Welcome to “Chowdown Showdown,” a weekly feature where we take one type of food and ask readers to nominate their favorite restaurants in Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn and Palos. This week’s food in focus was the gyros sandwich. We tallied the votes on each respective Patch site and Facebook page.
The selected restaurants for our first “Chowdown Showdown” had a decidedly paternal theme. We sampled their gyros and selected a winner.
Oak Lawn Patch: Like the other two contenders, Pappy’s serves a traditional gyro with tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce. The meat was a bit overdone, but the sauce was evenly distributed. I would have preferred more spices in the meat.
Palos Patch: This was your classic gyro. Everything you would expect from a solid gyro sandwich. It was like the flannel shirt of the gyro world. Reliable. Durable. Nothing fancy. I thought the pita texture was just right and the sauce was fine. Nothing that knocked my socks off, but a very solid option.
Evergreen Park Patch: This classic gyro had just enough meat, onion and tomato for the pita. The meat wasn't too greasy and the pita was soft, but I would have liked a few more onions for flavor. The fries, however, were outstanding. They had the right amount of crunch and salt. Readers also suggested that we check out Souzy's, who I always hear from the folks at the Academy of Self Defense has a chicken veggie pita to die for!
Average Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Oak Lawn Patch: There are a lot of great gyros places in Oak Lawn. Rosie’s was a close second, where I watched a road rage investigation while enjoying an incredible gyros sandwich last summer. The pita was nicely grilled and the meat nicely seasoned—and there were massive amounts of it. The tzatziki sauce was understated and didn’t overpower.
Palos Patch: This was my favorite of the bunch. I thought the meat had nice seasoning, and they sure were generous with the portion. The meat was not too crisp, and not soggy either. The tzatziki offered the perfect creamy compliment. Everything was just right and perfectly balanced.
Evergreen Park Patch: This was clearly the winner in my book. The meat was cooked well, was tender and seasoned to perfection. While the tzatziki sauce wasn't quite as tangy as the others, it was perfectly complemented by the onions and tomatoes. The pita was soft and fluffy.
Average Rating: 4 and 2/3 out of 5 Stars
Oak Lawn Patch: I loved this sandwich! The meat wasn’t too dry or too soggy. And the tzatziki sauce had bits of cucumber in it.
Palos Patch: I think the sauce was the star of the show here. That might have been my single favorite element of the day. It had more cucumber flavor than the others. Pop's is the sponsor of an annual hot dog eating contest. After stuffing myself in this tasting, I can't even imagine a gyros eating contest. I am also eager to try my Facebook fan's choice of Mickey's Gyros in Palos Hills. They were closed for vacation during the tasting.
Evergreen Park Patch: This one was OK for me, it had a good amount of seasoning, onions and tomatoes, but the sauce was amazing! I wouldn't mind just dipping fries into the sauce.
Average Rating: 4 and 1/3 out of 5 stars
THE WINNER: Big Pappa’s Mr. Gyros. Big Pappa’s sandwich had the kind of harmonious multi-dimensional flavor that is essential in a quality gyro. If all else remained constant and more attention was put into the grilling of the meat, this gyro could really hold it’s ground.
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