If three restaurant projects are any indication, you'll soon be hearing much more about fast-casual Greek food in the region.
This week brought the opening of The Simple Greek, a syndicated spin-off of a Pittsburgh restaurant featured on the CNBC show The Profit. The region's first location is tucked off Susquehanna Road in Dresher, behind a CVS and next to a Chipotle (1665 Limekiln Pike, 215-543-4976).
In sum, this is a Greek version of Chipotle - a build-your-own deal in a bright, blue-and-white dining room. Start with a pita or a bowl and add all manner of ingredients (gyro, chicken gyro, grilled chicken, grilled steak) plus toppings to complete a meal starting at $6.95. Sides include spanakopita, tiropita, Greek fries, and dolmades, and desserts include rice pudding and baklava.
I just learned of Yia It's All Greek to Me (300 W. State St., Media), which offers yeeros, souvlaki, and other food. ("Yia" is hello.)
I see two other Hellenic haunts in the pipeline, both playing with phonetic spellings of the gyro, the celebrated Greek wrap:
- At 6024 Ridge Ave. in Roxborough: Yiro-Yiro will focus on gyros and souvlaki. Owners are using the tag "a fresh spin on fast Greek." The opening date has not been set.
- At 1412 South St., near Govinda's: Entrepreneur Yiannys Degermentzidis seems to be a month or so from opening Yeeroh, what he calls a modern Greek grill serving customizable gyros and souvlaki, with all meats prepared in-house.
Not that Philly is unfamiliar with this fare. The area has its share of food carts specializing in pita as well as casual Greek/Med eateries such as South Street Souvlaki, Kanella Grill, and the Greek Lady and chains such as Zoe's.