Review: Gyromania Grill on Palmetto

From left, Hummus appetizer, Gyro platter, and Moussaka platter
From left, Hummus appetizer, Gyro platter, and Moussaka platter

Last year we reviewed Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. They apparently didn’t make it but the same location now has Gyromania Grill. Garbanzo tended to be a bit more Middle Eastern with dishes like Shawarma, while Gyromania leans more toward Greek.
It’s located in the shopping center on the south side of Palmetto Park Road west of Powerline near Publix, Brooklyn Water Bagel and Olive Garden.
Gyromania Grill’s original location is in Coral Springs. The Boca location was recently reviewed by, and the review wasn’t great but it seemed okay. We had to try it for ourselves.
For starters we think that review called it wrong on the gyro meat and the hummus. Both were just as good as the other Greek places we go to. The gyro platter is pictured below.
The Moussaka platter was a little less impressive. It was decent but I’ve definitely had better moussaka at Taso’s (near Home Depot) and Jimmy the Greek.
The other thing that stood out was the pricing. It seems expensive for the restaurant format. We eat as good or better for less money at Taso’s and we get table service along with it – though of course you’re less likely to tip at Gyromania so maybe you save money there.
The menu is below:
For us there are already good Greek choices closer to us. But if you’re near Palmetto and Powerline this is a good option along with Aladdin’s Eatery closer to Town Center.

Good News and Bad News: Restaurant Inspections

We’ll start with the good news in our inspection report. We see two new licensing inspections in West Boca. Lime Fresh Mexican Grill had their licensing inspection on Friday, August 7th. We reported in November that they were coming, and reviewed the one at Promenade in Coconut Creek in 2012.
Also coming is Hotdog-Opolis, which will be on the north side of Glades Road just west of Boca Rio and the Turnpike. There’s one already on Federal Highway and another in West Palm Beach. This appears to be the third in the chain.
Both of them had perfect licensing inspections with zero violations. It’s common for licensing inspections to have very few violations.
Now to the bad news …

The worst of our weekly inspection report goes to It’s All Greek in The Reserve at Clint Moore just east of 441. They had 29 violations including 4 marked “high priority.”

  • Employee handled soiled dishes or utensils and then handled clean dishes or utensils without washing hands. … Dishmachine operator working dirty then clen ends of Dishmachine without handwashing.
  • Employee touching ready-to-eat food with their bare hands – food was not being heated as a sole ingredient to 145 degrees F or immediately added to other ingredients to be cooked/heated to the minimum required temperature to allow bare hand contact. Establishment has no approved Alternative Operating Procedure. … Food Preparer having Bare Hand Contact with Feta Cheese as cutting it into blocks.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. … WALK IN COOLER (at 4:30pm) … Soup 44° Raw Shrimp 52° Raw Squid 45° Mousaka 46° Spinach Pie 46° Lamb Shank 46°. AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 48° …WALK IN COOLER (at 5:00pm) … Soup 44° Raw Shrimp 53° Raw Squid 45° Mousaka 46° Spinach Pie 46° Lamb Shank 46° AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 46° – thermostat Adjusted.
  • Raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food in walk-in cooler. … Uncovered Raw shrimp, Uncovered Raw Squid, and Uncovered Raw Salmon directly above cooked, White Rice and Cooked Sauces. **Repeat Violation**

Palm Beach Bagel in the same plaza had 25 violations including 3 high priority.

  • Employee failed to wash hands beforechanging gloves and/or putting on gloves to work with food.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. … FRONT COUNTER (Display Cooler Front) salmons 55° white fish 54° cheeses 45° turkey 46° AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 55° – refrigeration Service called – presently in-route. If not immediately corrected food to be relocated to other coolers. **Corrective Action Taken**
  • Vacuum breaker missing at mop sink faucet or on fitting/splitter added to mop sink faucet.

Also, a food truck known as “Tastee Express 8” was temporarily shut down on August 3rd with 18 violations, and reopened the next day with 16 violations.
There weren’t many inspections in East Boca in the past week and most were call backs on previous inspections. Max’s Grill had a complaint inspection with 8 violations including 4 high priority. For “Near Boca” Beijing Palace on Jog Road in Delray and Steak & Shake in Coral Springs each had 13 violations. Little Caesar’s Pizza in Delray had a perfect inspection. In West Boca Puccini’s on Yamato near 441 was arguably the best with only three minor violations.
As usual our inspection spreadsheets are below.
West Boca
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East Boca
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Near Boca
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Efes Bistro in Somerset Shoppes

Update: Coupons for Efes added at bottom.
Efes Bistro is one of our favorite Mediterranean restaurants in South Florida. Due to its location you may not have noticed it – it’s hidden in the interior of Somerset Shoppes, the plaza with the Michael’s craft store, the new Saks Off 5th, and Original Pancake House. They’ve been there for eight years.
Here’s a video showing how to get there from the parking lot on the Lyons side of the plaza.

You can also enter on the Glades side near Original Pancake House and OrangeTheory Fitness.
What we love about Efes is that the quality is outstanding. It has many of the typical Greek options but because it’s Turkish it has other items.

Efes previously had a great review in the Sun-Sentinel in 2011.

I started with the lentil soup.
It’s hearty with great flavor and texture. Next up we had the cold appetizer platter.
There’s a lot on this platter, including dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with rice), hummus, two different eggplant appetizers, two different yogurt-based spreads, and another veggie spread.
There’s also a hot appetizer platter on the menu which comes with falafel, zucchini pancake, kibbe, spinach pie, and more. We didn’t get a shot of the platter but here are two of the items it comes with.

Zucchini pancake
Zucchini pancake

Spinach pie, similar to Spanakopita
Spinach pie, similar to Spanakopita

The entrees are another area where you really see and taste the quality. My favorite item has always been the mixed grill platter, which comes with a variety of meats.
When you have a group or family eating, the appetizer platters and mixed grill platter are a great way to sample a lot of the options on the menu.
There are simpler entrees including chicken, lamb and beef shish kabob:
These dishes come with either rice, bulghur (pictured) or steak fries.
In talking with the owner she said we had to try the meat pie, and she let us video her making it:

It was delicious, but might be a little spicy for some.
For some regular customers the highlight is the fish.
All in all it’s great food with a wide array of choices, healthy and tasty. In addition to dine-in they do take out, delivery, catering as well as parties in the restaurant.

Efes Coupons

Review: Gyro Room in Mission Bay

Update: In late July readers reported that Gyro Room had closed, though possibly only for the summer.
Back in June we reported that the new Gyro Room was coming to Mission Bay Plaza. In our report on July restaurant inspections they had a perfect zero violations. Yesterday we finally got there to try it out for lunch.
Gyro Room is not huge inside but it’s comfortable. The colors are pleasant and it feels new. The tables felt a little small.
There are also a few tables out front, so you should be able to find a place to sit.
The menu is not what we were used to from a Greek restaurant (click on it for a larger image):
To us it seemed a little pricey for lunch. It would be hard to get a meal here for less than $10 per person. The menu seems to push you toward the combinations at the top. The salads toward the bottom cost about the same as those combos but don’t come with pita or anything else. We talked with them about it and they may change the menu to start including pita with the salads.
On the plus side, it was a lot of food and we took some home with us. That’s a bit of a mixed bag. The salads were large and came with plenty of meat. By contrast the “spreads” came in fairly small containers. One of us had the spicy feta and the other had hummus – both were tasty. Everything we ate was excellent.
Here’s the gyro platter:
I’m a big fan of gyro meat and this was no exception. It came with a salad and two dressing choices – garlic-balsamic or oil & vinegar. I ordered mine with lemon potatoes and they were just right.
Here’s the salad combo (we got chicken on the side, which was also very good):
It’s tough to consider Gyro Room without considering its competitors. On the opposite corner of Glades and 441 is Taso’s (between Home Depot and Publix). There’s also Jimmy the Greek near the Turnpike and It’s All Greek on Clint Moore near 441. All of them have more complete Greek menus with dishes like moussaka. Taso’s and Jimmy the Greek are probably less expensive for lunch.
Efe’s Turkish Bistro in Somerset Shoppes is another close option, and a little further are Ethos in Coconut Creeks’ Promenade and Apeiro which should open soon in Delray Marketplace.
As an aside, we usually pronounce the word Gyro as in gyroscope, and we’re usually told we’re wrong. Here is, apparently, the correct pronunciation:

Euro Fusion at Wharfside Village

Update: Euro Fusion has closed and there is now a Greek restaurant in its place, Rafina.
Euro Fusion is a fairly new restaurant in the plaza better known for the Carrabba’s. it’s on 18th at Powerline in South Central Boca.
We sat outside on the deck, with a beautiful lake view (Carrabba’s deck has the same).

It’s an interesting menu. They seem very serious about being Kosher. I saw no red meat or chicken, probably because they serve milk. They even have kosher shrimp.
The large menu includes breakfast, lunch, dinner (with kids menu), sushi and dessert.
I started with seared yellowtail, a sashimi-like dish but slightly cooked, and with jalapeño slices. The presentation was attractive and the jalapeño provided a nice burn.

Next we had a Mediterranean appetizer, with hummus, baba ghanouj, and two other items. All excellent, and I usually don’t like baba ghanouj.

We also had their “European” salad, with candied walnuts, avocado and orange slices. Three of us shared two of these and all were impressed with the dressing which was delicious but not overpowering.

All in all a very nice meal. We will be back.
For reservations call 561-395-1109.