I was hankering for a burger, but I couldn't commit to a drive-thru or a full-service eatery. So I switched to the one protein that trumps my meat/bun cravings: gyros. The past couple of times I was south of El Toro, there was one place on my radar. Situated across the street from Saddleback College, this corner storefront appeared as run-of-the-mill as its neighbors. But that was not the case inside.
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Best known for hearty breakfast burritos served all day, Surfin' Souvlaki is (just as with a Bay Area joint's tagline) a good place for a diet and a bad place for a diet. The latter is due to the belly-busting portions of such dishes as the Super Colossal Gyro Burger and My Big Fat Gyro Wrap. Kobayashi-style dining wasn't my goal today. All I required was some shaved lamb, a pita and a side of fries. Of course, things never go quite as planned.
The gyro meat plate came with two sides of my choosing. Since tzatziki and bread are already included, I settled on a salad and Greek potatoes. These taters were delicately prepared until beyond fork-tender, to the point at which I couldn't actually pierce one without it crumbling. Tangy from a heavy dose of citrus, I took in the aroma of oregano and other savory notes. While I could've defaulted to one of the many fried tater options, this component elevated my lunch from quick-service to white-linen status.
As well-seasoned as my spuds already were, the kitchen also thought to incorporate similar herbs on a typically plain pita, making for an even better meat-and-potatoes experience. I came out of Surfin' Souvlaki with a newfound appreciation for food I already enjoyed feasting on--and a diet blown.