A place over in Rock Island that I've been wanting to try for a number of years and finally got around to going there recently is Dr. Gyros. I'm fond of a good gyro and we're starting to find some pretty good places that have gyros in the Quad Cities. For lunch one day a while back, I ventured across the river to have a gyro at Dr. Gyros.
Actually, I've wanted to try Dr. Gyros even before I found out it was connected with The Doc's Inn restaurant in East Moline. (Click here to see the entry on The Doc's Inn.) While my wife and I weren't too thrilled with the food at The Doc's Inn, I've heard nothing but good things about Dr. Gyros and their gyros.
The connection between Dr. Gyros and The Doc's Inn is owner John Stopoulos and his wife, MaryBeth. The two opened Dr. Gyros ten years ago and then they opened The Doc's Inn in March of last year. In addition to their primary food option of gyros - including chicken gyros - Dr. Gyro's menu also features Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, pita sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads. Actually, there's some cross-pollination between The Doc's Inn and Dr. Gyros with menu items. The biggest difference I see is that The Doc's Inn sells beer while Dr. Gyros does not.
Dr. Gyros is located on 18th Avenue in Rock Island, south and west of Augustana College. (see map) There is a Hungry Hobo sandwich shop and a Whitey's Ice Cream store directly across the street. I walked into the restaurant and was met by a young lady standing behind the small counter up front. The menu was above and behind her on the wall and the kitchen area was to her right and my left. I ordered up a traditional gyro ($5.39) and then saw that I could get additional gyro meat on it for another $1.99. I went with the additional meat and got some water to go with it.. I was going to eat in and she gave me an order number. I didn't know the drill, however, and was standing around the counter area waiting for my gyro to show up. She said, "Uh, you're eating in, right? You can have a seat and I'll bring it out to you."
Oh! All right! Sure! I found an open booth the wall of windows and waited for my gyro. The dining room was bright with a lot of natural light coming in. It was after the lunch rush, so there were only a handful of people in the place. (Picture of Dr. Gyros dining area at right courtesy Trip Advisor.)
On the wall near the pop dispensers was the picture of a young guy who conquered Dr. Gyros' "Man vs. Food"-style challenge - he ate the Mount Olympus gyro. The Mount Olympus challenge starts with a pita that is supposedly the size of a large pizza, then they top it with 3 1/2 pounds of gyro meat, then they add chopped onions, tomatoes and tzatiki sauce. To make it even more interesting, they add Greek seasoned French fries to the Mount Olympus. The competitor has to finish the Mount Olympus and fries, AND a Greek dessert in less than one hour. Only one person has done it - the guy in the picture on the wall at Dr. Gyros - Alfredo Villareal of Rock Island. While these "Man vs. Food" contests were sort of the rage four or five years ago, I find them to be boring and somewhat obscenely gluttonous in nature. "Man vs. Food" inspired too many restaurants to come up with their own "challenge", hoping they'd be featured by the show at some point. But Adam Richman has sort of gotten away from doing these challenges himself and that's why his "Man vs. Food Nation" show only highlights the big food challenges that other people participate in.
About 10 minutes after I ordered, one of the guys in the back brought out my gyro wrapped in aluminum foil. Now, my gold standard for gyros in the Quad Cities is Uncle Pete's. (Click here to see my entry on Uncle Pete's.) The pita was smaller than the pita they use at Uncle Pete's. And there didn't seem to be as much gyro meat as they put on the Super Gyro at Uncle Pete's. Large chunks of fresh onions and tomatoes were added. The other small quibble I have with the gyro at Dr. Gyros is that they spread a thin layer of tzatiki sauce on the pita before adding the meat and veggies. They're much more generous with the very good tzatiki sauce at Uncle Pete's with their Super Gyro, even giving an extra tub of sauce to go along with it.
The taste of the pita on the gyro at Dr. Gyros was very good. It was fresh and had somewhat of a wheat taste to it. Actually, I liked it better than the pita at Uncle Pete's.
The other thing that I liked at Dr. Gyros was the gyro meat. It was less salty than the gyro meat at Uncle Pete's. (I'm always drinking a couple glasses of water a couple hours after having one of the gyros at Uncle Pete's to combat the salt.) Once again, the quibble I had was that for nearly the same money the traditional gyro with extra gyro meat still wasn't as big as the Super Gyro at Uncle Pete's.
But, overall, the taste of the gyro at Dr. Gyros was pretty good. There's not much difference in the taste of the gyro meat from place to place - save for the less salt in the meat at Dr. Gyros vs. Uncle Pete's. I would have liked to have gotten some more tzatiki sauce on the gyro, but it was fine for what I had. The gyro at Dr. Gyros got a "thumbs up" from me.
There's a couple other places around the Quad Cities where we really like the gyros - Olympic Gyros in Davenport (click here to see my entry on Olympic), and Sultan Mediterranean Restaurant in Rock Island (click here to see my entry on Sultan). Uncle Pete's still probably has my heart more than Dr. Gyros, but only because Uncle Pete's has been around so long and is probably a little better value. Still, Dr. Gyros does a good job with their gyros and I'd have no problem giving them a good recommendation on their gyros. (Photo at right courtesy Quad City Times.)