Tuesday, February 9

The Best Gyros in Jacksonville

I wish this article was about the best gyros in Jacksonville. My family loves us some gyros, having learned about the awesomeness from Milwaukee staples like Oakland Gyros and Golden Gyros. We tried gyros when we lived in Kansas City, but almost every restaurant there mixed beef and lamb (at best) and fell a bit short. In Jacksonville, we've tried a few places, but we have yet to really find the best gyros in Jacksonville, so if your restaurant wants me to find out if you qualify, then contact me. We're good for several visits per year once we find you, but I'd suggest a discount or coupon to entice me from the start.

Until then, the best gyros we've had in Florida belong to a place we ventured to in Ocala. I know, Ocala is a ways to go just for gyros, but if you're heading to visit the in-laws in the Villages or heading to Tampa for a weekend, Ocala might be a place you'd stop. And if you do stop there, check out Manhattan Subs & Gyros. 

This is my Google Maps review so that you can better decide if this would also be your favorite gyro, and whether or not your favorite Jacksonville gyro joint stacks up to Manhattan Subs & Gyros in Ocala:

Just down the block from where you might be getting a windshield replaced and surrounded by some homes that probably should be condemned sits this restaurant that some reviewers had proclaimed served the best gyros in Ocala.

Since these are the only gyros I've had in Ocala, I can't say they are the best in the whole city, but I can tell you that my kids and I, all connoisseurs of tasty gyros, have not found better in our several years living in Jacksonville and Kansas City. In fact, I'd say Manhattan's gyros and fries even surpass the best I've had in Milwaukee, and there are several excellent gyro joints in MKE.

We did not try anything else on the menu, and when my son suggested he might try something else if we ever ended up at Manhattan's again, I deemed his suggestion sacrilegious that anyone could order anything other than a gyro from such a place as this, especially since we might hope to frequent the establishment once per year at best. And what makes this gyro the best? Hot, cold, crispy, soft, and spice.

Each of our gyros (along with my fries) were heated to perfection. Yes, it took longer than we'd expected, considering we were the only customers waiting inside, but it was so worth it. I told my kids it felt like someone had just created something special just for us. The fries were also hot without being too greasy. Somehow, the gyros also retained some of the cold in the tzatziki sauce and lettuce. Neither distracted. The crispy, high-quality lettuce was reflected with a slight crispiness to both the pita and the lamb, along with the French fries. Nothing burnt. Nothing soggy. But the softness of the bread and airy fries, along with the tender meat, played well with the crisp. And such a well-proportioned amount of spice in both gyro and french fries. In this particular Saturday at Manhattan's, it seemed as if someone knew exactly how to make the perfect gyro for each and every one of us.

Honestly, gyros are pretty simple, as are french fries. We could have been in a hurry and been disappointed by the wait, or we could have picked it up in the drive thru and dealt with it not tasting as hot and fresh. But there we were, three hours from home, stuck waiting for a windshield repair in a town we rarely visit, all of us eating the best gyros with fries we've ever had. I'll add Manhattan's to my newjaxwitty. com website as the best place near(ish) Jacksonville to get gyros, especially if you're headed to Tampa or visiting your in-laws in the Villages. In fact, a stop at Manhattan's might be my new payment for driving the wife and kids to visit her parents.

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