We had been waiting for Greek Eats in Shrewsbury to open for what seemed just shy of eternity. Gyro (yeero not jyro) withdrawal can do that. You see, we had returned back to the Jersey Shore after living not far from the Tarpon Springs FL sponge docks which abounds with Greek culture and dining. We would travel there frequently for a gyro and to buy shrimp right from the boats. Since we returned to the shore a couple of years ago we found that a gyro was not an easy thing to find locally, until now. Thanks to the Lyristis family who also own two great eateries in Red Bank, Teak and the Bistro, Greek Eats is now opened in Shrewsbury at 89 Newman Springs Road. Prior to this we had to wait for the Greek Orthodox Church to have a Greek festival.
We visited Greek Eats on Saturday after the fast food style restaurant had only been opened a few days. The 1500 square foot space offers table and counter high table seating in a contemporary setting. Food is ordered on an assembly line and carried back to the table. There is no table service. It is a very casual and cheerful atmosphere.
When you approach the order station you tell the person in attendance whether you want regular pita bread or whole wheat and which choice of meat you prefer. As you move down the line you select your toppings, sauce and drinks. It all runs very smoothly and the staff is very friendly. This day the choices of meat were spit roasted chicken of pork or grilled bifteki, a mixture of beef and lamb with Greek herbs. The traditional spit roasted beef and lamb was missing that day.
I spoke with Charlie Lyristis, who was at the helm on this occasion, and he explained how the beef and lamb on the spit was not up to his standards. It was coming out a little too dry so rather than serve a sub standard product, they decided to pull it. He told me that the beef and lamb mixture was being replaced by a spit roasted Angus beef gyro the following day. It is not as easy as just finding a new vendor and switching as all of the meats are locally sourced and naturally raised. For that matter all of the serving materials, including the forks are compostable, and the furniture is made from re-purposed wood. From what I have read, the Angus was an excellent choice. We are looking forward to going back and trying it.
On this occasion we decided to try the bifteki with onions and tomato and tzaziki; the traditional sauce of yogurt, cucumber, garlic and lemon juice. It was tender and delicious with just the right amount of seasoning. There are a host of other sauces and toppings but my Greek wife and I are purists. We also ordered the village fries which are explained on the menu as being seasoned with rosemary, thyme sea salt and grated Greek cheese. Oddly they did not come with any of that. They were just fries, very good, hand cut ones, but not Greek by any stretch. When a place has only been opened a few days, there are some things that need to be tweaked. It takes time in action to work these little details out. To the one guy who said the same on their Facebook page and followed up by saying he would not return, I say good. Who needs an unforgiving spirit in the place. I guess that evil eye really works.
One more remarkable menu item that we enjoyed was the frappe, or iced Greek coffee. If you are a true coffee lover you can’t leave without trying this. It is cold and frothy with a little sweetness. The coffee flavor is so intense it will make both your eyes look like the sign out front.
Greek Eats also features a selection of “Sanmuches” and sides along with frozen Greek yogurt including vissino, Greek sour cherry yogurt.
If Greek Eats is as welcomed by others as it is by me, it is guaranteed to be a success. The experience and talent driving it, combined with a unique concept, appears to me to be the perfect formula. We are headed over to Teak this week but after that we will be back. See you soon.
You can check out the entire menu on their website
La Rosa’s Pastry Shoppe is Right Next Door and Pizzuto’s is Nearby
After enjoying your Greek eats at Greek Eats don’t forget to stop at La Rosa’s wonderful Italian Pastry Shoppe which is right next door. You exit the Greek Eats parking lot and pull right into La Rosa’s. There you will discover a panoply of Italian Cakes and Pastries. We picked up a box filled with sfogliatelle, Napolean, pastichiotti and cannoli, all of which were very good. I particularly enjoyed the Napoleon but
my wife raved about the sfogliatelle. Coming from a person who has visited countless Italian bakeries in New York and New Jersey that is a supreme compliment. While you are in Shrewsbury also stop into Pizzuto’s a short drive away on Rt. 35 where you will find the best fresh ravioli’s I have found anywhere in the area along with fresh-baked Italian Bread, Pizza and a deli. Eat Fresh, eat local enjoy.