A sharp whirring sound acts as a siren signal to a new eatery in Plainview—and it is the sound of savory and beautifully charred slices of gyros.
With an innovative electric gyro knife that buzzes through vertically spit-roasted meats for pitas and platters, Yiasou Yeeros, in the Morton Village Shopping Center, opened late last year to a promising start as the go-to option for authentic Greek take-out and delivery, with a casual eat-in option.
Owner Stephanie Mantzoukas, whose family has been in the restaurant business for about 25 years, stocks her eatery with recipes handed down through generations of staunchly authentic Greek cooks. Yiasou (the Greek version of aloha) Yeeros (the Greek pronunciation of the Americanized gyro) brings to the table real gyros, the way it’s done in Greece—but as this is a business, Mantzoukas had to make some concessions to the American palate.
When Yiasou first opened, its gyros were seasoned slices of meat stacked in a column on a spit. But Mantzoukas said the meat “didn’t travel well” and would be “dry by the time the customer got the meal home.” The decision to acquiesce to customer complaints and the American standard of ground gyro meat was difficult—but ultimately it was a decision made easier by the fact that new variations are made from house-ground lamb and beef, still seasoned and made by hand.
Yiasou’s flavor does not suffer from the change. The lamb-beef gyro hits all the classic Greek notes of herb-y with a garlicky kick that’s smoothed out by the eatery’s wonderful tzatziki, which is made with Nounós Creamery Greek yogurt in Babylon. If you do crave slices stacked and roasted meats in the old school format, Yiasou’s chicken gyro is made from slices of dark meat and spins vertically next to the lamb-beef gyro. And on Tuesdays, Yiasou adds a third option: a pork gyro, sliced and stacked vertically roasted pork shoulder.
While the lamb-beef is a time-tested, classic flavor, the chicken and pork steals the show with succulence. The meat closest to the heating element develops an irresistible crust as it roasts, giving each bite layers that vary between crisp and lusciously tender. The meats are served either as a sandwich with red onions, chopped tomatoes, a handful of fries and sauce stuffed into a pita or as a platter with a small Greek salad and either lemon potatoes, rice or fries.
About those French fries, they are made in-house, hand-cut by the chef and they are phenomenal—far exceeding the fries at most other take-out establishments.
Fresh salads are also available, with the Village variety standing out. It features fresh, seasonal tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, capers, kalamata olives and feta with red wine vinegar and the ubiquitously Greek extra virgin olive oil. As for soups, Yiasou makes its own Avgolemono—a Greek chicken soup with rice, lemon and egg, made fresh from scratch every day. The effort is obvious from the first spoonful, with plenty of chicken and a deep, lemony flavor.
Other options include an array of starters like fried Graviera cheese Saganaki, Greek meatballs and a golden cheese pie; along with traditional dishes moussaka and pastichio; then there’s falafel and chicken, pork and shrimp souvlaki. Desserts offer all the classics, including baklava, which is as flaky and delicious as ever.
Yiasou Yeeros, 1060 Old Country Rd. • 516-490-3480 • www.yiasouyeeros.com.