兀ita rises to the occasion

Staff+of+Pita+with+owner+Dan+Lyons+%28Center%29.
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兀ita rises to the occasion

Staff of Pita with owner Dan Lyons (Center).

Staff of Pita with owner Dan Lyons (Center).

Staff of Pita with owner Dan Lyons (Center).

Staff of Pita with owner Dan Lyons (Center).

Conor Bellone, Staff Writer

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Conor Bellone

Greece. A country with a long history and food known all over the world… and now, not too far from home.兀ita in Chelmsford serves the food of the Greek homeland near your hometown.

Founded only seven months ago by a first generation Greek family, the doors of the restaurant have been opened to a hungry public, and they don’t disappoint with they’re spiced and juicy food, friendly service and quick delivery.

When stepping into the restaurant, it’s easy to see what food is served. Blue and white (colors of the Greek flag) color everything from the halls to the walls, lit by bare light bulbs hung from the ceiling by rustic log fixture, hanging in front of their open kitchen.

Their specialty meal is their traditional gyro, a famous Greek wrap of pita bread (The namesake of the business), with meat, vegetables and fries.

And it is their specialty for a reason. Their menu offers six different gyros with your choice of meat, or no meat at all, including lamb, chicken, beef, pork, and Greek sausage.

Along with their signature gyros, the menu offering many Grecian treats including their rice bowls, with your choice of toppings, and their souvlaki (sou-vla-key), also known as a kabob, which is grilled to perfection.

I had the “Traditional Gyro” and Fries. The gyro came with chicken, onions, tomatoes, spiced fries with tzatiki sauce, a traditional Greek yogurt sauce.

The gyro was overall good, but I would make some changes in my order for next time. The onions were overwhelming in flavor, so I’d either ask them to put only a little on or take them off the order entirely. The fries were well seasoned with oregano and salt, but were too hard in the soft pita wrap.

The tzatiki was cool and delicious and made a nice contrast between the warm chicken, but the large globs of the sauce I found to be too much and would ask for a small amount on my next trip.

The gyro had many postives which I would recommend: The freshly shaved chicken was warm and filling. The meat with the tomato, wrapped in that soft pita bread is delicious and satisfying with flavor. The pita is handmade and perfect as always, and a little tzatiki with the chicken is a perfect mix of two flavors: The roasted, warm chicken with the cool yogurt sauce, that tastes like a mild cucumber.

To go along with my meal I ordered a side of fries and a fountain drink. The drink refills are free and a cold drink goes great with the beautifully salted and spiced Greek meal.

Fair warning! The fries are fresh out of the frier but the taste is worth a little wait. Salted and spiced with oregano and herbs, they are an excellent break from your Five Guys salted fries. You also have the option of getting them “Greek” with oregano and shaved Kaseri cheese on top, but warn your server to not put too much on, or else they may add a little too much “Greek” to your fries.

But the best part of the restaurant is their souvlaki. If you can only try one thing at 兀ita, order that. With your choice of meat on the Kabob, some slices of Pita and a lemon wedge, I can’t recommend this more.

The chunks of meat are grilled to perfection, with a few lines of sweet gristle on their sides and put in a marinade that makes it impossible to have just one piece. Add some lemon juice and a new zest of sweet and sour flavor is added, making it just as excellent.

The pita is merely one of the best pieces of bread I’ve ever had, earning the name of the restaurant and then some. Soft, warm and comforting the flat bread rises to the occasion of an excellent dish and a happy customer. Try wrapping some pieces of your souvlaki meat in the small pieces of pita for a small gyro of your own!

The mystery to 兀ita’s success isn’t any mystery to the staff. Founded by two Greek immigrant children: The Tsianakas and the Lyons, hoped to take the culture of their people to their new home. 

Irish-American born Dan Lyons was brought into the Greek world when he married his wife Alexa. This “Honorary Greek” met with The Ghostwriter to tell us what gave his family the idea for 兀ita and why an American audience would like it.

“We go to Greece all the time,” said Lyons, “and these [style restaurants] are like Dunkin Donuts [or] Pizza shops. They’re everywhere.”

And for why a style of food regular to the streets of Athens would make it on the roads of Chelmsford, Lyons said it’s the foods’ quality:

“…It’s something different, it’s quick, right? All our food’s fresh, we make everything here.”

But for someone not born in Greek culture, Lyons joked about what makes him love his adopted culture:

I don’t know. The food’s pretty good. My wife [is Greek]. I like her.”

You can find 兀ita at 18 Boston Road, in the Chelmsford Plaza.  

Here is a link to the menu: https://www.gotopita.com/

 

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