1. Asking for a
"souvlaki" will normally result in
a kebab - meat on a skewer,
especially outside Athens.
2. The classic "souvlaki" known
throughout the world is purchased
by asking for "gyro pita" (YEE-roh
PEE-tah) Note that the "pita" is
essential to denote the wrap,
asking for "gyro" will likely get
you the full monty - a "merida"
(portion) with the disappointing
results Matt mentions in his article. On
the other hand, a "souvlaki (me)
pita" would be a classic souvlaki
with meat from the skewer in it
instead of meat sliced off the big
3. A "doner" is another name for
"gyros" (the Turkish original, I
presume) and a term more widely
used in the city centre rather
than in the neighbourhood
4. Fancier souvlakia (kebabs) may
come with pieces of onion and
green bell pepper between the
pieces of meat.
5. Chicken souvlakia are
increasingly common and many shops
now carry them. Some shops have a
separate spit for chicken but I'd
go for the souvlaki instead.
6. Any professional who calls it
a "souvlaki sandwich" ought to be
condemned to a year of flipping
burgers at McDonalds. I've never
heard of it, it's probably a
strictly tourist shop term and
would make any Greek look at you
7. Many places in the centre have
blackboards with the menu written
on them outside the shop, usually
in awful but recognizable
8. Sitting down is an implied
invitation to be served a full
meal. Go inside and stand in
9. Some places will lace the
onion with parsley to draw out the
bitter flavour of onion that's
been cut for a while. Others will
combine it with lettuce.
10. The meat in the gyros is
commonly a blend of pork and lamb
(or mystery meat). Definitely not
kosher. If you're Jewish or
Muslim, you'll want to avoid it
and go for the souvlaki, which is
usually lamb (see 2.).
11. Tzatziki is meant to have the
consistency of yoghurt. The only
thing dripping out of the bottom
of a wrap should be grease, not
12. Good tzatziki contains garlic
- lots of it. Beware!
13. I had no idea I knew this
much about souvlakia.