Restaurant Review: Grecian Delight, Milwaukee, WI

For obvious reasons, which are three, nine and 11 years old, we don’t eat out a lot. When it happens, it is generally a hurried and exciting affair and typically ends with us paying an enormous tip to placate wait- and bus-staff.

The other night we found ourselves with few groceries and a mid-evening social engagement, so we decided to take the kiddies out to eat. For reasons known only to our subconscious and perhaps the pantheon of Greek gods, we choose Grecian Delight. As Michael’s friend used to say, I guess we were “hankering for a hunk of grey meat rotating on a spit.”

For those unfamiliar with Grecian Delight, it is a typical “Greek” restaurant near a university and strip of bars/nightclubs featuring gyros, chicken sandwiches and the like. The busiest hours are between Midnight and 3:00 AM.

Neither my husband nor I had been to such a place in a real long while, so I guess we thought this would be “fun” and “nostalgic.”

It was definitely nostalgic. First off, Grecian Delight must be one of the last remaining restaurants in the city where you can smoke, and more importantly, where there does not appear to be any designated non-smoking section. Seriously. Ashtrays, with ashes and butts, where on every other table throughout the restaurant. Awwww, how 1990.

The kids were a little freaked.

The menu was about as I remembered, it, with the addition of some true Greek classics like jalapeno poppers and chocolate chip cheesecake.

A man with many gold chains and a reluctance to button his shirt took our order.

Number one son ordered a hamburger; number deux ordered a fish sandwich. Third child went for that famous Grecian specialty, French fries and pita bread. Mr. Healthy got the grilled chicken pita (sans onion, but they put the onion on anyway).

Not me. If I was at this smoky, smelly place, I was getting a gyro, dammit (sans onion).

(Yes, our 13-year marriage is built on a solid foundation of onion hatred. What of it?)

Wow. Gyros are not good. I realize I was probably shit-faced the last time I ate one, but really, is there any level of drunkenness that could make a gyro taste good?

I tried to finish it -- really, I did. In the end I just couldn’t do it and surrendered it over to number one son, who thought it was delicious.


James Wigderson said...

That's because you didn't go to Oakland Gyros. Then you take the dinners next door to Axel's for a pitcher of beer. Mike knows this stuff.

Okay, I knew of Mike's adversion to onions, but how can you not like onions, too? You're depriving your children.

Anne Quimby Mathias said...

Yeah, I'm all too familiar with the Axel's/Oakland Gyro set-up. I doubt their Gyros are really any better (at least once you hit your mid-thirties).

Oh, and about the onions, we're doing the kids a favor. There's nothing an onion has that garlic doesn't do better.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is such disappointing news... Anne, I love Gyros!!!! And with the onion thank you!

Anne Quimby Mathias said...

But have you tried a Gyro recently, Andrea...

cicerockstardom said...

you know, your sub-title "A typical family warns an unsuspecting public about the products and experiences that make life a little slice of hell." is technically a disclaimer to people like me that "uh oh, this cranky no-doubt middleaged lady is going to act like she's holier than thou about something" i mean, you allow products and experiences to make your life a little slice of hell?

i have a shitty life by most standards and definitions, but nothing, nothing at all, ever robs me of the sensuous beauty of life fundamentally inherent at the core of it all.

i was looking for a picture of a gyro to mock my friend out in oakland who seems to have forgotten about the gyros that kept us alive back in the day (the university of illinois @ chicago is right next to greektown, which at the time had three (now 2) 24 hour gyro joints competing with each other right at one standard 4 corner intersection. hell (speaking of your favorite absolute polarization of conceptual infinity), i even got to see real live racism one night at the now (strangely? =) defunct zorba's where on new years eve 99 they wouldn't allow black people in, yet me and my fellow caucasoid friend were allowed in. little did they know that we were wiggaz, but hey, someone has to balance it out, eh?

we trekked up to summerfest in.... 2001 or 2002, i forget when, and after a long day of soaking in hiphop at the leine lodge we were on a mission for a gyro before the ride back home to chicago, and we ended up at grecian delight gyros. obviously, having spent considerable amounts of time in milwaukee for baseball over these last 7 years i now know that oakland gyros is technically a bit of a better gyro, still though, grecian delight, aside from being my preferred choice of gyro meat, holds a harrowed place in my mind from that one late night where we stumbled in, got the gyros plate (sauce only: perhaps the tomatoes tainted your meat?) and remembered it being amazing.

then again, 95% of a quality gyro is if the spit is in rotation. you want to go to a gyro place only when they're serving up gyros en masse, because if that spit sits there your meat's going to get all crusty and nasty... going betweeen 12am-3am during summerfest in an area chock full of stripclubs? yeah it'll be in rotation.

gyros aren't meant to be family food, they're meant to be that weird food your dad and maybe mom (if she had a pair of nuts) had back when you were growing up and you'd get that one little piece of meat, maybe a waffle fry or two, and then eventually someday on your own you're like "i have to try this" and then boom: you're set.

the gyro isn't for everyone... it's too elegant for most people who have allowed life to pass them by to the point where they live for their offspring, well, and for the MPS school board. gyros are a food of sustenance for the discerning active body.. they're a way of life for the truly committed, and i dont know about you, but if i see an old spit i walk out of there.

cicerockstardom said...

and come the F on the cigarettes has your kids going ewww? what kind of pussies are you raising over there?! it's more than OK to walk down a crowded street and suck exhaust all day long, drink fluoride water, hell, even walk around with cellular telephones wifi connections and even portable telephones microwaving your body at every second of the day... but someone wants to smoke a cigarette in a room where i'm eating?! OH YUCK THAT'S EVIL GET THE CITY COUNCIL THEY'RE POSIONING MY CHILDREN!!@

it's all a means of extorting cigarette smokers for more money. basically, nobody really cares about the health risks with secondhand smoke, they just want to make more CANT SMOKE HERE zones so they can write out more lofty tickets and fine places that let htem smoke in there...it might not be a lot of money from such fines, but it's more than they were getting in the first place. why i reckon we're going to have an elderly crisis with all kinds of people living into their 100s now that we've stymied the egregious

seriously, if you could smoke in there in 2007 (i think in 2010 wisconsin finally caved in and said no to smoking indoors, have they gotten rid of bars yet?! f-ing fascists) that's a bastion of hope. i reckon you can, cuz i remember lighting up in a george webb last year and i think they said to enjoy it cuz it was gone in 2010. great. just what i need.cancer that is smoking indoors.

cicerockstardom said...

i write all of this, madame, because i am passionate about grecian delight... and i know that the pizza man blaze took out grecian delight, so even tho i hadn't been there in a minute.... WE'VE LOST ANOTHER SOLDIER IN THE STRUGGLE FOR QUALITY GYROS!!@ that grecian delight gyro i had one night in the summer of... 01 i think, that gyro i remember as being so excellent it was elevated to levels of mythic proportions that even champion my usual spot, mister greek gyros. and keep in mind mister greek when the staff sees me they know what i want (uhhhh, i want a pizza puff please) and by the time i'm up there to pay my #1 sauce only is usually ready for me. that's love.

and the grecian delight gyro still somehow ranks higher than mister greek in my book. that was an astonishing gyro, and it's not rosy colored glasses or me being blitzed out of my senses (i drove home that night, after all) it was an amazing gyro.

that means the key is to go there during the 12am-3am primetime and try a gyro, before you say their gyros are shit and they're horrible...c uz you never know, someday the place might burn down and then some internet halfwit will show up and DISPENSE GREAT JUSTICE in the name of a maligned restaurant in some lady's blog, some lady who is so miserable that she's actively running around calling products and experiences hellish because WAAAHHHH HER LIFE WOULD BE DAMN NEAR ANGELIC AND HEAVENLY IF NOT FOR THESE AWFUL PLACES

* lights up a cigarette in your honour *