The perfect gyro: A Chicagoin’s search for the real-deal meals

Nicholas Wesley, Correspondent

Now where I come from, any person who pronounces this meat ‘n’ pita dish by anything other than its god given name YEER-oh, will be shot on sight. For some reason nobody around here seems to have a problem with calling it a GY-ROE.
Well, I’m here to tell you- yes you reading this- that your whole life has been a lie; and if you don’t change your ways you may just find yourself being “speered” with a “nife” by some less forgiving 85-year-old Greek cook.

Now that were on the same page let me tell you, there is a version of this dish in every country this side of India, and they are all called something different. Swarma in the mid-east, Maqloub in Tunisia, Dyuner in Bulgaria, Broodje Döner in the Netherlands … the list goes on.
But in America, the factory farm capital of the world, one style, made by one company prevails. The meat hunk they call a “gyros” is made by a company based in, my hometown, Chicago.
Kronos produces this loaf of meat that consists of a lamb-beef-spice-filler blend, which is ground, pressed, packaged and sold around the USA. Not surprisingly Chicago is where the gyros craze first started in America, somewhere between 1965 and 1968.

But this quest is not about the mass-produced mega sandwich that dominates most grimy, orange tiled, food establishments seen in Yourcity, USA. No, this is about finding the most delicious, handcrafted rotisserie masterpiece in this god forsaken food hell we call the Wyoming Valley.

Now I am no pessimist; if I was I would just continue complaining and not document this journey to the center of the plate.

I believe there is hope for you, I believe somewhere there is a perfectly puffed pita, with gleaming shanks of lamb sitting gracefully on a bed made of sweet onions, bright tomatoes, and crispy lettuce; all smothered in a yogurt sauce which grabs your taste buds by the balls.