The House of Gyros in Mesquite, Texas is a small, family owned Greek restaurant with some of the best Greek food you’ll find anywhere. Texas casual and very comfortable, you’ll want to come back again and again. Here’s why. (this was not a paid review — I just really love this place!)
Welcome to the first edition of Texas Road Trips. I get to visit so many really amazing places in Texas that I thought it was time I shared with you more regularly than I do. Today’s road trip is to a town about 30 minutes east of me.
Step in to The House of Gyros and you’ll find yourself surrounded by mouthwatering aromas and great food — some of the best Greek food that I’ve had as a matter of fact. And, although I could wax poetic on the pumpkin colored hummus or the chewy pita bread, I won’t be talking about the food just yet. There is one thing that is more important than the food when it comes to a successful eatery and it’s something that neither Gordon Ramsay nor Robert Irvine can teach. It’s called heart and you either have it our you don’t.
House of Gyros does. So. Much. Heart.
Mesquite isn’t exactly known for it’s haute cuisine, fabulous shopping, or exclusive golf courses. When you think of Mesquite you might imagine the rodeo or bumpy roads, or flat suburban houses depending on what your experience with the city has been… but other than the occasional McDonalds or Long John Silvers the town never really offered much in the way of food. For me personally it was never more than a trip to Town East Mall for some quick shopping.
Vasili (you can call him Bill) and Victoria Kaprantzas (she explains that you say Vasili like Vaseline with out the nnnnnnn) are celebrating 29 years of marriage and a little over a year of House of Gyros. The little restaurant is growing by leaps and bounds despite a terrible location and a questionable economy. In fact, they doubled business in the first year and are set to at least double it again in 2016 — so much so that they’re kicking around the idea of expanding into an adjoining space. Vasili explains their success in one word: hospitality.
When you come to dine here (and if you are smart you will) you’ll notice a handwritten sign on the wall that says, I am honored you are here. It is Vasili’s mantra, his mission statement, and the warp thread that holds everything else in place. Vasili and Victoria love their customers and every thought they have is based on how it will affect the 200 or so people a day that sit at their tables. It’s family here.
I noticed that every person that walked in was greeted warmly and every person that left stopped to say that they’d be back. The Kaprantzas’s smiles are contagious.
- Have you been here before? No? Sit down! Enjoy!
- Have you been here before? Yes, I remember you! How is your family?
- Have you been to Greece? Have you eaten Greek food?
“We serve on paper plates with plastic forks and spoons,” says Vasili. “It’s authentic, it’s how it was always done in Greece. Plus, it helps us keep our prices low for our customers.”
“Some people don’t like it,” adds Victoria with a shrug.
Twice during the holidays the little restaurant was filled to capacity and then some. One Thanksgiving and again on Christmas Day the Kaprantza’s opened their doors to anyone who wanted to share a holiday meal — totally for free.
“We’re fine,” Vasili said smiling. “What do we need? Another computer? No. There are many people who are just couples or even alone who have no one to share a Christmas meal with. So, I thought they should come here. We put the tables together, we said no cell phones talk to the people around you! It was packed. It made me happy.”
In April 2016 Vasili and Victoria are leading some of their customers on a two week tour of Greece. They say it’s so the customers can see Greece for themselves without falling into the tourist traps. “They mark the prices up three times higher for tourists!” Vasili spits out with disgust, then with pride says, ” We will get the best of the best. One couple is even getting married there! I am making the arrangements.”
How’s that for customer service? When’s the last time the manager of On the Border offered to take you to Mexico?
I knew I liked the food but I was amazed that, in reading Yelp reviews, out of seven pages of reviews there were only three reviews total that were less than four stars! The food is delicious. I totally recommend the Hummus. I’m pretty sure there is roasted red pepper blended in and it makes it the most gorgeous pumpkin color ever. Served with a generous amount of pita and a drizzle of olive oil it’s a great way to start your meal. I’ve had the pastitsio in the past and it was delicious. Most recently I had the spanakopita which was light, buttery layers of filo wrapped around spinach and feta. The baklava? Out of this world amazing.
I left there three hours ago and I am thinking about trying to talk the husband in to a Greek dinner. Yes, it’s that good. If you are in DFW The House of Gyros is a must visit. Trust me on this one, y’all. I’ll probably see you there. I’ll be the one with baklava crumbs around my mouth, wearing fat pants, and smiling from ear to ear.