Don’t let the bon appetit sign at the entrance of Gyro & Kabob Grill fool you.
There’s no French food here, unless you count the fries.
But who cares about incongruity when the fries, crinkly cut and dusted with paprika, are this good? Plus, they’re not the only outstanding item at this 5-month-old hole in the wall/former burger grill in far southwest Fort Worth: Virtually everything else from the Mediterranean kitchen — where portions give new meaning to “family-style” — is worth a try.
We started with the stuffed grape leaves with meat ($4.99), six petite cylinders full of ground meat and rice. Lemony and rich, they were wonderful dipped into the from-scratch tzatziki sauce, which was redolent with dill and grated cucumber.
And I quite liked the fattoush salad (large, $5.99), a mix of romaine, cucumbers, red bell pepper and seeded tomatoes, all bathed in an olive-oil-heavy dressing. The dish’s telltale touch, pieces of crispy pita and a dusting of pungent sumac, added crunch and total tastiness.
But we were just getting started, and with the already-large portions, our mere party of four was taking on the collective mien of Kobayashi at a competitive eating contest. Next up: the gyro plate ($9.99), a startling amount of lamb and beef slices, served over saffron rice and those fries, all atop a flat, thin pita.
In theory, you could roll a portion of the carbs and meat inside the pita; in reality and to honor most rules of dining decorum, I broke off a piece of the bread and added meat, rice and some of the salad, and then topped the whole thing off with tzatziki.
The meal’s centerpiece, the combo for two with hummus ($25.99), arrived and I started to exhibit signs of a very low-grade panic attack. We had ordered enough food for a small bar mitzvah.
But we pushed on, reveling in our own coming-of-age experience, complete with hefty portions of shish kebab (chunks of lamb tenderloin) as well as shish tawook (marinated pieces of chicken breast) and shish kafta (charbroiled ground lamb). Naturally, a large serving of hummus — whipped, slightly spicy and anointed with olive oil — accompanied all of this, as well as the rice with its pieces of flavorful vermicelli.
Luckily (yet inexplicably), we had saved room for two house-made desserts: baklava and rice pudding ($1.99 each). The latter, made with rose water and milk, was topped with chopped pistachios and made for a hyper-sweet end to the meal. The baklava was also a fabulous, sticky effort.
However, something not so sweet is the dining-room decor, which seeks to build upon its fast-food ancestry, retaining a mix of booths and tables, plus a garish red and aqua wall. Graphic color closeups of gyros and other generic Greek food are mounted to the wall to entice the customer.
And to emphasize that mom-and-pop restaurants seem to traffic in tchotchkes, a renegade fountain-drink stand sits sideways and unused on the counter; instead, a small walk-up cooler dispenses soda and other drinks.
But it’s those very things that can be endearing about a place like Gyro & Kabob. Atmosphere can be vastly overrated when you’ve got this much pita to fill.
Gyro & Kabob Grill
- 7660 McCart Ave., Fort Worth
- Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily