By SUSAN ERICSON
Greek Eats, located in a high-ceilinged, industrially-styled space on the former site of Memory Bowling, is the brainchild of George, Charlie and Taso Lyristis, brothers and owners of Teak and the Bistro in Red Bank.
Pita bread brimming with pork from the rotisserie, tzatziki sauce and spicy feta cheese. Below, co-owner George Lyristis rocking a t-shirt with Greek Eats’ amulet logo. (Photo above by Susan Ericson, below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Ordering a meal at the counter can be a bit daunting, requiring quick decisions, starting with whether to have your beef and lamb, pork or chicken on an environmentally sound plate, stuffed into a fresh pita, or over a salad.
Once established, your vehicle and meat of choice can be garnished with multiple taste-tingling options. Lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, olives, onions are just a few.
PieHole decided to try a plate with the rotisserie sliced chicken. Tzatziki — a tangy, cucumber-infused yogurt sauce, spelled “tzaziki” on the menu here — and pita bread filled in the plate. A big spoonful of ancient grain salad, and another of saffron rice, were added to the plate. For $9.50, it was a copious amount of food that gave us an opportunity to taste some unique-to-us munchies.
The ancient grain salad consists of chewy faro, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, parsley and mint. It is a delightful vegetarian alternative, and filling as a lunch salad on its own.
The pork-filled pita gyro ($7.25) had the usual tzatziki sauce, shredded lettuce, onion and chopped tomato accompaniments, but kicking it up several flavor notches was an addition of a deceptively creamy yet spicy feta cheese.
Sitting at one of the reclaimed-wood, high top community tables, we chatted with two women who told us they’d just returned from a trip to Greece. Eyeing the gyro one of them was about to bite into, we had to ask about the contents. A lamb and beef combo was snuggled into the pita with saffron rice, lettuce, tomato and french fries. “That’s the way they make them in Greece,” said one of our tablemates.
Other vegetarian-friendly menu selections include gigandes, or giant baked white beans with garlic sauce; a Greek potato salad made with a lemon, olive oil, oregano and garlic emulsion called lado; and Santorini hummus, made with yellow fava beans instead of chick peas.
With so many exceptional and healthy menu alternatives, the combinations you can concoct is staggering. PieHole suggests that you go in with a plan, pick up a takeout menu to study and then go back and try something different. And with fries on a gyro, this place can definitely become habit-forming.
Greek Eats is open seven days from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.