Do you feel like you eat the same thing every time you eat out? Are you a routine type of person? Well maybe you're ready to try something new, you just aren't sure what it is. We want to encourage you to try our gyros! We consider ourselves one of the best gyro restaurants in Cincinnati.
Savory seasoned beef or chicken topped with tomato and onion, wrapped in our famous pita and smothered in our house-made fresh tzatziki sauce, it's a taste experience not soon forgotten!
So what exactly is a gyro, anyway? Where did it come from and, most importantly, how is it pronounced? Hang on my hungry, curious friends because we're about to tell you!
Journey of a Greek Gyro
If you tend to pronounce “acai” as AH-KYE and “lychee” as LYE-CHEE, chances are you're mispronouncing “gyro,” too. You might be tempted to call it a GUY-RO or a JYE-RO but it's actually pronounced YEE-RO as in rhymes with hero. Now you get the puns!
Gryos originated with the doner kebab, which came from deep in the heart of the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, near the modern-day city of Bursa, Turkey.
The doner kebab can only be described as a delightful mountain of thinly-sliced meat, marinated in flavorful spices and stacked on a long skewer where it is slow-roasted over hot coals or an open flame. As the outside of the meat browns to perfection, it is sliced off with a razor-sharp knife and served on warm, chewy flatbread with a variety of complimentary vegetables and sauces.
Traditionally, doner kebab is roasted on a vertical rotisserie where it is sliced with an easy downward stroke. This produces narrow shreds of perfectly-grilled meat.
The doner kebab made its way into Greece around 1922, brought in by immigrants and refugees fleeing a crumbling Ottoman Empire. The Greeks preferred pork as their meat of choice, piling it high on their wonderful pita breads and topping it with their famous tzatziki sauce.
“Tazakka-what sauce?” Tzatziki (TZAH-ZEE-KEE) sauce is a cool, creamy blend of yogurt, cucumber, garlic and herbs.
If you've never tried it, you need to head over to Skally's Restaurant, because we make it the right way! It's the perfect compliment to the savory flavors of our gyro meat.
Before tzatziki, another sauce called tarator was used on gyros. No, it's not the predecessor of tartar sauce! Tarator is a cold, creamy Bulgarian soup that is very similar to tzatziki, except for the addition of crushed walnuts. The terms are used interchangeably in some locations.
Of course, a dish this delicious doesn't stay in one country for long, and during World War II the Greek gyro migrated to America.
Gyros Arrive in Cincinnati Restaurants
By 1970, gyros were a popular fast food in Chicago and New York, but they hadn't really spread around much of the rest of the country yet. Not until Margaret and John Garlic of Chicago came up with a unique recipe and a way to mass produce gyro meat.
What they came up with was a massive minced loaf composed of seasoned beef and lamb trimmings. The loaf is prepared on a skewer in the shape of an inverted cone, packaged and ready for the rotisserie. This is the common style of gyro meat we see today.
The Garlic's business was sold to three large food production companies shortly thereafter. By the close of the 70's, gyros had spread across the country.
Our family helped the spread of the Greek gyro in Cincinnati. First, when we opened our Old World Bakery in 1977 and started producing our famous Old World pocket pitas in flatbreads.
We soon realized we needed to do more than just make great bread. In 1982 we opened our first restaurant in Cincinnati to show locals what to do with our pitas, and in came the classic gyro.
We currently offer both the beef and lamb gyros and chicken – the two most popular gyro fillings in the States. However, we can serve you gyros filled with anything you care to ask for! They typically include the traditional tomato and onion and of course a heaping helping of our fresh tzatziki sauce!
If you are sensitive to gluten, don't worry – some of us here are, too! We have prepared a special gluten-free flatbread recipe so you don't have to miss out on the goodness of the gyro.
We also have dairy-free sauce options in case the yogurt in tzatziki doesn't agree with you. All you have to do is ask and we will gladly provide a delicious alternative!
Our Featured Gyros
Classic Gyro: Seasoned beef, wrapped in a toasted Old World Bakery Pita, with sliced onion, tomatoes and house made Tzatziki sauce.
Chicken Gyro: Amish chicken, marinated and grilled to perfection. Sliced and wrapped in a toasted Old World Bakery Pita with sliced onions, tomatoes, and Chicken Tzatziki sauce.
Barbacoa Gyro: Slowly braised, spicy shredded beef. Served with avocado lime créme, pico, and shredded cheddar mix. Wrapped in a toasted Old World Bakery Pita.
Teriyaki Chicken Gyro: Amish chicken, house teriyaki, caramelized onions, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and yum yum sauce. Wrapped in toasted Old World Bakery Pita.
Don’t Stop There - Make it a Meal
You can swing by for just one gyro (or six, we really won't stop you!), but why not treat yourself to the full Greek experience?
Bring your friends, family, or business clients down to enjoy this recommended four-course Greek feast.
Trio Hummus Platter
Wet your appetite with a generous serving of house-made Hummus, Spicy Hummus and Tzatziki served with pita bread, pita chips and fresh, crisp vegetables.
Clear your palate with this light and flavorful blend of artisan lettuce, artichoke hearts, blue cheese crumbles, pine nuts, cucumber, craisins, tomato and candied apricots.
Spinach and feta wrapped in Filo dough. Baked until golden and crisp. The perfect companion alongside your salad.
Skally's Signature Greek Gyros
It's time for what you've been waiting for! Sink your teeth into any one of our featured gyros mentioned above. Just remember to leave room for desert!
Walnut or Pistachio Baklava
No Greek feast is complete until you have a wedge of baklava! Chopped nuts drenched in honey and sandwiches between layers of crisp, flakey follow dough. Your choice of walnut, pistachio, or one of each!
The gyro has come a long way to reach your table, but you don't have to go far to reach it! Come down and visit Skally's Restaurant in Cincinnati and try one of our Greek gyros. We'll serve them up to you hot, fresh and with a friendly smile!
Check out our other amazing Old World entrees, appetizers, desserts and more on our online menu at skallysrestaurant.com, or join us on Instagram and stay up to date on our latest menu items and weekly specials.