Levent Akyol wants to change the way you think about fast food.
He recently opened the Gyro and Kebab House, a fast food restaurant that specializes in authentic, Halal Turkish cuisine. Their specialty is right in the name, as one of their most popular items is the gyro platter.
“We use lamb or chicken in all our gyros,” co-owner Valentina Akyol said. “It is cooked on a skewer, both the chicken and the lamb.”
Levent said his goal is to highlight the natural flavors of the gyro, and keeps the dish simple.
“We don’t use anything fancy, just salt, pepper and onion,” he said.
The gyro is grilled vertically on a skewer. They use two skewers each day, one for lunch and one for dinner. When ordered, Levent carefully carves thin slices of the lamb or chicken off the skewer. He collects the meat and finishes the grilling on the stovetop. He also grills a slice of tomato and a pepper to serve alongside the gyro.
The platter also comes with bulgur wheat and a Shepherd salad. Levent described bulgur wheat as a whole wheat rice, popular in Turkey. Shepherd salad is a traditional mix of vegetables.
“That is fast-chopped vegetables- lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and onions- dressed with olive oil, vinegar and our secret spice mix,” Valentina said. “We have to keep some things secret.”
The meal is also served with a large piece of lavash bread. This bread is served hot, after being flipped on the grill top a couple times.
The dish comes with some sauces for dipping. The restaurant features a homemade hot sauce as well as a house white sauce, which Valentina compared to a yogurt sauce.
Both the chicken and gyro platters are available in small and large sizes. The chicken gyro platter costs $8.50 for a small and $13.50 for a large, while the lamb gyro costs $9.50 for a small and $15 for a large. A chicken and meat gyro combo plate is available for $14.50.
“I think we make good food. I’m the chef, and I don’t want to say it’s perfect, but it is very good,” Levent said.
He recommends finishing your meal with a piece of baklava and a cup of Turkish coffee. It’s a strong shot of coffee, which he compared to an espresso. The baklava, along with a variety of other Turkish pastries and treats, are baked at the restaurant daily.
Though the restaurant is new, Levent’s experience in the industry is extensive. He started cooking at 10-years-old at his family’s restaurant in Izmir, Turkey. When he moved to American 2001, he worked at several restaurants in New York City, including Marmaris and the Reyna Turkish Restaurant and Mediterranean Grill.
Valentina and Levent recently moved to Sharon, and wanted to bring his expertise to the area.
“There really are no places like ours around here,” Valentina said.
The Gyro and Kebab House is located at 1275 Boston Providence Turnpike, Norwood. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Levent said they hope to expand their hours and serve breakfast soon.
For more information the Gyro and Kebab House, visit gyrokebabhouse.com.