BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO
For a taste of authentic Greek cuisine without leaving Queens, visit the newly opened Gyro World, located at 66-57 Fresh Pond Rd., on the corner of Madison Street, in Ridgewood.
Astoria native and Bronx Science alum Thanasi Petridis first opened the family-owned-and-operated eatery back in February.
Petridis chose Ridgewood for its unique mix of trendiness and tradition. “It seemed like an up-and-coming neighborhood,” he said, “and the people that are here are very family-oriented.” Petridis also noticed a general lack of Greek restaurants in the neighborhood and was hoping to fill that gap.
Petridis’ father opened Gyro World’s first location on Northern Boulevard and 195th Street in Flushing back in 2005. The bustling eatery has served the communities of Flushing and Bayside for over a decade. The continued success of the restaurant allowed the Petridis family to expand into their second location in Ridgewood.
“We may be new to the neighborhood, but we’re not new to gyro,” Petridis added.
Gyro World’s menu features many classic Greek dishes inspired by Petridis’ heritage. His father immigrated to America from Serres, a city in Macedonia, Greece.
“About 80 percent of our menu items are traditional Greek fast food with a Greek tavern feel,” Petridis said.
Patrons can select from a diverse range of appetizers to start with. The homemade stuffed grape leaves ($5.95) are a tangy mix of rice, lemon and dill wrapped in tender grape vine leaves. Slices of spinach pie ($6.95) or spanakopita also makes for a great start to any meal.
One of the more popular menu items is the Greek gyro sandwich ($6.95) made with hand-stacked, slow rotisserie pork served on a pita with tomatoes, red onions and tzatziki. The regular gyro sandwich ($6.95) contains hand-stacked slices of rotisserie beef and lamb instead of pork.
The restaurant’s signature dish is the Gyro World Plate, available for parties of two ($23.95) or four ($37.95) people. This platter contains generous portions of seven different types of meat, including pork and chicken souvlaki, bifteki, chicken bifteki, Greek gyro, beef and lamb gyro, as well as loukaniko, a homemade Greek sausage. This flavorful feast is served with pita and tzatziki.
Gyro World also offers several vegetarian menu options, including the haloumi sandwich ($6.95). This dish features grilled haloumi, a savory Cyprian cheese, served with lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Their Vegetarian Wrap ($7.95) is a smoky mix of grilled haloumi, lettuce, tomato, roasted sweet peppers, grilled eggplant and balsamic vinegar.
The traditional Greek salad is a delicious mix of Greek olives, red onions, cucumbers, tomato, stuffed grape leaves, green peppers and feta cheese served over a bed of freshly shredded lettuce with a light house dressing. This Gyro World favorite is available in small ($6.95) and large ($9.95) sizes.
In addition to traditional Greek dishes, Gyro World also serves American fare such as Buffalo wings ($6.95), mozzarella sticks ($6.95) and chicken fingers ($6.95). Their grilled specialties also include traditional burgers ($4.95), chicken burgers ($5.95) and a Greek burger ($6.95).
One of Gyro World’s signature side dishes is their homemade fries ($3.95). Unlike typical fast-food venues, Gyro World’s fries are hand-cut and made fresh, never frozen or pre-packaged.
Their lemon potatoes ($4.95) are another savory side dish. These slow-roasted potato wedges are bathed in fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of flavorful herbs.
Meals can be capped off with a sweet slice of baklava ($3.95) for dessert. In the coming months, Petridis hopes to add wine and beer to his menu, as well as a small sidewalk cafe. Patrons can chose take-out or delivery, or they can sit and dine in the Mediterranean blue and gold eatery surrounded by festive wall sculptures of Grecian gods with laurels leaf garlands, wine barrels and grape clusters.
66-57 Fresh Pond Rd., Ridgewood