Food critic: In search of the perfect gyro, Part 3

Austin Loukas

Nicholas Wesley, Correspondent

My latest quest to find the most delicious, juicy meat kabob creation led me to a likely spot on the square known as the Gyro King. Like most kings, this title was self appointed, this was not the president of gyros, chosen by the lamb and beef college, nor was it worthy of such title. This king has led us astray.

This is what I call a mass market gyro place. Located on the southern corner of the Square is this hole in the wall.

Quaintly decorated with sticky notes from loyal fans praising the king and one 8.5 inch by 11 inch sheet saying merely, “Chicken/lamb, $6.75 reg. $7.75 king,” Obviously not a very diversified menu, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with specialization.

Barely the size of my Jerry Brown bedroom sits a spit, roasting a pre-packaged, beef, lamb and filler meat chunk. Sitting next to it was a plastic box. The sole employee of this place would shave the meat, set it in this box and wait for someone to order, then he would shuck it into an electric skillet, probably purchase at your local Wal-Mart.

To his credit, he did not let the concoction overcook on the spit, a plus in my book.
I quizzed him for a bit about the origins of the hunk of meat cooking behind him, the origins of his Tzatziki sauce, was it home made, where he gets his produce.

This was probably one of the most awkward experiences in my travels here in Wilkes-Barre.
This 29-year-old townie was obviously not the king, but merely a serf, and as any good servant to the royal court, was not trying to slip up and make trouble for his boss.

I was clearly making him extremely nervous, being possibly the only customer who has ever asked the origins of his tomatoes besides possibly the health inspector, whom the king answers directly to.

So behind the extreme anxiety I was causing came these truths, they have a supplier, whom the king orders meat logs, and Tahiti sauce. The veggies, lettuce, tomato and onion come from a similar supplier. So nothing special about this dish, really just you’re run of the mill gyro.

Once I finished my law-and-order styled interrogation things got more relaxed. Then I got my dish.
I must say it did smell great. I was not super disappointed. It was not anything special though, just to make that ultra clear. It tasted like it should, had a toasted pita, sauce, tomato’s lettuce onion.

I have absolutely had worse. But going as far as to call yourself the king, well you need a bit of an ego to do that. But how many kings are modest? It did fill me up and the portions were nice. Not unpleasant, but nothing special, did I say that already?

To put it in perspective, the SUB makes a comparable gyro to the king. Just to beat a horse while he’s down I will reiterate, NOTHING SPECIAL.

The one thing I feel about the king, his peasants are making him a rich man. This place has basically one choice of dish in all of 100 square feet (that’s tiny).

They definitely had a steady stream of customers throwing their hard-earned cash on a dish that cost about $1.75 if even to produce.

Maybe one day a revolt will happen and an emperor will be dubbed to save these people from mediocrity, but to quote Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the king.”