Located on the Danforth, Messini is known as one of the best places in the city for gyros. One Thursday evening I had a craving for gyros and dropped by Messini with Chris and Jo. When we arrived around 8 the place was packed with people waiting for their take-out orders.
The place is also open late – till midnight from Sunday to Thursday and 4am on Fridays/Saturdays. Bet it’s popular with the post-clubbing crowd.
I ordered a dinner plate which came with a Greek Salad. The salads which you typically get at Greek restaurants are never really anything to write home about. But this salad was something else! It came in a large bowl and just look at how generous they are with the feta. The salad was packed full of fresh vegetables and was a great start to the meal.
We were also served some warm complimentary pita served with a tapenade. I only had a small piece since I was saving room for their famous gyro but the tapenade was noteworthy.
Chris couldn’t decide between ordering the calamari and octopus so we ended up ordering both. The first to arrive was the Grilled Calamari ($9.45), coming with one large piece of squid. It was surprisingly tender and was seasoned nicely.
Next up was the Grilled Octopus ($8.45) which I liked even more than the calamari. Similar to the calamari, it was very tender and perfectly seasoned. A great start to the meal.
Now, onto what I came here for – the gyros! I ordered the Pork Gyros Pita – pork shaved from the spit and served in a pita topped with onions, tomatoes, tzatziki and French fries. As I ordered the dinner plate, this cost $10.95, on its own, the pork gyros pita would only be $4.05!
Having come here with very high expectations, I have to say I was a little disappointed. I found the meat to be a little under seasoned as I was looking for an explosion of flavour. While not mind-blowing, it was still good. I enjoyed the crispy bits and the fries stuffed inside the pita.
The dinner plate comes with the Greek salad as well as a choice of fries, roasted potatoes or rice. For an extra $1, I went with the Feta Fries. Instead of regular fries, these consisted of thinly sliced potatoes with feta, oregano and olive oil baked on top of them. Delicious! I recommend making the upgrade for the extra buck.
There was a long wait between our appetizers and our pitas. After inquiring with our server she informed us it was because the souvlaki takes a long time to cook on the grill… so keep this in mind if you’re not ordering a gyro.
Jo ordered the Pork Souvlaki Pita – pork grilled on a skewer and served in a pita topped with onions, tomatoes, tzatziki and freshly cut French fries ($4.05). I didn’t try any of it but she mentioned it was on the dry side. Guess it’s best to stick to the gyros!
Overall, Messini is great value – low prices and solid food!
At a glance:
• Located in the heart of Greektown
• Known for some of the best gyros in the city
• Popular with the take-out crowd
• Cheap – $5 for a gyro
• Open late – midnight Sundays to Thursdays/4am on Fridays and Saturdays
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3.5 stars
• Service: 2 stars
• Atmosphere: 2 stars