First Posted: 2/3/2013
Take 30 years of restaurant entrepreneurship, rich Greek heritage, good family support and you get Pittston's new one-of-a-kind restaurant.
At Gyros Restaurant, a corner take-out joint with a menu larger than its dining room, they pronounce their signature dish gyro the correct way, like yee-row, and make everything from scratch.
Owner Apostolos Malahias, who goes by Paul, arrives to work every morning before the doors open to whip up fresh tzatzki sauce, similar to sour cream but with garlic and cucumbers, and to get breakfast started to open at 6 a.m.
They boast a $2.55 breakfast of eggs, home fries and toast. But the breakfast menu is loaded with other fixings like Belgian waffles, breakfast wraps, pancakes and French toast. Mahalias also has a few homeland-inspired items for breakfast like omelets with spinach, feta cheese and the gyro wrap's foundation, seasoned lamb. The rest of the menu is extensive. In addition to the Greek items, the menu includes appetizers, poultry and pork, seafood, pasta, pizza, hoagies, BBQ, cheesesteaks, hamburgers, finger food, salads, wraps and hot dogs.
Suzanne and James Panzetta sat in the dining room on a windy Thursday night with their granddaughter, Amy, and her boyfriend, Joseph New.
In front of them were stacked takeout boxes. They had just finished eating and had leftovers to go.
James, who had ordered chicken wings, said the portion sizes impressed him. Suzanne had ordered baked ziti with mozzarella and ricotta and had to take some home. Amy had a turkey sub but could not finish the whole thing. Joseph was the only one without takeout. He said he was thrilled about a local place to get gyros. He said he loves the Greek dish and the new restaurant's are on par with his expectations.
Maria Downing, Mahalias' daughter and partner, told the story of her father's entrepreneurship.
Mahalias migrated to the United States in 1972 with his wife and three daughters. He opened a pizza place in Manhattan, N.Y., called Supreme Coffee Shop and stayed there for 18 years.
After moving to Mountain Top in 1990, he opened Gyros Restaurant there and ran a thriving business.
When we first opened in Mountain Top, nobody but nobody was selling gyros,' Downing said. Customers would come from as far as Scranton. We had orders to Tobyhanna Army Depot for 150 gyros every week.
In 2008, Mahalias packed up his family and went back to Greece for a few years to see their remaining relatives. When they returned to the United States, they wasted no time getting another restaurant going.
It has been only two weeks since the grand opening and employee LoriAnn Cadora said she is starting to see repeat customers. She said she expects business will continue to grow as more people discover their hearty menu options and old-fashioned Greek hospitality.
Monday to Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m