Yiro Yiro serves traditional Greek food in modern setting
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
Yiro Yiro is located at 6024Ridge Ave., Roxborough.
Tamara Hamilton, left, Savvas Bouikidis and Chris Avgiris are some of the staff members at Yiro Yiro.
Yiro Yiro in Roxborough serves up Greek fare.
Yiro Yiro in Roxborough offers Greek fare.
Savvas Bouikidis tends to the meat rack at Yiro Yiro.