Niro’s Gyros – Urbana, IL

28 03 2009
  • 1007 W. University Avenue
  • Urbana, IL 61801
  • (217) 328-6476
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Niros Gyros on University Avenue in Urbana.

Niro's Gyros on University Avenue in Urbana.

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. Read the rest of this entry »


Zeus’ Coney Island – Lansing

9 01 2009
  • 6525 S. Pennsylvania Ave.
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 272-7900
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Zeus' Coney Island on Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing

On our first day in Lansing when we were apartment hunting, the first restaurant we saw after getting off of I-96 was Zeus’ Coney Island on Pennsylvania Avenue.  At that time, I had no idea what a Coney Island restaurant was and wondered why a Greek restaurant had a name I associated with New York City.

For ten months now, J and I have been saying we need to go to Zeus’.  The parking lot is always packed and a couple of her co-workers are regulars at the Greek diner.  After what seems like several days of snow, we finally decided to give it a shot.  You see, I have the four wheel drive, so when it snows, I usually end up taking J back to work after her dinner break.  When it really snows, I take her at the start of her shift.  Instead of making four trips back and forth, we just end up going out to dinner instead of coming home for dinner.  When I dropped her off, I didn’t know the snow was going to taper off by 7:00, so I said I wanted to stay on this side of town.  J suggested Zeus’ and I didn’t argue.

Zeus’ Coney Island sits on Pennsylvania between Cedar Street and the I-96 ramps.  It’s one of two restaurants owned by the same people.  The other is in Brighton.  There’s no way you can head down Pennsylvania and not see it.  The building looks like an old Wendy’s or some other type of fast food.  There are two huge signs that stick to the simple color palette of the Greek flag.  Read the rest of this entry »

Greek Islands Restaurant – Chicago

10 08 2008
  • 200 S. Halsted St.
  • Chicago, IL 60661
  • (312) 782-9855
  • Website
  • Menu
Greek Islands Restaurant on Madison and Adams in Chicagos Greektown

Greek Islands Restaurant on Madison and Adams in Chicago's Greektown

We were in Chicago for the weekend for a friend’s wedding.  Our hotel was the Crowne Plaza Metro in Greektown.  On Sunday morning after a night of drinking, we decided to meet up with some friends from Ohio that we don’t get to see often and have lunch before we went our separate ways.  The night before, I went for a walk to kill time and check out the restaurants in Greektown.  We checked out of our hotel then walked down Halsted.  I had read a little about a restaurant on the corner of Halsted and Adams called Greek Islands.

We walked in Greek Islands and were met by an older gentlemen welcoming us to the restaurant.  He showed us to table on a landing in the dining room.  We were seated and starting looking over the menu which is very traditional greek food.  A bus boy brought us some water and the waiter came over to take the order.  We weren’t quite ready to order, but we did put in drink orders.  They had both Coke and Pepsi.  Three of us got Pepsi’s and J got a Diet Coke.  The drinks that were served were little glass bottles, so there were no refills.  I’m guessing they were six ounce portions, so we had to go light before the meal got there. Read the rest of this entry »

Bell’s Greek Pizza

3 08 2008
  • 1135 E. Grand River Ave.
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 332-0858
  • Website
  • Menu
Bells Greek Pizza on E. Grand River near the campus of Michigan State

Bell's Greek Pizza on E. Grand River near the campus of Michigan State

Bell’s Greek Pizza is what I missed by going to a small private school instead of a state school.  When it got late, the only thing we had was vending machines.  There was no late night pizza place.  Whenever I visited friends at the University of Illinois or Southern Illinois University, I made sure to push for pizza at 3 am after the bars closed. 

I went looking for this place a while ago when my dad and a friend were in town, but I didn’t go far enough down Grand River to find it.  My girlfriend came home from work one Friday night and said she was hungry.  I suggested pizza so we drove across town to campus just for pizza.  I had a few people suggest Bell’s on this blog before so I was kind of looking forward to it. Read the rest of this entry »