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Chicago Style Gyro: Melding cultures produce delicious results

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This article was written and edited by Shawn Barnes, Drew Brackett, James Byers, David Frederick, and Donnie Hauck for EN 102-1593 at GRCC.

About nine months ago, Grand Rapids was introduced to a new and well-received restaurant, Chicago Style Gyro. This family-owned restaurant is located on Grand Rapids’ west side at 539 Leonard Street NW, and serves both Greek and Mediterranean food. Chicago Style Gyro increases the city’s options in foreign foods.


Customers can choose from a large variety of gyros and shish kebabs—lamb, beef, chicken, and Italian—all at affordable prices. Most dishes range from six to eight dollars, and the portions are generous. This establishment also boasts a menu that is family and vegetarian friendly. In order to please kids, a children’s menu is offered that includes items such as chicken tenders, chicken wings, and seasoned fries. The owners of Chicago Style Gyro have created options to please customers’ different tastes.


The proud owners of this restaurant are Sait Pektas, a Kurdish man who moved to the United States 12 years ago from Turkey, and Sulaiman Chalabi, from Iraq.  According to Pektas, Chicago Style Gyro reflects his culture, while also adjusting the cuisine to American customer’s tastes. "Yes, it is Americanized, but I think that a lot of food that comes from other countries is Americanized,” Pektas commented. The menu is not purely Greek and Mediterranean. Chicago Style Gyro also caters to the American palate, with offerings such as Philly cheese steak and turkey subs, hot dogs, and salads. With seating for up to fifty, customers will find that the combination of cultures delivers a satisfying experience.

Chicago Style Gyros offers multiple services and promotions, including free Wi-Fi. They provide free delivery within five miles for orders over thirty dollars, and catering is available upon request. Pektas and Chalabi have creative ideas for customers to win free food and obtain discounts. This brings more people  into the restaurant to try the food—and once they try the food, they are sure to become regular, satisfied customers.

Whether stopping in for brunch, lunch, or dinner, people experience flavors that are unique to the restaurant.  If you’re wondering what makes Chicago Style Gyro’s wraps so special, here’s the answer: it’s the lamb. Pektas explains Chicago Style Gyro’s unique approach: “After taking it off the spit, we fry the lamb, which is something that no other gyro shop does.” And, so far, the customers are loving these gyros. “The meat is complemented by the variety of vegetables that could be put on it, along with the special sauce that helps bring out the taste of the food,” one customer commented. While eating  a shish kebab, another customer commented that the meat was juicy and tasted like authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. He also said he liked the way people can watch their food being prepared.

With all of Chicago Style Gyro's customer-pleasing qualities, anyone who has not experienced it yet may want to find the time to stop in. The Mediterranean dining establishment is open Mondays through Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Diners can find the time to taste the food of the Mediterranean no matter what their schedule is. A menu that offers both multicultural and familiar fare ensures that everyone can find something to enjoy at Chicago Style Gyro.

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