First Look: GRK Ups the Gyro Game in Midtown East
In case you missed it, GRK opened its second location in NYC a few days ago, on Lex btw. 44th & 45th streets. It’s smaller than the first location in the Financial District, but the menu is the same: meats spinning on spits, a few sides, salads, and fresh and frozen Greek yogurt. With a wealth of similar options nearby, my main question was, could GRK compete? I made the ultimate sacrifice and revisited their food after a couple of years to find out the answer.
It was GRK’s second day of business, and while the line was somewhat long, things were fairly organized and food was being doled out at a quick pace. The free samples of frozen yogurt helped pass the time waiting for orders.
There are plates ($9.97), pita sandwiches ($7.53), and salads ($7.26-$9.92) on offer as your main dish, along with a couple of soups if that’s how you roll. The yeero (or portobello mushroom) pita sandwiches are large and keep you under $10, while you’re going to break that mark with a plate, which involves your choice of yeero and tzatziki, a side, a small salad, and a pita.
I brought an entourage of a couple of co-workers to try different things. My plate, featuring pork yeero, spicy kaftero tzatziki, and Aegean slaw, is above, while the lamb/beef gyro and fries were also sampled. The pork was essentially a pile of caramelized bacon, slightly rich but tasty, making me thankful I got the vinegar and olive oil-slicked slaw rather than fries, to balance out the grease factor. I also had a bite of the lamb/beef yeero and, to my surprise, it tasted strongly of lamb. The fries, sprinkled with seasoning, also got two thumbs up, as did the lightly charred pita and the choice of having Puck’s sodas on tap.
My co-worker who is a big fan of both kale and meats on spits opted for the kale salad ($7.26) above, with lamb/beef yeero (an extra $3.26). It involves kale and romaine, tomato, carrot, black-eyed peas, and feta with a light vinaigrette. The salad came with a bunch of pieces of cut up pita and also got two thumbs up for being tasty and filling (although you’re going to far exceed $10 with this order).
You may also be interested in some of the bottled Greek sodas or “Greek mountain tea.” Or the Greek yogurt bar with toppings such as rose petal preserves, fig, olives, pita chips, basil, or cherry preserves. No candy or sprinkles here.
While there are other somewhat similar options nearby (including meats-on-sticks specialist Piatsa Kalamaki around the corner on 45th St.), GRK seems to have more of an accessible, Chipotle-like, menu. And according to two of my other co-workers who later hit up GRK after hearing it was open, the meats and fries are better.
Have you eaten at this new spot? Let us know in the comments what you thought of the food!
GRK, 451 Lexington (btw. 44th + 45th), (212) 204-8598