- 1007 W. University Avenue
- Urbana, IL 61801
- (217) 328-6476
- No Known Website
The Italian beef craving set in again. I’m just not going to go back to Illinois and not get one. I left Illinois Field on my lunch break and headed towards Green Street to get lunch like I always do. Problem is, when I got there, everything was closed. U of I is on spring break and everything closed up with them. I panicked a little. Where else was I going to go? I was driving around and I came up to University Avenue. Then it clicked. There was a little Greek place up the road where I could get my Italian beef.
Niro’s Gyros is located on University near Lincoln in Urbana. Niro’s has several locations in the Champaign/Urbana area and there are even stores that I know of in Bloomington, IL. I have no idea why Greek places tend to have Italian beef in Illinois, but it’s fairly common. Places like Niro’s are almost cookie-cutter to the extent that you know what’s on the menu before you get there.
There’s not much to this Niro’s location. There’s a drive thru which I should have used and a walk up window. There’s no seating inside. They have some concrete tables outside, but that’s it. When you walk in, there’s just enough room for a menu board and a window.
I put in my order for an Italian beef and fries then waited. It didn’t take long and I watched them put the sandwich in the microwave and nuke it. Since there were no tables, I headed back towards Illinois Field, but not before I stopped at a Circle K to get a Polar Pop.
I ate the fries along they way. They were actually pretty good and not the crinkle cut, over salted fries I was expecting. They were thin and crispy. There wasn’t a lot, but enough to keep me busy until I could dig into the sandwich.
When I parked my truck and pulled the sandwich out of the bag, it was hot. Really hot. It was wrapped in wax paper and two layers of foil and I still couldn’t hold it in my hand. I used the paper bag it came in to hold on then, for the first time ever, I reached for a fork and ate my sandwich that way. It was just too damn hot and I didn’t want to end up with gravy all over my shirt again. The sandwich was delicious, but could have used some cheese. Other than that, it was a sloppy, gooey Italian beef. Just what I crave.
Niro’s Gyro’s isn’t the most inviting place you’ll find in C/U, but if you’re looking for good, greasy food at a decent price, it’s worth a look.