Food & Drink » Food Review

The Gyro House

On the plate of Reviewer No. 1


There's something to be said for simplicity.

I've had more than a few experiences in restaurants lately in which I ended up repeatedly apologizing to a server for not being ready to order because I'm still making my way through 14 pages of menu options. I mean, I like options, but sometimes I'm worn out before my meal even arrives.

The Gyro House has stayed true to its name and kept things pretty straightforward: they sell gyros. If you don't want a gyro, you're out of luck. If you don't eat meat, you're out of luck.

The long, narrow cinder-block building across from a residential area on Ustick Road is an unassuming little place, painted in the bright blue and white of Greece. Inside, two plastic booths fill one end of the rectangle, while the rest of the startlingly clean area is reserved for staff. A small refrigerated deli case provides storage for yet un-roasted cylinders of gyro meat (ground and seasoned lamb) before they are put on a rotating spit, from which thin chunks are sliced off for each sandwich. Turns out they're not as appealing pre-cooked.

The reader-board inside provides a simple list of gyros, including the original, deluxe and super--which come with varying degrees of fillings--and chicken options, including the inexplicable inclusion of a chicken and sauerkraut gyro.

I went for the deluxe gyro, which included the traditional gyro meat, tomatoes, tzatziki sauce and feta cheese ($3.99), while my cohort in the day's excursion went for the chicken option sans the feta ($3.29). While the selection may be limited, the Gyro House has decided to focus on quality rather than quantity, turning out a quality Greek sandwich at affordable prices.

My gyro was just as I had hoped it would be as soon as I got the first scent of the roasting gyro meat. The end product was warm and flavorful, balancing the earthy seasoning of the meat with the coolness of the cucumber and yogurt tzatziki sauce. The feta was a welcome addition to the combination, offering a nice tang to complete the flavor profile.

The pita that wrapped around the whole concoction was wonderfully soft and bready, without being either chewy or overwhelming. It was the ideal delivery system for the hearty sandwich.

The chicken gyro was equally appreciated, although my fellow diner commented on the slightly strange consistency of the slices of chicken. That factor quickly lost its importance when stacked against the richness of the sauce and seasoning.

For dessert, I chose a slice of, well, the only option: baklava ($1.29). I was thrilled to notice the respectable accumulation of honey oozing from between layers of phyllo dough and walnuts. Thanks to the sweet stuff, the baklava was moist--moist for baklava, at least--which allowed the intricacies of the spices surrounding the nuts to come through.

The Gyro House may well be the most aptly named restaurant in Boise, and the time you save reading the menu can be put to good use eating.

--Deanna Darr never wants to confuse baklava with a balaclava.

Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about the Gyro House.