Gyros and heroes
The pairing of a sports bar with Greek cuisine might seem odd until one considers the rich athletic traditions of ancient Greece. It is, after all, the country that gave us the Olympics and many of its events, from the discus toss to wrestling. As a sports bar, Spiro’s is nice—it’s a spacious joint with a friendly staff, a number of large televisions, pool tables and good drink specials—but as far as dining goes, the food at Spiro’s is far more World Wrestling Federation than Olympic Greco-Roman. Their motto is “Greek food with attitude.”
We were there on a Monday night, so the bar was dense with football fans. However, only the televisions on one side of the bar were showing football; the other side of the room was broadcasting different sports channels—one being figure skating. Fortunately, this half of the room was empty, so we took a seat at one of the vacant tables.
The service is prompt and friendly. There are daily specials, and the night we were there, the specials tended to favor the more traditional bar-and-grill food also served at Spiro’s, including 99-cent hot dogs and $1.99 chili dogs. My friend Dan took advantage of one of the deals and had the chili dog.
Dan also went out on a limb and ordered the deep-fried cheese ravioli ($6.50), ravioli fried, coated in barbecue sauce and served with ranch dressing. The taste was initially novel, but after a few bites, the thought of what one was eating and exactly how it tasted sank in.
“That’s a combination that was not meant to be,” my friend Leah proclaimed. Dan, normally a very hearty eater, wasn’t able to finish it. Leah ordered pastitsio ($8.25), a more traditional Greek dish with baked macaroni, ground beef and grated cheeses.
“I guess the Greeks invented Hamburger Helper,” Leah said. Later on, she compared her meal to “stepmom food"—it solidly gets the job done but seems a little uninspired, compared to the food prepared by a loving mother.
My friend Danielle had the Spiro’s gyros ($7.50). Gyro meat is traditionally roasted on a rotating spit, but the meat in Danielle’s pita was simply grilled. She found it to be rather stringy.
I had Jimmy’s Freaky Greek Philly ($7.45), a sort of gyro burrito with melted feta and provolone and grilled vegetables. It wasn’t bad.
Dan wondered if Spiro’s was attempting to recreate the bar food found in contemporary Greece. The best food was the more straight-ahead bar-and-grill dishes, Dan’s chili dog and the onion rings that came with my “Philly,” which were big and good.
We all had baklava ($2.50) for dessert, and it was sweet and tasty. Still, we weren’t satisfied.
All and all, our Olympic dining experience at Spiro’s left a little to be desired.