This may sound crazy, but I hope you’re all doing some cooking at home. Yeah, yeah, I know I run a restaurant website and I’m actively encouraging you to get takeout, but still—this is a good time to get reacquainted with your kitchen.
Cooking is fun. It’s affordable, it helps pass the time, and it’s important for what I’m going to say next:
Sometimes you need food you can’t make yourself. Not just want. Need. Sometimes, to stay sane, eating a dish you have no clue how to prepare is necessary. For me, that food is gyros.
Sweet suffering Sufjan Stevens, I love gyros. Was I in college when I first had one? Maybe high school? It’s definitely not something I remember my parents giving me. But the minute that crispy, fatty meat soaked in tzatziki sauce hit my tongue, I was hooked.
I have seen recipes for making gyros at home, but they’re basically a lamb meatloaf. And while that’s...a nice idea...I have always enjoyed the gyro-industrial complex version myself. I know it’s not “authentic.” I don’t care. It’s what I like.
When I am feeling very nervous (huh, I wonder why this is applicable?) I turn to those comforting foods of yore. And that’s why I got CousCous Cafe delivered.
Best. Decision. Ever.
CousCous Cafe is one of my favorite Mediterranean spots, but, maddeningly, it’s nowhere near where I live or work or spend much time. When I heard they were still cooking, I was ecstatic.
Weather is all over the place, so use your own judgement on how much you want soup, but the soups are very good.
I wasn’t feeling very soupy when I ordered, but I was feeling nervous, so I indulged in one of my all-time favorites: the Gyro Burrito ($7.25).
The downside to the gyro burrito is you don’t get the pita. But you do get big chunks of shaved gyro meat wrapped in a flour tortilla flour with hummus, rice, CousCous’ Moroccan salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber) with a side of tzatziki.
It’s basically everything you might get on a platter, but wrapped in a tortilla. The added weight and texture of the rice and hummus and salad makes this one essential. Also, despite the name being “burrito,” you’re actually getting two burritos.
Here’s what I do: I get the gyro burrito and a side of hummus ($2.95 for a small), because CousCous makes great hummus. I actually don’t use the tzatziki very much here, because I dip the burrito in the hummus. Decadent? Sure. But I’M WORTH IT.
Maybe the best deal on the menu, though, is the side of lamb kebab ($2.99).
It is 100 percent worth the price to get the lamb kebab platter ($11.99), but if your heart is set on a gyro, getting a side kebab for three bucks is a steal.
Lamb meat is a big springier than beef, a bit chewier, but the flavor is also much more intense. If you’re looking for flavors to awaken you from your social isolation slumber, this is the good stuff. Dip it in the hummus, if you like, or just gnaw it off the stick like a caveman.
These are foods that travel well and can even be reheated well later, if you so choose.