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Chomp! Gyros from Athena's are on my love-it list

By by jessica rodrigo/
Jan. 18, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 17, 2012 at 7:18 p.m.

Athena  Seafood & Steak House offers a variety of Mediterranean  food from falafel, dolmas, and one of my favorites, gyro sandwiches. I love those things. Athena serves their Big Fat Gyro with fries and all the typical accoutrements, right down to some fresh Tzatziki sauce, a crisp cucumber yogurt-based sauce.

Many things in life maintain a love-it or hate-it relationship for me. Beer, skinny jeans, exercise, the color yellow and oysters are just a few. One thing that has been on the love-it list, often finds itself on the hate-it list of many others.


It's come to my attention that people either love them or they hate them. I acquired an affinity for them when I was in high school and love them still to this day. I worked at a Philly steak eatery in the mall where we also served gyros.

If you've ever had a chance to see what a gyro looks like, it is served to you on a plate and it can catch you off guard.

Gyro meat, which is typically a blend of lamb and beef with a variety of spices, is ground and formed into a large cylindrical piece of meat put on a vertical rotisserie to cook. As it sizzles and begins to brown, it is sliced into thin slivers and can be cooked on a grill or served right from the spit. Once it's cooked and ready to serve, it gets dressed in a warm pita bread, with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and Tzatziki sauce, a Greek cucumber yogurt-based cream. The combination is savory, yet fresh.

Athena Seafood and Steak House has a great Tzatziki sauce to boast, too. It's made with fresh cucumbers, onions, dill and yogurt and is served as an appetizer with pita bread slices in addition to coming served in the sandwich.

I must admit I originally ordered a side of hummus to start with, but instead an order of Tzatziki and pita bread arrived in its place. However, I was still pleased with the hummus' replacement and just thought of it as fate's way of telling me to eat something healthier. That, and I had extra sauce to put on my sandwich when it came out.

Athena's Big Fat Gyros, as it is rightfully named on the menu, comes wrapped neatly in deli paper with all its proper accoutrements and a side of french fries. I like to eat mine like a big burrito, slipping down the paper with each bite, while others choose the knife-and-fork method of attack.

In the end, I had to wield my fork to finish it all, but it was delicious - every bite.

I think the gyro sandwich will always have a place on my love-it list, but as that love continues, I may have to move exercise off the hate-it list.



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