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-outside
Gyromania Grill’s original location is in Coral Springs. The Boca location was recently reviewed by SouthFlorida.com, 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.
gyromania-gyro-platter
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:
gyromania-menu1
gyromania-menu2
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.

La Ferme: New Chef and Ownership

Since it opened La Ferme (originally Bistro Gastronomie) has been one of our favorite restaurants in West Boca. From a business perspective it has been a bumpy ride. The original owners under Bistro Gastronomie sold to the Shapiros who renamed it La Ferme. They originally stuck with Chef Walden but later switched to one new chef and maybe another. It’s our understanding the Shapiros did a good job of building up the business and this made it an attractive purchase for the new owner, Alan Luckner.
farid-oualidiFarid Oualidi is the new chef. He has been working there for about a year under the previous chef. Here’s an interview with him from back in 2009.
With the latest changes in mind they invited us to visit. Disclosure: Our meal was free.
La Ferme is on the north side of Yamato between 441 and Lyons Road, in the same plaza as Doris Market.

There is a regular menu which is expensive – but worth it, and there is also a “Dining to Dusk” menu. That’s available to 7 pm on most days but only until 6 pm on Friday and Saturday. On that deal you get three courses for $32, though some items may increase that price.
The interior has not changed since our last review.
As usual we enjoyed our meal. We started with the Gougeres appetizer, pieces of bread with Gruy√®re cheese in the middle, almost like a pastry. It came with so much we didn’t come close to finishing it.
gougeres
They also brought us out their regular bread basket. We normally don’t mention that but the raisin bread that was included is delicious. The other bread in the basket might have been sourdough.
bread
We also had a Caesar Salad, which was very good. Note that it came with some anchovy on top. If you don’t like that be sure to let them know when you order.
caesar
One of the best items we had was the Vichysoisse, a cold soup. It was brilliant. As I ate it I noticed both the creamy texture and hints of various flavors, all going well together. When you order off the regular menu it is topped with some smoked salmon that was very high quality. As we understand it that is not included if you order it off the Dining to Dusk menu.
vichysoisse
It’s worth mentioning that the service was excellent. There were multiple staff members coming to our table, refilling water glasses, straightening napkins if someone left the table, clearing plates (and very politely), etc. We were provided fresh silverware for every course. We never had to ask for anything.
We had two entrees. The short ribs is a great dish. The meat is so tender you don’t need a knife. It’s also beautiful to look at:
shortribs
The filet mignon was wonderful. There was a choice of three sauces and we went with a “spicy” peppercorn. It wasn’t so spicy as to need a warning and it was a great sauce. If there was one weakness that night it was how the steak was cooked. We ordered it medium rare and it was somewhere between medium and medium well. Regardless, it was delicious. I ordered a glass of a French Pinot Noir with the meal and it paired perfectly with the steak.
filet
The filet comes with fries. They’re good but we’d like to see other options for sides with a $42 entree.
We also tried a few desserts. First up was the apple tart with vanilla ice cream. We’ve had this one before and still like it.

Apple Tart with ice cream
Apple Tart with ice cream

Next was the Mousse Cake, and we loved it. The berries it came with were fresh and juicy.
Mousse Cake
Mousse Cake

Last was the Double Chocolate Fudge which came with chocolate “barts” on the side. This was also very good.
Double Chocolate Fudge with chocolate "barts"
Double Chocolate Fudge with chocolate “barts”

Overall La Ferme is still one of our favorite restaurants in West Boca. If you’re going out for a special dinner and you’re ready to spend for it, you really can’t do better anywhere nearby. Their only real competition at this level are Armadillo Cafe on Glades and Butcher Block Grill on Powerline, but their menus are so different that it’s hard to compare them.

Efes Bistro in Somerset Shoppes

Update: Coupons for Efes added at bottom.
efes-grill
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.
efes-lentil
It’s hearty with great flavor and texture. Next up we had the cold appetizer platter.
efes-cold
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.
efes-mixed
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:
efes-chicken
efes-meat
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.
efes-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
efes-15-coupon800
efes-lunch-coupon800
efes-dinner-coupon800

Garbanzo Grill in Boca Del Mar

garbanzo-exterior
About a week ago we were going to Brooklyn Water Bagel and one of us was not in the mood for it. So we also stopped at Garbanzo Meditteranean Grill in the same plaza, picked up a plate and brought it with us to eat at the bagel shop.

It has some outdoor seating and an interesting exterior. The location is a little odd. You might not notice it when you drive in. But it is there and has adequate parking.
garbanzo-interior-1
Inside it’s pleasant though not exciting. In some ways it’s similar to Pita N Go near Sandalfoot. We’re not sure if it’s kosher. Our best guess, and only a guess, is that it’s not.
garbanzo-interior-2
It was a nice plate with good items:
garbanzo-plate
There are several items to choose from when you order. Here’s a look at some of them:
garbanzo-dishes
And here’s a picture from the online menu. What you see in the store might be slightly different:
garbanzo-menu
We liked it and we will certainly go back.