Name: Mediterranean Gyro
Location: 4700 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850
Phone: (607) 729-2001
Price: $20 for two
Mediterranean Gyro is a new restaurant located in University Plaza on the Vestal Parkway, in the same plaza with Mario's Pizza, Tully's, and Moghul. Megan and I went there a few months ago, right after they opened. We liked the food but were appalled by the AWFUL service. It took us about 20 minutes just to get our bill and the waitress was terrible. Megan swore the place off, saying she'd never go back. Well, today I went on a solo mission to see if matters had improved any. Not only had the place improved, it is a restaurant I will be regularly frequenting for lunch in the future. Maybe I can convince my wife to give it another try...
The place looks like an old-school Greek diner on the inside, with an open-air kitchen, a few seats available at the counter, and booths and tables comprising the rest of the place. It reminds me of the classic sorts of places like these you might find in Brooklyn or Queens. As soon as I walked in, I was seated promptly and within two minutes had a drink on my table and had placed my order. The waitress was very friendly and eager to explain the menu if I had any questions. I didn't, but she explained to me what avgolemono was anyway. In case you're wondering, it's the Greek lemon and rice soup that comes complimentary with all platters. The pork souvlaki platter I ordered came with the aforementioned avgolemono, a Greek salad--feta cheese and kalamata olives and all, and your choice of french fries or lemon potato wedges....in addition to, of course, the souvlaki with a few pita slices and tzatziki. If you don't want a platter, you can get just the souvlaki sandwich if you prefer, in addition to many other traditional Greek foods like gyros.
Out came the soup first. Tasty stuff, this was, although nothing really separates it from any other chicken & rice soup aside from a hint of lemon and a little more thickness to the broth. Still, it was a good start to the meal and compared favorably to other avgolemono I've had in the past.
Onto the salad. This featured the usual greens, tomato, cucumber, onions, olives, peppers, and feta cheese. They give you olive oil and vinegar on the side to doctor it up as you wish.
There it is. I don't know, how much can one really say about a salad. I guess I can say the veggies were fresh and that I would've liked more than just the one olive and one chunk of feta cheese in there, but whatever. I didn't come to eat salad. So onward to the main course....
Ah yes, the souvlaki plate. The meat was really tasty and the tzatziki sauce was just about perfect. Waaaaaay better than the runny stuff that tastes like paint thinner that you get at Whole in the Wall. I would've like the pita slices to be a little bigger, maybe, but that's a minor criticism. One slightly more major criticism was that I found a wood splinter from the skewer in my food whilst taking a bite. That probably shouldn't have happened, but it didn't detract much from my enjoyment of the meal. Maybe the best part of the plate was the lemon potato wedges, which were very well-seasoned and totally better than any french fries would've been.
Oh wait, but it gets better...FREE BAKLAVA FOR DESSERT!!! Was it Tolkien who said "cellar door" was the best two-word phrase in the English language? I contend "free baklava" has to be high up there on the list!
Man, I didn't even order this and suddenly it was sitting in front of me. Must be my lucky day! VERY sweet/syrupy baklava so if you like it that way, I highly recommend getting it. Or they may just bring it to you to try free of charge. Winner winner souvlaki dinner!
Overall, Mediterranean Gyro redeemed itself pretty much completely after the debacle of our first visit. The service was quite excellent this time and I got all that food for a mere $10. The food was very good, nothing extraordinary, but solid nonetheless. So, Megan, willing to give it another go?