Akdeniz’s Gyro “Burrito” is Pretty Freakin’ Tasty (If You Don’t Forget the Sauce)
Back when I was on my quest for a real deal Greek gyro (not a Middle Eastern shawarma sandwich, or a chopped up gyro from a cart), a number of commenters mentioned Akdeniz. Sure it’s Turkish, and not Greek, and the place is a sit down restaurant- but their gyro sandwich is under $10 (one of the few things on the menu that is) and came highly recommended. Well I finally got around to trying the thing, which is only available during the day, and although it wasn’t what I initially was asking for, it is definitely a tasty sandwich.
I got it to go (so I didn’t have to pay tip, etc.. you know the drill), and opened the thing to find something more like a gyro burrito than a sandwich. It is $7.50 and comes wrapped in a Turkish style of bread that is more similar to a tortilla than pita bread.
First bite in was mostly lettuce (very disappointing)
But after a few bites I hit pay dirt. The gyro meat is a much higher quality than what you would get from a cart, or even one of the cheaper Middle Eastern places, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Akdeniz is kind of a nice, sit down, Turkish restaurant. The flavors were more like shawarma than a Greek gyro, but overall the “burrito” was a little dry. It needed something…
And that’s when I realized I forgot the sauce!
Much, much better. The sauces took it from being mediocre to delicious! For some reason they do the sauces on the side here, and in my bag I had totally missed them: a white yogurt based sauce, and a vinegary hot sauce- which improved the gyro sandwich tenfold. The fatty meat gets balanced out by the crisp lettuce and tomato, while the hot sauce gets cooled off by the creamy yogurt. Delicious! It took me long enough to take the suggestion, but I’m glad I did. (Keep them coming!)
- Gyro meat is much higher quality than you find at most places in Midtown
- The two sauces are excellent, and balance each other out really nicely
- If eating a “gyro burrito” sounds good to you, this is probably your sandwich
- $7.50 is a lot for a gyro sandwich (although admittedly Akdeniz is a nice Turkish restaurant)
- If you are looking for a Greek style gyro this is not it
- There’s a lot of lettuce and tomato in the thing (which may or may not be a good thing)
Akdeniz, 19 W 46th St (btw. 5+6th), 212-575-2307