After one year of being closed due to COVID-19, Souvlaki’s Mediterranean Garden on West State Street has finally reopened for the public. 

As an avid Mediterranean food lover, I have been searching for a decent gyro since I arrived in Athens last fall. The menu featured a variety of items, including many different types of gyros and pitas, authentic dishes like spanakopita and grape leaves, and even American foods like burgers and fries. While I prefer the more authentic items, it was nice to see the wide assortment the menu had to offer customers. 

Whether your tastes are basic or bold, here are the top five items at Souvlaki’s to try:

5.) Falafel Pita

One featured item on the menu is the falafel pita. While I have never tried a falafel before going to Souvlaki’s, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The pita only had lettuce, cucumber and falafel, so the pita itself was a little basic. 

However, it still was crunchy and delicious. The falafel was also a little overcooked, which overall made the pita a little dry by itself. I definitely recommend adding tzatziki sauce (known as gyro sauce on its menu), or even some ranch to this item to enhance the flavor. 

4.) Hot cheese bites

Noted as one of the most popular items, the hot cheese balls were excellent. They were fried perfectly, and the filling inside was warm and savory. The filling was even a little spicy, which I greatly appreciated.

I also recommend dipping these bites in ranch sauce, but the bites were amazing on their own. It’s a perfect snack to add onto a dish. 

3.) Wings

This was introduced to me as the most underrated item by the staff, and it’s also one of my favorites. I worked in an authentic Chinese restaurant for almost two years, so I’m used to spicy seasonings on foods. These wings really reminded me of home. 

Smothered in Cajun seasoning, the chicken wings were tender, well seasoned and especially crunchy. For people who prefer saucy wings or might not like super hot foods, adding ranch sauce still keeps their flavor but takes off the heat. The meal also comes with fries, which were so crispy and flavorful, they could rival any fast food chain. 

2.) Lamb gyro 

I was on the hunt for a descent gyro, and I ended up finding a great one. I ordered a double lamb gyro with lettuce, tomato, onions and tzatziki sauce. The gyro was loaded, as a double order is extra meat and bread compared to a single order. It was a really good portion for the price of $7.95. 

The meat was sliced a little thicker than other gyros I’ve seen, but that didn’t affect the perfectly seasoned taste at all. It also came with a lot of tzatziki sauce on top, which I was ecstatic about because many places short on the sauce and charge for more. However, if you’re not a fan of too much sauce, I would ask for it on the side. 

1.) Mac and cheese bites

Heading to a Mediterranean restaurant, I definitely was not expecting this item to be my ultimate favorite. Nevertheless, the best dish to come out of Souvlaki’s was the mac and cheese bites. Paired with ranch sauce, the bites were bursting of flavor. 

They were so crispy and creamy. They were the perfect way to end the meal off, but they were honestly so good, I would not have been upset eating those as a meal on their own. 

Rating: 4/5