The small storefront is in the heart of downtown Everett for easy access during the lunch hour rush.
The inside decor is smartly appointed in a retro look of shiny red chairs and gray Formica tables with the walls painted bright colors and dotted with historic photos. As cozy as a cave, but much more cheerful.
Gyro Cave's service staff is polite, nice and friendly. I called on a Saturday to find out when they close and the waitress who answered told me the closing time then said happily, "Come on. We are waiting for you."
Their food is priced perfectly for the hearty meal you receive. The traditional gyro of lamb and beef ($6.95) is a serious sandwich filled to the pita bread's brim with meat and tzatziki sauce and well worth the price.
During my Saturday visit, my husband, Peter, and I each ordered a traditional gyro to go and I also ordered a falafel ($5.45) to try the restaurant's vegetarian option. The woman who answered my initial phone call continued to be sweet and politely answered all of Peter's questions and made sure our order was accurate.
We took our gyros home and I erred by taking the sandwich out of the tin-foil eating sack it came in. The warm, soft, doughy naan-like pita could barely contain the contents so I had to forge ahead slowly to avoid creating quite a mess. That turned out the right way to approach a sandwich of this size: one delicate bite at a time.
Pete had full containment on his gyro and while eating would pause occasionally to utter words like "hearty" and "good value."
But after we were finished, Peter and I agreed that these gyros were not what we would call "traditional."
The meat was not what we expected. Though plentiful and tasty, the meat was not sliced, as is the practice at most Greek restaurants, from a vertical spit, so that the lamb or beef is delivered in thin, crisp slices or shavings. This meat in these gyros was crumbled and in chunks like ground beef.
The meat also didn't have that classic "gyro meat" taste. Pete and I surmised the spices were off. The classic spices of paprika or fennel or cumin or nutmeg couldn't be detected. The meat was tasty enough, but its taste was closer to taco meat than gyro meat.
Now, there was no way I could eat a falafel on top of that gyro. In fact I probably could have survived several days without a meal.
But I did reheat the falafel and eat it the next day. I enjoyed it much more than the gyro.
The falafel, a deep-fried blend of garbanzo beans, was dense and thick but moist. And the spices were spot on -- exotic with a hint of heat. The falafel was wrapped in the same soft pita bread and topped like a gyro with lettuce, tomato and tzatziki sauce.
A vegetarian would be happy in this cave.
Pete really enjoyed the falafel as well; again, the size was such that we cut the sandwich in half.
The Gyro Cave also serves salads and beef and chicken souvlaki or kabobs ($8.99). With so many things to like about Gyro Cave, Peter and I will go back again and try some of their other offerings.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; email@example.com.
- 2720 Colby Ave., Everett; 425-903-4174.
- Specialty: Greek, Middle Eastern
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
- Vegetarian options: Yes.
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