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My gyro is better than yours

by The Concordian January 31, 2012
My gyro is better than yours
There are two legitimate aspects of my upbringing that have made me the food admirer I have become today. One, I live in the beautiful city of Montreal, where the street corners are surrounded by the smells of different cultures cooking up different foods to satisfy anybody’s appetite. Two, I was raised and born by Greek standards, and what do Greeks like to do all the time? That’s right—eat.
Greeks have established a strong community in the Montreal region, especially since the

Battle of the gyros: which is better? Village Grec or Marathon Souvlaki? Photo by koadmunkee via Flickr.

‘60s, and have laid their mark on the restaurant business here. The one delicacy Greeks have that is known among all citizens here is the gyro pita: a luscious pita sandwich, filled with a mouth-watering mix of lamb and beef, topped with the famous white sauce tzatziki.
I hope you’re all ready to go out and pick one up after reading about the two restaurants in Montreal that have taken gyro making to a whole other level. They’ve made an art of this food that has put Greek cuisine on the map. One we call Village Grec, an amazing little hole in the wall recognized for serving the best gyro in town. The second is Marathon Souvlaki, a tiny restaurant that has become the powerhouse it is today. I warn you, there isn’t much separating the deliciousness of their recipes to success, but one does have the upper hand. Readers, get ready for a gyro war. FIGHT!
Village Grec:
Believe it or not, this charming little restaurant has been serving delicious Gyro since 1976, and it still gets regulars.
“I remember going to Village when I was 10 years old,” said John Mikalis, a 47-year-old food distributor in the Montreal area. “It’s literally unbeatable if you like the freshest, most delicious gyro, and it’s been that way for 36 years.”
Walking down Jean-Talon, the yellow sign indicating the entrance is barely visible among the other stores around it. Upon entering the shabby, one room, 40-seat restaurant, you’re immediately hit by a divine smell. When it comes to how you want your gyro laid out, you have two choices at Village Grec. First there is the classic gyro Pita always filled to the rim. Just keeping everything in the pita is an accomplishment in itself. If not, you can go for the equally massive gyro plate, where they layout the gyro without the pita but accompany it with a Greek salad, fries and rice. To make it even better, if you manage to finish this massive plate, the waitress will give you candy!
If I had to describe the gyro at Village Grec, I’d go with simply mouth-watering. The texture of the perfectly-cooked meat slowly melts in your mouth with every bite to create the perfect taste.
Village Grec: A+
Marathon:
Our contender to our amazing first restaurant is none other than Marathon Souvlaki. Like its nemesis Village Grec, it’s been serving a delicious Gyro since 1977, a remarkable 35 years.
Like Village Grec, they’ve been serving quality Greek foods, particularly gyros, for over three decades. Here’s the difference: if you’re looking for a delicious entrée to accompany your gyro, Marathon has one of the best calamari dishes in the city.
Their gyro, much like Village Grec’s, is one of the best around as well. Every bite includes the perfect amount tzatziki, tomatoes and onions. There’s legitimate reasons as to why Greeks hold the gyro to such high standards and Marathon satisfies these standards to its maximum potential.
If there is one negative aspect to Marathon, it’s the decor. Simple and bland. Nothing to catch your eye, nothing to brighten the atmosphere. This is an extremely important aspect to having a positive experience in a restaurant, and it is something Marathon lacks.
Marathon Souvlaki: A

I’ll be fairly honest; the gyros are fairly similar in these two establishments. However, the upper hand will go to Village Grec for a slightly superior taste and slightly lower prices than Marathon.
Well, there you have it. It is a close one, and they both fought hard. However, the winner is Village Grec. I must say that you feel a certain charm when entering this restaurant whereas you don’t at Marathon, and that’s what makes the difference.

Village Grec: Located on 654 Jean-Talon St. W.
Marathon: Located on 5365 Des Jockeys St.

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