The Souvlaki and Gyros Menu from ... a
tourist who visit rhodes island in Greece
Many small tavernas in Greece offer a very limited
menu of souvlaki, french fries,
Greek salad, pita bread, and
tzatziki. The prices are usually low and the atmosphere and
service is genuine and authentic.
Traditional Greek "Fast
Food" includes the "souvlaki" and the "gyro". Two terms that
are interchangeable and can refer to two different things
depending on the town, restaurant, or waiter!
Traditionally, souvlaki refers to shiskebab (pieces of pork
grilled on a stick) but many times it refers to gyros (the
assortment of minced meat, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki,
wrapped in pita bread). So you run the risk when ordering a
souvlaki (the shiskebab) to find that you really ordered a
Gyro sandwich and vice versa. To make matters even more
confusing, you can order a Gyros sandwich with a souvlaki,
gyro meat, or chicken!
Often times the souvlaki is referred
to as "kalamaki" which means "stick", and the Gyros sandwich
is simply called a "pita".
I usually order a "kalamaki"
when I want a sishkebab, and a "pita" when I want a Gyros
The Greek gyros pitta is a very versatile food. Depending on
the restaurant it usually has a few standard ingredients:
meat, tomatoes, onions, pita, tzatziki, and a great deal of
spices (salt, black and red pepper). Many times these
ingredients are supplemented with french fries, and ketchup or
even mustard! You can customize your own Gyros pitta at the
time you order by specifying whether you want any of the above
omitted, or by adding anything else that might enhance the
taste. You can even order your Gyros wrapped in double pita
bread. My sister who is not a big meat eater often orders her
gyros without meat. So in essence she is eating a vegetarian
The meat that goes in the Gyros pitta consists of
three choices. The traditional "Gyros" meat that gives the
name to the food is a mixture of minced pork and lamb slowly
roasted by turning around on a vertical spit (gyros in Greek
means "something that goes around"). You may also have your
sandwich made with the "souvlaki" meat (without the stick of
course) which is made of grilled pork. There is also a third
choice of meat called the "bifteki". It is a sort of burger
made of a variety of minced meats and grilled around a stick
like the "souvlaki". For those who favor white meat, many
restaurants offer chicken for the content.
gyros pitta comes wrapped in a piece of paper and napkin to be
eaten without utensils, but you can opt for a "merida" which
is the same food served on a plate with a few extra (or more)
Tavernas that offer gyros and souvlaki are
inexpensive and offer the food as a take-out option something
most Greeks take advantage off. They also have seating that
varies from a bar stool to a full set of outdoor tables.
During our travells we always find a nice souvlaki place in a
central square or by the waterfront. The food is good, the
atmosphere genuine, and the price is always right.