--Got Beef? (and lamb)
Our next stop on the gyro-tron is Hella's. Located right off the Bryn Mawr stop on the red line in the Edgewater neighborhood. If you like the places that haven't changed thru time then you'll most likely love Hella's. Nothing and I mean nothing has changed over there. This is for the better and worse as you will soon read.
Ill take a gyro but skip the Budweiser and gimme a High Life
They dont do much as far as upkeep goes over at Hella's. The lighting is so dim that I think they may not have switched the light bulbs in 5-6 years. There is a Jim McMahon poster that sits right over the counter and on it you can see different layers of grease from over the years, its almost like a grease rainbow. There's a display cabinet with all sorts of useless junk that the owner keeps there because I assume he doesnt have anymore room at his place. There is a stack of phone book's to the ceiling that im guessing is every edition put out by yellowbook from the past 20 years. The customers arent exactly your Starbucks crowd. They are interesting to say the least. When we left I saw a really short old Asian guy entering with a tall young black transvestite. So they say the neighborhood has changed, not that night. Its also a favorite with the cops though as I saw a few come and go for food. Many people were stopping in to purchase 40 oz. of Miller Lite which along with the gyros seem to be the hot seller. If you like crack with your spanakopita...I'm sure you can find that too.
Dont forget to vote for me this election season
But then there is the food which hasnt changed either and that is for the better. You see Hella doesnt use one of Chicago's gyro manufacturer's. They have a homemade mix that they make in house and have since they opened. There is something really entertaining about the old Greek guy with a thick white mustache cutting the meat from the spit super fast and in style. He had a ninja like approach to cutting that meat.
you can tell from this picture of the spit how dim it is inside
The characters inside are interesting, and the decor is a bit grimy but this place is an old-school uptown gyro spot that gives a little idea of what that neighborhood was like in the 70's and 80's. Aside from gyros they have all sorts of Greek favorites including saganaki (another Chicago original) which I will be back to try. Im interested to see how the old guy lights it without burning off his mustache. The gyro was good but my main complaint was that it is sliced to thick for me. I prefer my gyro's thin and crispy but everything about it was good including the greasy fries. I ate my dinner so quick all I got a pic of was my sandwich when I made it. This is a good gyro I might say. Plus points for using sport peppers as one of the toppings along with tomato and onions. I had never seen that before but I enjoyed it and it gave the gyro even more Chicago flare. In case you didnt know gyros were introduced to America in Chicago.
Rating Scale 5/5
Gyro meat: 3
freshness of pita and toppings: 3
1133 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660