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Central Gyros - Set the Wayback Machine

Central Gyros - Set the Wayback Machine
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  • Central Gyros - Set the Wayback Machine

    Post #1 - February 24th, 2007, 9:58 am
    Post #1 - February 24th, 2007, 9:58 am Post #1 - February 24th, 2007, 9:58 am
    After reading several posts about Central Gyros in this thread, I decided to do an exploratory mission for carry out food last night.

    As described, Central Gyros is a place frozen on 1980s amber.
    Image

    I was a bit surprised by the depth of the menu. Somehow I thought it would be a gyro/hot dog carry out joint, but it's a full blown restaurant with an extensive menu of Greek specialties. Besides the kitchen, where most of the food is prepared, there is a grill/gyro station right up front as you walk in with 3 spits, two of which were in full operation while I was there.

    Central Gyros Spits
    Image

    I ordered avgolemino soup, which was a surprisingly excellent version, a Greek salad, which was pre-made and very much on the wilted side (although ordering one for eating at the restaurant might yield a better result), a gyro sandwich which lived up to its hype and a chicken souvlaki for The Chow Poodle which she pronounced her new favorite version.

    I also ordered a couple of desserts; baklava and, of course, diplas. I've got to say that while the baklava was serviceable, the diplas were very disappointing. Rather than sitting in a tray of the usual honey syrup, they were pre-packaged in plastic bags. In addition to not having much syrup, their storage in plastic rendered them soggy and not at all crisp, which is a hallmark of a good dipla. Let me be clear that this is not due to the fact that I took my food to go. The diplas are displayed pre-bagged and are always that way. I asked if the diplas were made in house and was told that they are not and were delivered a few days a week. Note to diplas lovers: If you think CG diplas are good, you should seek out the ones served at the various Greek festivals during the summer or at Athenian Bakery for an eye opening experience.

    Service was friendly and enthusiastic.

    Central Gyros Hostess
    Image

    I'll be back for an eat-in experience at Central Gyros along the The Chow Poodle and will report back on the quality of some of their other food which, I suspect judging by the plates I saw being delivered to the tables, looks to be pretty good.

    Central Gyros
    3127 N. Central Ave
    Chicago, IL
    773-545-1276
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - February 24th, 2007, 11:14 am
    Post #2 - February 24th, 2007, 11:14 am Post #2 - February 24th, 2007, 11:14 am
    Ah, Central Gyros!

    This was a regular haunt when I was a kid. It seems like we went every other week. My folks (and myself, aged: small) were always fans of the souvlaki sandwich and taramosalata. I probably haven't been there since I was about 12. Recently, I've been torn between wishing to return for nostalgia's sake, and fearing that my illusions would be shattered. It's VERY good to hear that you had some tasty items.

    Is the styrofoam art on the walls still painted gold?

    Are there still a minimum of three police officers in there at any given moment?
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #3 - February 24th, 2007, 12:02 pm
    Post #3 - February 24th, 2007, 12:02 pm Post #3 - February 24th, 2007, 12:02 pm
    Dmnkly wrote:Is the styrofoam art on the walls still painted gold?

    Are there still a minimum of three police officers in there at any given moment?


    No cops when I was there and, since I was only there for carry out, I didn't inspect the wall murals very closely. I imagine it wont take more than a week for me to be back for a full scale dinner. I'll report back after that.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - February 24th, 2007, 2:25 pm
    Post #4 - February 24th, 2007, 2:25 pm Post #4 - February 24th, 2007, 2:25 pm
    Until I got married, that was where I had my birthday dinner every year!
    Besides the gyros, the combo plate is very good. It comes with souvlaki and some type of Greek sausage. The dhoulmades and pasticio are also very good. My favorite dessert is the galagalpouliko (sorry about my horrible spelling of Greek dishes!). Just talking about it is making me want to go there!!
    The clown is down!
  • Post #5 - May 1st, 2007, 7:18 am
    Post #5 - May 1st, 2007, 7:18 am Post #5 - May 1st, 2007, 7:18 am
    Steve,

    Thanks bringing Central Gyros to the forefront, hadn't been for a good 10-years and gyro wise it's even better than I remember. Avgolemino soup, as you say, was good, I liked the Greek green beans with light tomato sauce though my small taste of Pastitsio, while a solid representation, reminded me I'm not fond of the dish.

    Central Gyro Sandwich
    Image

    Electric Gyro Slicer in Action
    Image

    Central Gyro combo plate
    Image

    Interesting wall art, basic, yet comfortable, dining room, friendly efficient service and reasonable prices make Central Gyro a good choice for lunch or mid week low impact meal out.

    Though be careful I noticed a few shady characters having lunch.

    Image

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Central Gyros Corp
    3129 N Central Ave
    Chicago, IL 60634
    773-545-1276
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - May 1st, 2007, 9:46 am
    Post #6 - May 1st, 2007, 9:46 am Post #6 - May 1st, 2007, 9:46 am
    I had to laugh when Stevez said set the way back machine to 1980. I remember seeing Sleeping Beauty at the Will Rogers when I was about 7 in 1974 - and it Central Gyros was the same then. I'm just happy that they have the same fries. I just love those plank-style steak fries and they're hard to find.
  • Post #7 - May 1st, 2007, 1:33 pm
    Post #7 - May 1st, 2007, 1:33 pm Post #7 - May 1st, 2007, 1:33 pm
    These were quite excellent gyros: very thinly cut, light almost, spiced with restraint, and just slightly crisped. Usually a gyros sandwich makes me feel a little guilty if not queasy; these gyros made me feel really good about eating them.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - May 1st, 2007, 7:46 pm
    Post #8 - May 1st, 2007, 7:46 pm Post #8 - May 1st, 2007, 7:46 pm
    1980 sounds about right. We used to be monthly customers, as it was sort of on the way to see one great aunt in Galewood, or another aunt who used to live in the Greek enclave at Diversey and Austin near Holy Trinity.

    I haven't been there for about six years. The last time I was there, the meal was virtually inedible (but we weren't having gyros), and that kind of turned me off.

    From where I live now, it's not the easiest place in the world to reach, so I might have to make a special trip. But I must admit, if I'm driving that far, I'd rather go to Lawrence and Kedzie and get the Lebanese versions instead.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #9 - September 3rd, 2007, 3:09 pm
    Post #9 - September 3rd, 2007, 3:09 pm Post #9 - September 3rd, 2007, 3:09 pm
    I was in Central Gyros today for an excellent gyros sandwich (not at all to my surprise), much as David H. described: lightly seasoned, lightly crisped and not at all greasy.

    Not being a fan of CG's style of fries, I opted for a french fry substitute: fried eggplant. I expected to get a couple tasty but greasy slabs or circles of soft eggplant. I was floored by the dish I ate: small, very thin, and very crisp half moons of eggplant. They were delightful and the perfect substitute for fries, especially when you order them with the (optional) side of skorthalia.

    If you've been meaning to give CG's gyros a try, make sure to add the fried eggplant to your list.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #10 - September 3rd, 2007, 3:13 pm
    Post #10 - September 3rd, 2007, 3:13 pm Post #10 - September 3rd, 2007, 3:13 pm
    eatchicago wrote:Not being a fan of CG's style of fries, I opted for a french fry substitute: fried eggplant. I expected to get a couple tasty but greasy slabs or circles of soft eggplant. I was floored by the dish I ate: small, very thin, and very crisp half moons of eggplant.


    I would have expected what you expected. I wonder if this pleasant surprise is due to the fact that fresh eggplant is relatively abundant right now (so if you went in the winter, maybe your low expectations would have been realized).
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - September 3rd, 2007, 4:02 pm
    Post #11 - September 3rd, 2007, 4:02 pm Post #11 - September 3rd, 2007, 4:02 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:Not being a fan of CG's style of fries, I opted for a french fry substitute: fried eggplant. I expected to get a couple tasty but greasy slabs or circles of soft eggplant. I was floored by the dish I ate: small, very thin, and very crisp half moons of eggplant.


    I would have expected what you expected. I wonder if this pleasant surprise is due to the fact that fresh eggplant is relatively abundant right now (so if you went in the winter, maybe your low expectations would have been realized).


    Interesting theory. If that's the case, all the more reason to get thee to Central Gyros. Post haste!

    I'm really sorry I didn't have my camera today.

    Best,
    M
  • Post #12 - April 23rd, 2008, 7:38 pm
    Post #12 - April 23rd, 2008, 7:38 pm Post #12 - April 23rd, 2008, 7:38 pm
    eatchicago wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:Not being a fan of CG's style of fries, I opted for a french fry substitute: fried eggplant. I expected to get a couple tasty but greasy slabs or circles of soft eggplant. I was floored by the dish I ate: small, very thin, and very crisp half moons of eggplant.


    I would have expected what you expected. I wonder if this pleasant surprise is due to the fact that fresh eggplant is relatively abundant right now (so if you went in the winter, maybe your low expectations would have been realized).


    Interesting theory. If that's the case, all the more reason to get thee to Central Gyros. Post haste!

    I'm really sorry I didn't have my camera today.


    Finally, a photo.

    My favorite fried vegetable in town: Central Gyros' fried eggplant

    Image

    I hope this convinces at least one or two people to stop in for a gyro and a plate of fried eggplant with skorthalia.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #13 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:05 pm
    Post #13 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:05 pm Post #13 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:05 pm
    Great sandwich, perfectly crisp meat, oil-griddled pita, and tangy tzatziki tasting perfectly of cucumber.

    Quibble: $6.57. For the sandwich only, no fries, no drink. Almost worth it, if this was some futuristic date like 2010. Though come to think of it...
  • Post #14 - August 24th, 2009, 5:12 am
    Post #14 - August 24th, 2009, 5:12 am Post #14 - August 24th, 2009, 5:12 am
    funny i was just discussing this place with a co-worker...many fond memories eating here
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #15 - August 24th, 2009, 6:57 am
    Post #15 - August 24th, 2009, 6:57 am Post #15 - August 24th, 2009, 6:57 am
    It's still on our regualr rotation. Both the gyros and the Athenian chicken are favorites.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #16 - November 4th, 2010, 12:44 pm
    Post #16 - November 4th, 2010, 12:44 pm Post #16 - November 4th, 2010, 12:44 pm
    They are getting the "Check Please" treatment this Friday night.
  • Post #17 - November 4th, 2010, 12:53 pm
    Post #17 - November 4th, 2010, 12:53 pm Post #17 - November 4th, 2010, 12:53 pm
    njtb wrote:They are getting the "Check Please" treatment this Friday night.


    Judging by our last few visits, they could use a little bit of the "Check Please Effect". I hope it goes well for them.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #18 - October 29th, 2012, 3:32 pm
    Post #18 - October 29th, 2012, 3:32 pm Post #18 - October 29th, 2012, 3:32 pm
    Yesterday they had a new menu item: gyros quesadilla. We did not try. Seems they have more Mexican customers now.
  • Post #19 - October 30th, 2012, 12:12 pm
    Post #19 - October 30th, 2012, 12:12 pm Post #19 - October 30th, 2012, 12:12 pm
    Interesting. I don't know of any cheese that would go well except feta. Maybe kasseri? Definitely would have to use pita as opposed to tortilla though.
  • Post #20 - October 30th, 2012, 3:42 pm
    Post #20 - October 30th, 2012, 3:42 pm Post #20 - October 30th, 2012, 3:42 pm
    Waitress said gyros quesadilla uses a tortilla, not pita.
  • Post #21 - October 30th, 2012, 7:01 pm
    Post #21 - October 30th, 2012, 7:01 pm Post #21 - October 30th, 2012, 7:01 pm
    metro man wrote:Interesting. I don't know of any cheese that would go well except feta. Maybe kasseri? Definitely would have to use pita as opposed to tortilla though.


    Chihuahua or mozz would work just fine for me.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #22 - November 7th, 2012, 7:14 pm
    Post #22 - November 7th, 2012, 7:14 pm Post #22 - November 7th, 2012, 7:14 pm
    ekreider wrote:Yesterday they had a new menu item: gyros quesadilla. We did not try. Seems they have more Mexican customers now.


    Heh, interesting way to appeal to Hispanic customers. :) Always loved Central Gyros, but I never get there seemingly, except when I'm visiting friends of mine on the NW side. It's probably the most solid and consistently good place to eat in that area, period.

    Nice to see they got (belatedly) treatment on Check Please, since I'd somehow missed that(and never catch that show anywhere near as often as I'd like).
  • Post #23 - March 11th, 2013, 11:29 am
    Post #23 - March 11th, 2013, 11:29 am Post #23 - March 11th, 2013, 11:29 am
    We went here Saturday for a long-awaited gyros, and though it could have used a little more meat, it was delicious. I even tried eating it like you're "supposed to" for the first time ever; I found it less satisfying, but hey, live and learn. :wink: We can't wait to return to try something else; we had no idea that it was a full-service restaurant, not a fast-food joint.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #24 - March 11th, 2013, 11:57 am
    Post #24 - March 11th, 2013, 11:57 am Post #24 - March 11th, 2013, 11:57 am
    Pie Lady wrote:eating it like you're "supposed to"
    Is this the wrong way (stuffed pocket, not wrap)? I say it is.
    (Note: NOT FROM CENTRAL GYROS!!!)
    Image
    Last edited by SCUBAchef on March 11th, 2013, 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #25 - March 11th, 2013, 12:10 pm
    Post #25 - March 11th, 2013, 12:10 pm Post #25 - March 11th, 2013, 12:10 pm
    I never saw that before. I meant eating it wrapped burrito style. I assumed that's how most people did it. I eat everything separately—onions, tomatoes, meat, pita last. Occasionally I swap the order of the onions and tomatoes, depending on how crazy I feel.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #26 - March 11th, 2013, 12:38 pm
    Post #26 - March 11th, 2013, 12:38 pm Post #26 - March 11th, 2013, 12:38 pm
    Lettuce in a gyros? No, no, no!!!!
  • Post #27 - March 11th, 2013, 1:30 pm
    Post #27 - March 11th, 2013, 1:30 pm Post #27 - March 11th, 2013, 1:30 pm
    Wow! That is one of the least appetizing sandwiches I've ever seen. It's just sad, regardless of its rogue configuration.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #28 - March 11th, 2013, 1:44 pm
    Post #28 - March 11th, 2013, 1:44 pm Post #28 - March 11th, 2013, 1:44 pm
    Yeah, I’m not sure which would be worse;
    the pictured gyro turdlettes, or the other
    abomination that is the typical food service
    uniform, greasy Steak-umm®-style “gyros”.
  • Post #29 - March 11th, 2013, 2:14 pm
    Post #29 - March 11th, 2013, 2:14 pm Post #29 - March 11th, 2013, 2:14 pm
    SCUBAchef wrote:
    Pie Lady wrote:eating it like you're "supposed to"
    Is this the wrong way (stuffed pocket, not wrap)? I say it is.
    Image


    This isn't from Central Gyros, is it? I can't imagine a place with the pedigree of CG is serving a gyros sandwich that looks anything like that, despite offing the gyro quesadilla.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #30 - March 11th, 2013, 2:28 pm
    Post #30 - March 11th, 2013, 2:28 pm Post #30 - March 11th, 2013, 2:28 pm
    stevez wrote:This isn't from Central Gyros, is it?
    NO! I updated the posted photo to reflect this.
    (Now back to regularly scheduled programming.)

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