We have been aware of the existence of Gyros Grill (on Old Shakopee Road in Bloomington) ever since we started shopping for Korean staples at Hana Market a couple of storefronts over. But for some reason we had never gotten around to checking them out. We finally fixed that this past weekend. We took a family walk around Lake Nokomis and then stopped at the little strip that houses them. While the missus went into Hana Market to pick up a few items I picked up the order I’d placed at Gyros Grill the evening before. I found a space much larger and brighter than the exterior might indicate and some very nice people behind the counter. The large order was ready and waiting and after the agony of smelling it in the car while waiting for the missus to get done at Hana Market and then on the 30 minute drive home I was starving by the time our pod-mates arrived for lunch. I am very glad to say that the food did not disappoint at all.
As I was paying for the order I had a brief conversation with the young man whose parents own the restaurant. The business has been around for 20 years. It apparently started out as a market, then expanded to a deli and this past January they expanded to include a separate dining room. This answered my question about whether business has been fine during the pandemic. He said they’d been doing pretty well off delivery via the various delivery services. I asked if the fees they charge were not a problem; his response—which I was not expecting—was that this hit was made up for them through the advertising and attention they receive via the delivery apps. Be that as it may, if you are within easy reach do consider placing your order over the phone and picking it up yourself. It’s a large space—I was the only customer picking up at 11.45 on a Saturday but even if there were others waiting there is a lot of space for safe social distancing; and, of course, it is now warm enough to just wait outside if necessary as well.
What did we get? Well, it’s a compact menu and we were able to try a lot of it. We started with some very good baba ghanoush, hummus, falafel and spinach pie (which is how hey bill spanakopita on their menu). Then a bunch of combination platters. The main events in these combos can also be mostly got in sandwich form—the platter adds a massive amount of rice and salad. The four kids shared the following: a gyro platter, a fish fry platter and a chicken kabob platter. All received good reviews from the young people, most evident from how much of all three they greedily consumed. We got four more platters—one for each adult—and shared across them: a kufta kabob platter, a gyro stiryfry platter, a lamb shank platter and another chicken kabob platter. The kufta kabob’s flavours were good but it was the one dish that seemed to have suffered from the lag between preparation and consumption, having dried out a bit. All the others were very good. The lamb shank was perfectly cooked; the consensus favourite, however, may have been the gyro stir fry which is made with—among other things—teriyaki sauce! The pita on the side was from a bag. We also got small side orders of olives and feta.
To finish, a selection of desserts: Lebanese and Greek baklava and finger rolls. All were very good. Two adults preferred the Greek baklava, the other two (me among them) the highly buttery Lebanese. We all liked the finger rolls.
For a look at the space, the menu and the food, launch the slideshow below. Scroll down to see how much it cost, a few more thoughts and to see what may be coming next.
In case it isn’t clear, I quite liked the food and am sure that it would be even better eaten in their new dining room. While we are very unlikely to be doing that anytime soon I fully expect that we will do it down the road. It’s a perfect combo with our Hana Market runs—or for that matter with trips to Ikea or meals on the way to or back from the airport. And frankly, I don’t think there’s anything really separating Gyros Grill at the level of food from something like Ansari’s in Eagan. The price is very reasonable too for the quality and quantity of what you get. Our order generated a lot of leftovers: I’d hazard that 10 adults could have eaten it all and not been hungry. It may have taken us a long time to finally try them but it won’t take very long for us to try them again. I recommend you give them a go too if you’re in range.
Okay, coming up next: almost certainly something Southeast Asian. I’d been hoping to do another On’s Kitchen run but I think they are shut till next week for one of their regular breaks. Maybe Thai from elsewhere in St. Paul instead or maybe Vietnamese? We’ll see.