Guitar Gyro

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Greek restaurant rocks on

The week of Feb. 13, I discovered something that we do not have a lot of near the SLU campus, especially after Diablitos closed—an ethnic restaurant. Yiro Gyro, a Greek-Mediterranean restaurant, boasts a flavorful menu true to Greek culture and is conveniently placed right off the SLU campus on Vandeventer.

With some friends who were incredibly excited that there is a new Greek place, I entered Yiro Gyro simply to support a new small business. I quickly learned however, that Yiro Gyro was more than just a business— it was a place filled with culture, family and tradition.

The space was decorated with an ornate light bulb motif exemplified by the light fixtures composed of single light bulbs hanging from black rods. The look was complemented by framed pictures of light bulbs and potted plants mounted on the walls. With a green and black color scheme, Yiro Gyro boasted a sophisticated look with humble beginnings.

Intrigued by the look, I simply had to ask the manager of the location, Hardy, the idea behind the space. “When me, my friend and I created the space, we had an idea of a contemporary look [to adapt to the young SLU community] and designed the place with self-built light fixtures, sustaining the light-bulb theme.” After I ordered the Gyro Fries Box filled with fries, feta cheese, chicken and garlic sauce, I continued to ask Hardy about the inspiration and story behind this Yiro Gyro location. “I was raised in Germany, and was born into a Kurdish family. Eating a lot of Greek and Turkish food at home, I remember at the age of five, my family ate the Doner K e b a b — which was the first dish on the menu composed of lettuce, t o m a t o , onion, red c a b b a g e and garlic sauce— and was simply very happy with their meal. I looked around and saw a lot of smiles in the family, and that is something I hope to give here too.”

After looking up at the menu board and eyeing the friendly family working behind the counter, I asked Hardy about his favorite menu item. “My favorite dish is the classic Doner Kebab, because it is something that inspired me to create this place.” I pried and asked about his favorite favorite sauce. “I can’t really choose between the sriracha ranch, which I think is a perfect mix of the spicy sriracha and [mellowed down] ranch and the tzatziki sauce, which is a classic when it comes to Greek food. Something I would like like to point out though is that all our sauces are made in house,” Hardy smiled with pride.

Along with the tasty sauces, the Yiro Gyro menu has a combination of special dishes such as the Zemech Bowl, which highlights the flavor of basmati rice, chickpeas and tahini sauce and the Classic Gyro, bringing in the texture of pita bread, yiro slices and tzatziki sauce. Even though the tastes and textures of the ingredients have been experimented with to create the specialty items, Yiro Gyro gives the customers the ability to create a personal taste with the customizable menu.

Since Yiro Gyro is the perfect place to take some food to go and also to sit in to enjoy the ambiance, I asked Hardy why he chose to set up shop in this specific location. “My girlfriend actually went to SLU. So when I thought of coming here, I understood the dynamic and the people of the SLU community, but also realized that there aren’t a lot of places near here that have food like this, so I thought it would be perfect here.

He isn’t wrong— with a contemporary look and delicious food, Yiro Gyro is a wonderful and diverse addition to the SLU community.