I had a favorite gyros place growing up in Chicago, but recently they stopped carving gryos off the spit, instead resorting to heating up pre-portioned and cooked meat. I only found out when I ordered a gyro and every piece was paper thin and completely uniform. How can that be!?! So I’ve been on a quest to find a gyro replacement ASAP. We had heard from our foodie cousin and several other Milwaukee locals that Oakland Gyros was good, and even though its Milwaukee location does not put it in our regular rotation, we knew we had to go give it a try. There are two locations, old (2867 N. Oakland Ave.) and new (9530 W Layton Ave.), and we ended up being closer to the new Layton Ave. location.
This location is outfitted like a basic fast food joint, but there is plenty of seating (you order at the counter and then your order gets delivered to you). When we stepped right in we knew we were in for some good eats right away. Behind the simple takeout counter there were two large rotating cones of meat, which obviously is a necessity for a good gyro, though not always a given. We ordered chicken souvlaki platter and a classic lamb/beef gyro. In Greek diner tradition, the menu is pretty exhaustive, including various burger permutations, spinach pie, Philly cheese steaks, soup, malts, and even Greek frappe coffee. Another great feature is that they bring you a whole bottle of tzatziki sauce with your order – not just a measly little cup.
Even though there was a bit of line we did not have to wait long at all to get our food. This gyro looked pretty darn good and certainly was generously portioned. The gyro meat was tasty and flavorful, and the tzatziki sauce was delicious, but the gyros meat did not have the crispy edge that I’ve come to expect from off-the-cone gyros. Some describe these gyros as “thick cut,” which I am sure has its backers, but I think I prefer the thin cut variety with a nice char. M devoured the souvlaki, which was piled perilously high with charred meat and onions (the fries were pretty good, too), with a nice chunk of feta on the side. It is also worth noting that the pita was also particularly light and fluffy, and left us hoping we had ordered a few extras. Oakland Gyros is a great lunch option in Milwaukee, but the quest for the prefect gyro in Chicago continues. Any suggestions?