When people hear that we live near the Danforth, they usually remark, “You’re so lucky! You’re within walking distance to a bunch of great Greek restaurants!” They’re kind of right, since we can walk to Danforth East to grab amazing Ethiopian (Dukem) or great beer (The Only). As far as Greek fare goes, most Greektown restaurants are pretty pedestrian. You know; flaming cheese and generic Greek salad for appetizers, souvlaki and lemon potatoes for your main, and an anise candy that comes with your bill. In our eight years of living near the Danforth, we haven’t really met a Greek restaurant that’s been opa!-worthy.
Then one summer day, as we were driving down Pape Avenue, we noticed a large, inflatable pig perched above a newly renovated storefront. The sign had a happy, reclining pig holding a skewer of what was likely one of his cousins or next-door neighbours. Harmless enough, so we figured that we might as well try one of the only clean looking restaurants on the street.
Fast forward two years and you can count us as regulars at one of the East end’s hidden gems. Their chicken gyro is one of the most flavourful, juiciest and tender chicken dishes you’ll find. Size-wise, it challenges the hefty portions you get at Burrito Boys, so be sure to go to Folia Grill when you’re hungry.
I’ll admit that, until recently, I was guilty of not straying far from my regular chicken gyros. While Folia Grill offers grilled items like chicken breast, pork chops and NY strip loin, my love for their chicken gyros made me a believer in food monogamy. That is, until the owner asked me to try a sample of their new pork gyros.
Today, we ambitiously ordered one chicken and one pork gyro with a side of zucchini fries. Robin claimed the never-disappointing chicken, while I tackled the pork gyro.
Robin’s chicken gyro was stuffed full with sliced white and dark meat, fresh tomatoes, onions and house-made tzatziki. Give Folia bonus points for stuffing their pitas with french fries, which is what you’ll find at most Mediterranean falafel and gyro restaurants. The starch from the fries pairs well with the tzatziki. The real star of the show is the chicken. Perfectly seasoned with olive oil, paprika and lord knows what other spices, the chicken is cooked slowly and tenderly, leaving you with bite after bite of seasoned goodness. The pictures speak for themselves.
I had the other white meat; the pork gyros is accompanied by the same pita stuffings as the chicken gyros, but is filled with large, moist chunks of pork. Charred on the outside, juicy on the inside, the pork has an amazing lemon and thyme marinade that ranks this dish as one of my top pork dishes I’ve had. No lie.
We were stuffed after we gobbled down our gyros (and a word to the wise: go to Folia Grill with someone you feel comfortable with, since the tzatziki somehow ends up on your cheeks, nose and lips), but still had to tackle the zucchini fries. The “fries” are freshly-sliced zucchini spears that are lightly breaded and seasoned and then fried to perfection. The outside was crisp and the inside was juicy, perfectly cooked and marvellously tender. Fries come with aioli, which makes for a perfect dipping companion. We tried to share the size order between the two of us, but would have gladly welcomed a third (or fourth) person to help us finish the plate.
Each pita is $5.25, which is a dangerously good deal. Be sure to try Folia Grill before one of the East end’s best kept secrets is out.
1031 Pape Ave
Photos by Robin & Richard
Words by Richard