The Greek Taverna: Review
The Greek Taverna is a brand new fast-casual restaurant nestled in the heart of Old Town Moore on Broadway between Main and 1st Street, just a few blocks east of I-35. The Mendros family-owned and operated restaurant opened on May 7th and has since been generating quite a positive buzz around town. When my husband Justin and I moved to Moore in May, it was one of the first dining recommendations suggested to us by a local Bed Bath & Beyond cashier, so we were really excited to try the place – especially since I had somehow never had a gyro before.
Gyro. Not only is the meat butchered, but the word is, too. I’m sure the Taverna’s friendly culinary team would happily serve a freshly made sandwich to any guest who ordered a “guy-row” or a “jai-row”, but for the record, it’s properly pronounced: “yee-row”.
When we walked through the front door, we found ourselves in line at the ordering station. It was 6:05pm on a Monday and it seemed we had just walked in as the restaurant filled up, which doesn’t take much with less than ten tables and a maximum occupancy of 39 persons. Looking over the menu, we noticed it was very concise. Six entrees, one kid’s plate, some add ons, sides and three desserts. Your decision is basically made for you, which is a breath of fresh air in a world full of information-overload.
When it was our turn to order, my husband and I both ordered the obvious: the Greek Plate Special. It’s what the couple behind us ordered, and it’s what the couple behind them ordered, too. It’s just what you do at The Greek Taverna. The Greek Plate Special is a traditional gyro with meat, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki, served with your choice of fries or salad and something hidden behind masking tape.
Tzatziki. It’s a big one… saht-zeek-ee. We did it! Hooray!
We set up camp at the counter with the window overlooking Broadway Street. Justin watched Caddyshack on the television above us while I checked out our surroundings. The color scheme of the restaurant is, appropriately, cobalt blue (the kind of blue you can only find in Greece) and white. You can’t forget you’re in a Greek restaurant from the hand-painted mural on the wall depicting a view of Santorini, to the traditional Greek folk music playing in the dining room. Looking through the display of miniature ivory statues of Greek Gods (and the out-of-place lava lamp that reminds you they’re here to party, too), a male cook was intently shaving meat from two slowly rotating vertical spits. Their gyro meat consists of seasoned minced lamb and beef, which is the classic Greek-American serving method.
If you’re in a hurry, you might want to call ahead for a carryout order during the dinner rush. It took us just over 20 minutes to get our food and we started to envy the folks who planned ahead and effortlessly swooped in to pick up their food ready to take home while we waited. Just as we were starting to get discouraged about the wait, our food was delivered to us.
Here we go, my first gyro experience:
The first thing I noticed was, gyros look a lot more appetizing in real life than they do in those stock Kronos photos you see anywhere gyros are served. As far as flavor goes, the meat was peppery, warm and abundant. The thinly shaved pieces of meat had a variety of textures: crispy, salty and tender. The sliced tomatoes were ripe and the sliced white onions were crisp and plentiful.
The cucumber-based tzatziki was cool and had a prominent dill flavor. People really seem to go nuts for this stuff – I was surprised to see it on the menu as an Add On… a bowl of tzatziki! Personally, I sought out the ketchup and preferred that as my dressing. The French fries were perfectly crisp on the outside and cooked just the way I love them (I’m trying to force French fries out of my top three favorite foods, but it’s just not working out).
But the best part to me was the pita bread. It was fluffy and warm and rich. It’s nothing like that thin store-bought pita bread that tears every time you try to peel it apart. I was even more delighted to discover that they sell the authentic pita bread by the package so you can take it home to enjoy as your own custom wrap, or even as pillows! They come ten to a package for only $5.99.
Just a side note: this may not be your ideal first-date kind of restaurant. I found myself thanking the heavens that I had already tied the knot with my husband as I reached for my fourth napkin.
Overall, it was an experience well worth the $14 it cost us both to eat there. I was surprised to see so many families with small children dining while we were there. I felt so uncultured eating my first gyro among these experienced kiddos. If you’re looking for a good gyro, The Greek Taverna is the place to go. Just watch the time, they’re only open until 7pm! And, according to the sign on the door, they will be closed from July 22-29 for a family vacation. I genuinely love that!
Location: 122 N.Broadway St. | Moore, OK 73160
Phone: (405) 794.3663
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 11am-7pm