Lunch at Petra Cafe

petraToday my wife and I went to lunch at Petra Cafe’ located on Poplar Ave. in Memphis. I haven’t really been keeping it a secret nor have I been very open about it but the truth is I love gyros and after a fun morning at the zoo it was decided that we were in desperate need of a good gyro. Before I continue I want to clarify the pronunciation of the food I’m writing about because a lot of people out there mispronounce it calling it a Jie-roee or Guy-roe, not that you are one of those people but you may know one and it’s important to correct them. If I know anything about people, and I think I do, everyone loves to be corrected by their peers when it comes to how they say things. I just looked it up on the internet as I often do to confirm something I already believe to be true and since everything written on the internet is completely true I can say with assuredness that the way to pronounce the delicious food gyro is yee-roe. As I’m new to the city and am very uneducated about the best places to eat aside from biased recommendations given to me and places I’d already visited. This is going to sound like such a white person first world problem but I feel truly conflicted when it comes to deciding whether to re-visit a place I enjoy or to try something new that might be better. This time reliability won out and we went to the place where I’d been once before and had a good experience.

The beef and lamb meat that comes on the classic greek gyro that we ordered was seasoned perfectly and tasted great but it wasn’t as melt in your mouth tender as I had built it up in my mind since my first visit three months ago. The tzatziki sauce was creamy and delicious which is a somewhat rare thing for me to find as I’m not a huge fan of cucumbers but Petra has found a way to mask what is usually the an overwhelming flavor at least in my experience. The tomatoes weren’t necessary but that did add a nice textural variety. The Pita which may be the most important component of a gyro was perfect. It was warm as all good pitas should be and it was less thick than a lot of others I’d had so it did it’s job of holding the ingredients without taking away any of their flavors. With the gyro I had an iced tea and it was good but wasn’t the kind of tea worth writing about, however I realize now that I’m contradicting that point.

My wife while she enjoyed her gyro was not as generous with her feelings towards it. After the first bite she said it was not as good as AJ’s a place that had gyros where we just moved from in Fort Pierce, Florida. I can accept her opinions and the fact that she is wrong about some things but in all honesty I think she is judging with the nostalgic part of her brain rather than the factual part of her tastebuds. AJ’s was good, certainly the best gyros we had access to in Fort Pierce but in my opinion it isn’t close to being as good as Petra. Leticia’s complaints were somewhat opposite of my praises in that she wished the pita was larger because as she said “I prefer there to be more bread than meat.” I would never call my wife crazy, especially publicly in my blog, but I have never heard anyone say that they would rather have more bread than meat on any kind of sandwich type dish. She did think the meat was good and if she hadn’t I might actually say she’s crazy and she liked the sauce but wished there was more of it.

Overall I enjoyed the meal and it hit the spot for satisfying my gyro craving. I’m going to give it an eight out of ten because the meat could have been more tender and the service could have been better not that it was terrible by any means. My wife gives it a seven though she admits that she’s being generous with that. I’m not ready to call it the best Gyro in Memphis because it’s the only gyro place I’ve been to so far but I definitely would recommend it to anyone who wants good mediterranean food at an affordable price in a nice setting.


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