simply refer to them as delicious slices of meaty yum tucked into griddle warmed pita. Actually, I don’t care what you call them, just get yourself to Gyro Zone, a new gyro and shawarma sandwich shop that has  opened in University Place.

Husband and wife Ali Abumathneh and Amal Burini opened their small sandwich cafe July 20 in a location that previously housed Gyros Place. Abumathneh and Burini were not affiliated with that restaurant. Rather, this is the first restaurant for the couple, although Abumathneh has years experience cooking with his cousins at their Seattle restaurant, Aladdin. Burini grew up in Port Orchard and University Place. Read more »

March
19th

First bite: It’s Greek To Me gyros sandwich

Gyros sandwich from It's Greek To Me.
Gyros sandwich from It’s Greek To Me.

Jim Wick’s recent move of his 22-year-old Greek fast food restaurant It’s Greek To Me was completed last week in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood. I took a first taste during opening week and found a kitchen sticking to the same formula. As always, the gyros were shaved from a spinning vertical meat cone of ground beef and lamb, which the grill cook stuffed into a griddled pita. Plenty of tzatzki yogurt sauce mingled with crisp lettuce, onions and tomatoes, which were predictably pale pink (summer, please hurry up and deliver real tomatoes).

The big change is the atmosphere – seven tables can hold about triple the amount of diners than its previous location across the street. There’s also an outdoor patio and two bathrooms (a big improvement). Tip: The awkward door facing Sixth Avenue isn’t the best way to access the building. Park in the small lot behind the building and enter from the back entrance. The style of ordering – at the counter – remains unchanged. And the time-honored tradition of having a gyro loaded with tzatziki handed to you in your car? Still intact. The new building has a drive-thru Read more »

March
12th

Finally open: It’s Greek To Me in Tacoma moves across the street

It was just a move across the street – but the details of packing up It’s Greek To Me and shuttling it a few hundred feet – overnight – were complex. It required free labor from friends, quickly tearing down and reassembling equipment and as owner Jim Wick put it, working stealthily like “Greek ninjas” through Sunday night into dawn Monday.

The restaurant began serving gyros and pizza yesterday afternoon in its new location at 1702 Sixth Ave.

Plans for the move began last spring Read more »

Jan.
8th

Gyros invasion: Greek restaurants becoming a lot easier to find around Tacoma

Don't these look delicious? Find gyros sandwiches and fries at a handful of new or moving Greek restaurants. News Tribune file photo.
Don’t these look delicious? Find gyros sandwiches and fries at a handful of new or moving Greek restaurants. News Tribune file photo.

Gyros come, gyros go. We’ve seen that happen a lot the last year. Recent restaurant closures include Zara Mediterranean and University Gyro House, both in downtown Tacoma, My Greek in Puyallup’s South Hill last July, and the closure several months ago of Gyros Place. It seemed as if the closures would drastically reduce our access to gyros, souvlaki and falafel (the horror!). Lucky for diners, when one gyros door closes here, another seems to open. Here’s a report about the recent moves and upcoming openings of four Greek restaurants: Read more »

Sep.
4th

Drop-in Dining: Gyros roundup

The gyro sandwich at Opa! Greek Cuisine
The gyro sandwich at Opa! Greek Cuisine

When I think of a perfect gyros sandwich, I think of fresh pita warmed on a grill and wrapped around meaty, juicy, thin slices of beef and lamb with crispy, roasted edges. I think of the sharp tang of yogurt tzatziki sauce and the cool crunch of lettuce, tomatoes and onions.

Gyros (pronounced YEE-ros) are one of those foods of dubious origin, but food historians trace the roots of the Greek sandwich in the United States to various restaurants in Chicago in the 1960s (among other locales).

The signature meat for gyros sandwiches is usually ground beef and lamb, or strips of each, pressed onto a long metal kebab and cooked while spinning vertically on a rotisserie grill. It looks something like a giant meat cone (or, as I like to call it, a “gyros lollipop”).
Different spins can be put on the sandwich, so to speak. Gyros sandwiches can be beef or lamb (or both) or chicken, or even pork. Sauces can range from tzatziki to sour cream, and the sandwich can hold crisp veggies or even fried potatoes.

Around here, the universal formula for gyros sandwiches are roasted beef and lamb with a drizzle of yogurt tzatziki sauce and finished with lettuce, tomatoes and onions, all wrapped up snugly in grill-warmed pita bread.

Here, a look at six South Sound Greek restaurants that serve gyros sandwiches. Click “more” to see the gyro report.

Read more »