Yiro Yiro serves tra­di­tional Greek food in mod­ern set­ting

The Review - - Front Page - By Amanda Gal­lagher

ROXBOROUGH » Of­fer­ing a newap­proach to tra­di­tional recipes, Yiro Yiro in Roxborough is a fast-ca­sual take on Greek food. The res­tau­rant was opened in Septem­ber by two sets of broth­ers with a pas- sion for au­then­tic Mediter­ranean cui­sine.

Yiro Yiro was born out of what its own­ers rec­og­nized as a need for au­then­tic Greek fare in Philadel­phia. As noted on Yiro Yiro’s web­site, “Philadel­phia has been suf­fer­ing from a gyro prob­lem of epic pro­por­tions — a Greek trag- edy sweep­ing the streets of the city.”

“It al­ways both­ered me that gyro sand­wiches in Philadel­phia never tasted like the ones my brother and I ate as kids,” said owner Chris Av­giris.

His brother and co-owner Dean Av­giris said in thep­ast, when they wanted Greek food, the most au­then­tic op­tion they could find was of­fered at Greek fes­ti­vals put on by lo­cal churches.

Chris and Dean, along with coown­ers Sav and Ted Bouikidis, set out to rem­edy this prob­lem and bring to their home­town the au­then­tic Greek cui­sine they all love.

Both sets of broth­ers are first gen­er­a­tion, with their par­ents hav­ing been born in Greece. Ac-

cord­ing to Dean, they try to go back to Greece to visit at least once per year. The Av­giris fam­ily is from the is­lands of Greece, while the Bouikidis’ fam­ily hails from the main­land, said Dean.

“That’s kind of the se­cret to our mad­ness,” said Dean.

“Dif fer­ent ar­eas of Greece of­fer dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of gyro, so de­pend­ing on where you’re from, the taste will be unique,” said Sav

he name Yiro Yiro means “round and round,” a nod to their ro­tis­serie style of cook­ing. From the menu to the mod­ern dé­cor of the store’s in­te­rior, ev­ery­thing is meant to be sim­ple and fresh.

Yiro Yiro caters to lo­cals look­ing for din­ing op­tions that are healthy, quick and dif­fer­ent from the norm. The menu is sim­ple but of­fers a lot of dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions.

“We try to do a lim­ited num­ber of things re­ally well,” said Dean.

The most pop­u­lar menu item is the gyro, which con­tains high- qual­ity meat sourced from Athens, slow roasted in au­then­tic Greek spices on a cone-shaped ro­tis­serie and sliced into gen­er­ous por­tions.

While many peo­ple are ac­cus­tomed to or­der­ing a gyro with meat and Tzatziki sauce, Dean ex­plained that the tra­di­tional style com­bines meat with ketchup, mus­tard and french fries. Yiro Yiro of­fers all of the above, al­low­ing pa­trons to cus­tom­ize their or­der to their taste.

Dean’s per­sonal fa­vorite dish is the pork skew­ers, which, like many of the dishes on the menu, are made from a fam­ily recipe. Dean and Chris both noted that, al­though lamb is typ­i­cally associated with Greek fare, pork is the­more tra­di­tional op­tion. Both are avail­able at Yiro Yiro, along with chicken, beef and falafel.

Other pop­u­lar dishes in­clude home­made spanako­pita, which is Phyllo pas­try filled with spinach, feta cheese, scal­lions and Greek sea­son­ings; a Greek yo­gurt bar; fried sweet puffs called louk­oumades (which can be or­dered with Nutella); and baklava.

Yiro Yiro is the first res­tau­rant ven­ture for Chris and Dean, un­like the Bouikidis broth­ers, who also own Zesto Pizza and Grill. They are fam­ily friends of the Av­giris broth­ers, and Chris used to work with them at Zesto Pizza and Grill.

The own­ers were drawn to Roxborough for the lo­ca­tion in part be­cause it was fa­mil­iar to them. The Av­giris broth­ers both resided in the neigh­bor­hood at dif­fer­ent times, and Zesto Pizza and Grill has a lo­ca­tion there, as well. In ad­di­tion, they felt there was a need for a place like Yiro Yiro in the neigh­bor­hood.

“There’s a dearth of eth­nic food in the area,” said Dean. “We want to be a main­stay in Roxborough.”

“There’s a dearth of eth­nic food in the area. We want to be a main­stay in Roxborough.”

— Dean Av­giris, co-owner, Yiro Yiro

RICK CAW­LEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRSTMEDIA

Yiro Yiro is lo­cated at 6024Ridge Ave., Roxborough.

RICK CAW­LEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ta­mara Hamil­ton, left, Sav­vas Bouikidis and Chris Av­giris are some of the staff mem­bers at Yiro Yiro.

RICK CAW­LEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRSTMEDIA

Yiro Yiro in Roxborough serves up Greek fare.

RICK CAW­LEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Yiro Yiro in Roxborough of­fers Greek fare.

RICK CAW­LEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Sav­vas Bouikidis tends to the meat rack at Yiro Yiro.

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