Friday, January 25, 2013

The Road, No. 23: Best Gyros [Eating Our Way Down Nolensville Pike]

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Definitely not gyros. Sue me.
  • Definitely not gyros. Sue me.
Welcome to The Road, my column in which I'm going to attempt — key word: attempt — to eat at every non-chain restaurant on Nolensville Pike between I-440 and the county line. I'll readily admit that even though I live right off Nolensville — Paragon Mills represent! — and revel in the diversity and quantity of its eateries, I have barely scratched the surface of what the strip has to offer. But now I'm going to rectify that, and hopefully you'll join for what's likely to be a wild ride.

Episode 23: Best Gyros
Address: 5814 Nolensville Pike
Phone: 331-7792

I'm gonna be straight with you: I have no idea if Best Gyros actually has the best gyros. They smelled delicious and looked scrumptious on the plates of my fellow diners, but I walked into this little shop on the southeast side of the Nolensville-Old Hickory intersection and instantly got the "falafel vibes." It's a sixth-sense sort of thing, the falafel vibes, and I'm not one to argue with them. So yeah, whether or not Best Gyros does in fact have the best gyros is still up for debate, but they've got really good falafel — a far more persnickety dish — and I'm willing to take them at their word.

I have never been to Best Gyro before and honestly had no idea it existed until I pulled in the parking lot. Clearly I missed a memo, because when I walked in at the tail end of the lunch rush the place was packed. I was worried I wouldn't get a seat, but the turnover was quick — I think the whole place swapped out while I ate. The restaurant is simple — a couple of tables, a row of booths, an open kitchen — without much in the way of decoration beyond those awesome Kurdish (I think) picture-rug wall hangings I see all around town. It's a clean, efficient setup that doesn't offer much in the way of bells and whistles. Then again, bells and whistles aren't terribly tasty.

The falafel plate, on the other hand, was very tasty. The patties were oblong with a split down the middle that made them easy to cut with a fork — an amazingly simple little variant — with a bright flavor, crispy on the outside, warm and moist on the inside. Y'know, the way a falafel should be. The rice was fresh, and they loaded up my salad with pretty much every veggie at their disposal. The cucumber sauce was a bit light and seemed to melt right into the falafel, but it did the job and probably was supposed to take a back seat to the falafel. All in all, it's a falafel plate done very well.

And while I'm still on the line, I'd like to mention how awesome the ladies behind the counter were. Sure, we didn't have any unnecessary conversation, and even that convo was curt (curt-ish? Ba-dump-cha!) but watching those ladies work was great. They were half ballerina, half ninja knocking out the lunch rush with grace and skill, flying around that kitchen with the sort of speed and accuracy you expect from a top athlete. It was really beautiful to watch. And it made a compelling argument for returning and trying out the gyros. I hear they're the best.

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