Per my roommate’s recommendation, I discovered that Hickory Ridge Grill prepares a mighty fine gyro. One of the best I’ve ever had in fact, second only to those at Chris’ Charcoal Pit (and that’s a tall order, folks).
The assembly of a gyro (pronounced “yee-roe”, please) isn’t too complicated and doesn’t take long, but the difference is in the details. The pita was hot, perfectly wrapped in foil so that none of the contents would escape, soft and fluffy but not crispy. Thick cuts of meat are key, freshly sliced from the rotisserie. The mixture of onion, tomato, and feta is equally important; if the tomatoes aren’t strained or are too juicy, the pity gets soggy. No problems at Hickory Ridge Grill. I thought that serving the slightly zingy Tzatziki on the side was a nice touch, since it’s easy to overdo it and everyone’s tastes vary.
Despite its American-sounding burger-joint name and the fact that it is hidden away in one of Columbia’s many nondescript strip malls, Hickory Ridge Grill has got it together when it comes to Mediterranean dishes. Not surprising, since it’s Greek-owned and operated. You can hear the cooks talking in their native tongue from the open kitchen. It’s a nice touch, one that rounds it out as a great place to stop in for lunch or dinner.