Every 3 years or so I feel obligated to check places out again, even if I didn't like them very much. Places do change; some evolve and some get worse; it's good to get an idea which way they're headed.
Gyroville is a chain restaurant that was built to be a chain restaurant, rather than a great restaurant that expanded organically because of popularity. Originally Mr Gyros, they rebranded and now have 9 locations.
I walked into a completely empty storefront, including employees. There was just 1 dude working the place and he was in the back and apparently they don't have a way for him to know someone came in. I waited about 5 minutes before he came out. I could have yelled "Hello!" or something, but I didn't.
They have a "Build your Own" where you can get a rice bowl, wrap, Pita or salad in a mini Chinese Menu. The pricing baffles me; it's $2 more for a salad than a pita, which makes little sense. I ordered a Pita Gyro with Tzatziki on the side, and a small Greek Salad. Prices are up .70 on the pita and $1 on the small salad since my last visit.
I ordered them take out with the defaults, to get an idea of how "authentic" the place is. When I got home I opened up the salad first.
Gyroville Small Salad
I thought it was kind of odd that they stuffed a salad into a cardboard container and wrapped it in aluminum foil. I cut open the "Dolma" (stuffed grape leaf); one taste and in the garbage. Some sort of poorly seasoned rice didn't work. I dumped the salad into a bowl to get a better idea of what I had.>
Gyroville Small Greek Salad
Didn't look much like a greek salad. I suppose that the dust was Feta cheese, but it's not the same when its not in chunks. They claim that the salad has peppers and cucumbers; I found 1 tiny square of green pepper and 2 squares of cucumber. A very sad excuse for a Greek Salad.
The Gyro comes with lettuce, which of course is wrong.
Gyroville Pita Gyro
At least they don't chop the meat anymore, but they do chop everything else. If they replaced the lettuce with cucumber it would be closer. The big problem was the tzatziki.
Gyroville Watery Tzatziki
The Tzatziki was the consistency of milk, which of course is unacceptable. The key concept in making tzatziki is removing the water from the yogurt and cucumber; this stuff is salad dressing and not suitable to put on a Gyro. The last time I got this it was thicker and had big chunks of cucumber in it; this was completely different and also wrong. Certainly not made with Greek yogurt.
I didn't have enough cucumber in the house to make my own, so I'd have to wait a day to eat this. I can't eat a Gyro without Tzatziki.
Their tagline says "Really Greek", but this is not authentic Greek food. It's Greek fast food, for people who don't know what Greek food is.
I'd been to the other Fort Lauderdale Gyroville location on N Andrews back before they changed the name from Mr Gyros, and I wasn't terribly impressed. But that was over a year ago, so I thought I'd see if they'd evolved now that they'd opened up a few other locations.
This is a small place; a sliver of a room. They have all of the menus on big flat screen TVs.>
Gyroville SE 17th Interior
They seem a bit jittery service-wise; they've only been open a few days. They kept asking me what I wanted over and over. It seems more like a fast food place than your typical Gyro shop. They do have a spit and a flat grill; they slice off some meat and toss it on the grill.
Gyrovolle Gyro 2011
They don't chop the gyro meat anymore, which I really didn't like, but all of the vegetables are chopped. It just doesn't feel like a gyro. The Tzatziki was better than the last time I had it, but it was still a bit wonky. Not very garlicky and it had big chunks of cucumber in it. Squares that is. Everything is nicely chopped here.
Gyroville Chicken Souvlaki 2011
The chicken souvlaki was wholly unbalanced; yes, there is some chicken in there. But it just didn't seem right. Lettuce on souvlaki? I didn't expect them to give me the same pilings on the souvlaki as on the Gyro. And I'm sorry, but the chopped red onions just don't work on either of these. They have a jalapeno/spinach sauce that's pretty spicy but it didn't really go with what I ordered; I ended up stripping off all of the lettuce, grilling some onions and eating the souvlaki with the rest of the Tzatziki. The chicken isn't charbroiled and frankly didn't remind me of souvlaki that I've had before.
The biggist problem with this place is that Greek Express is right down the road and it's just a lot better. Maybe this place is $1 cheaper; but I'd rather pay for something more authentic.