The mixed shawarma plate at the Gyro House Mediterranean Cafe in Everett, made with chicken and beef, comes with saffron rice and a Greek salad for $13.99. (Sara Bruestle/The Herald)

The mixed shawarma plate at the Gyro House Mediterranean Cafe in Everett, made with chicken and beef, comes with saffron rice and a Greek salad for $13.99. (Sara Bruestle/The Herald)

Expect a friendly greeting with your grub at Gyro House

The south Everett eatery’s nothing fancy, but you’ll be made to feel right at home.

EVERETT — When you’re dining out, a friendly server can make all the difference.

That was the case this week when Herald Features Editor Sara Bruestle and I visited Gyro House Mediterranean Cafe on SE Everett Mall Way. As soon as we crossed the diner’s threshold, Hussein, the cheerful counterman, boomed out a friendly greeting. We soon found out he was working on his day off — but Hussein quickly added he comes in nearly every day for the Greek fries, anyway.

The boss was away, looking at tile for an upcoming remodeling project, so our guy was doing it all: taking orders at the counter, helping out in the kitchen and running food to the tables. But he did it all with plenty of good humor.

I, on the other hand, get a strong case of the grouches when I have to work on my day off.

Gyro House’s menu includes all the things you expect at a Greek or Middle Eastern eatery: gyros, shawarma, falafel and kebabs, in sandwich form or plated with rice, pita bread and salad on the side. Gyro House labels the meat it serves as halal — prepared as prescribed by Muslim dietary law.

You can order a sandwich by itself or as a value meal with fries and a drink for a couple of bucks extra. There also are shawarma and kebab plates with your choice of falafel, beef, lamb or chicken. And the Gyro House kitchen does a big mix-grill plate that serves four people, with chicken shawarma, gyro, lamb kebab, beef kebab and falafel, with rice, salad and pita bread on the side, for $40.

Sara chose the gyro value meal with fries and a soft drink ($8.99, with 50 cents extra for an upgrade to Greek fries). I opted for a combo shawarma plate of grilled lamb and chicken over saffron rice, with salad and pita bread ($13.99).

Mr. Congeniality upsold us on two pieces of baklava, 99 cents apiece. “I’m telling you, it’s amazing,” he promised.

Our chow arrived almost as soon as we settled into our booth by the window. My shawarma plate looked appealing. The thin cuts of meat, traditionally stacked into a cone shape on a skewer, roasted and sliced off with a sharp knife, were flavorful, if a bit dry. The accompanying Greek-style salad complemented it well, but I wasn’t fond of the tahini and tzatziki sauces as toppings to relieve the meat’s dryness. The pita bread was agreeably soft and fluffy.

Sara pronounced her gyro to be not quite as good as the gyro she’d recently enjoyed at Babylon Mediterranean Food, the Everett Mall food court fixture. She liked the Greek fries, which reminded her of the fries at Wienerschnitzel. But like me, she was less enthusiastic about the tzatziki topping them.

And the baklava? It was a pretty little square of flaky phyllo pastry enclosing a pistachio filling. It was good, but it might well have been the amazing baklava that Hussein promised had it been as warm as his greeting. It apparently had come from the fridge, and the coolness muted the flavors.

Owner Raya Alqaysi, who opened the restaurant in 2016, has a major remodeling on the drawing board. She said she plans to double the size of the dining area, and a expanded menu also is in the works.

Gyro House wasn’t fine dining, but it was certainly more than good enough for a quick lunch in south Everett. Others feel the same way, as we noted a steady stream of customers during our meal.

And good customer service always makes a positive impression. I’ve eaten plenty of meals where good flavor was dulled by a sour attitude from the person serving it.

If you go

Gryo House Mediterranean Cafe, 620 SE Everett Mall Way, No. 400, Everett, is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more, call 425-513-1884 or go to gyrohousecafe.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

From a 17th-century warship to ABBA, Stockholm’s delights span the ages

The city — known for Nobel prizes, “Pippy Longstocking” and a very tall city hall — sits on 14 islands connected by 54 bridges.

A guitarist keeps rhythm during Lovely Color’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Black Lab in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
No matter what music you’re into, Fisherman’s Village has a hook for you

From folk to psychedelic pop to hip-hop, here’s a quick guide to artists you might want to check out in downtown Everett.

Patterson Hood (left) and Mike Cooley perform with Drive-By Truckers at Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in 2018. (Ben Flanagan / AL.com)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Take in the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival in downtown Everett and get a close-up look at unique aircraft at Paine Field.

On moving day for elderly mom, a moving reminder of what matters in life

Older adults don’t talk much about accomplishments during their working lives. Instead, they talk about the value of family.

Iberia told me to file a chargeback, but now I don’t have a ticket

When Joel Revill’s ticket purchase doesn’t go through, a representative advises him to dispute it on his credit card.

Paeonia Itoh Hybrids "Lolliepop" in the spring garden
Bushy with big blooms, Itohs blend the best of herbaceous, tree peonies

A bit spendy, this sought-after hybrid, with its multi-colored flowers and lush foliage, offers plenty of bang for your buck.

A child gets some assistance dancing during Narrow Tarot’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Lucky Dime in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Fisherman’s Village 2024 casts a wide musical net in Everett

From Allen Stone to a local musician showcase at Zamarama Gallery, get ready for it to get loud downtown.

Gnomes, per lore, are more than garden decor. This guy’s ready to travel.

In fact, his atypical attributes — a blue cap and total lack of garden tools — make this pottery gnome all the more valuable.

Primula denticulata is native to the Himalaya Mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet, Burma, and China. The habitat is wet meadows from 5,000 feet to 14,500 feet. (Richie Steffen/Great Plant Picks)
Great Plant Pick: Drumstick primrose

What: This primrose, also known as Primula denticulata, is quite like a… Continue reading

How to save water both inside and — with summer coming — outside your house

It’s always a good idea to limit your water usage, but it is especially important now, amid a statewide drought.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.