Restaurateur Sunny Corda, whose current brands include Rasa, Southern Spice, saffron and Mynt, is stepping out of his Indian milieu and dabbling in a bit of Greek with Simply Gyros.
Located next door to Rasa, on Restaurant Row, SG is a fast-food style outlet for everyone’s favorite Mediterranean sandwich.
As the name suggests, the menu is straightforward and focuses on gyros. However, if your concept of a gyro is lamb and beef sliced from a vertical tower of meat that continually spins on a rotisserie, you should know that here a falafel sandwich is also considered a gyro. So is chicken, though in both cases I would classify them as shawarmas or doners. But far be if from me to be difficult about a place called Simply Gyros.
Then again, a fellow who answered the phone at the new restaurant said, “Thank you for calling Simply Gyros,” pronouncing it jī-rohs. I would no more use that pronunciation than I would call my favorite Italian soup pasta fazool. Gyro should be pronounced yee-roh. I’ll entertain no arguments. Yes, the word comes from the Greek word for turning, which you might also translate as gyrating, but I’ll hear no more of it.
(By the way, the sign out front says Simply Gyros, but the website and the logo on the drink cups read Simply Gyro. I’m going to go with the plural, even though I ate only one.)
It's a small place with a confusing ordering spot -- standing at the edge of the glass that separates the customers from the food. There's a sign that reads Order Here because it doesn't really look like a spot you'd stand to place an order. In fact, I waited so long to be acknowledged that I thought I was in the wrong place. Or maybe the sign was.
But my mispronounced sandwich was good. The fellow behind the counter used an electric slicer to shave the meat off the spit. It was placed on a puffy pita. And then things left the land of simple.
The young man held my sandwich behind the counter as he stood in front of about a dozen condiment bins and asking me what I wanted on my gyro. I looked down and the first thing I saw was black olives. Who puts black olives on a gyro? Perhaps someone who pronounces it with a hard g and a y sound. I told him to make it with the traditional toppings.
And so my sandwich had shredded lettuce, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions and a slathering of creamy tzatziki sauce. The meat was well spiced and the bread, an important part of a gyro, was doughy and fresh tasting.
I also got an order of falafel as an appetizer. The fried chickpea fritters were appropriately dense and were not dry, as many falafels tend to be. I appreciated the extra tzatziki for dipping.
The menu also has Spanakipita and Hummus for noshing, and there is an entry called a King Gyro that includes beef, lamb and chicken in one sandwich.
That’s too complicated.
Simply Gyros is at 7728 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando. On the restaurant’s website it says, “We work all day.” That may be true, but it is open only for lunch and dinner. The phone number is 321-250-2155.