DinnerSolav Souvlaki & Donair

!Since the original posting of this article, Sola Souvlaki has moved to a new location. We have not had the opportunity to visit the new restaurant.

Gyros. Every so often we get a hankering for those beef stuffed pitas. There’s a lot of Gyro joints in and around Vancouver. Most of them are so-so: store-bought pitas with dry as cardboard slices of poor excuse for a piece of meat, masquerading as a donair. Back in high school, we used to hang out at Station Square in Metrotown. As an alternative to your standard burgers and fries fare, we’d hit up Solav’s Souvlaki & Donair. It was a cramped little hole in the wall that was sandwiched between the Save-On-Foods and Starbucks. The Gyros, however, were awesome — and the price fit the high schooler’s budget well.

I haven’t been back to Solav’s for years. But lately, Case and I have been jonesing for some good gyro, so we decided to pop by Station Square to see if it was still around. Luckily for us, Solav’s was still alive and kicking. Upon entering, we could see that it was as cramped as ever, jammed with 3 plastic tables and chairs to one side and the open kitchen to the other. The friendly and attentive proprietor took our order — two gyros to go and a side of fries for good measure.

As we sat waiting for our orders, a steady stream of customers began to come in and a slight feeling of claustrophobia was beginning to set in. Outside, patrons chatted away on their cell phones awaiting patiently for their turn to get in to order.

One thing we noticed about Solav’s is how clean it was. The counters were spotless; the grill clean; and the sink immaculate. Every few moments, our cook would wipe the counters after each prep. Now, we always expect cleanliness in our eating establishments — but it’s always one of those things that get overlooked and partially forgiven, especially for fast food type joints. So we were definitely impressed with the care that was taken in the preparation of our meal.

When we finally got home with our haul, we tore right into the gyros. The pitas were fresh. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were store bought, but at least they weren’t day olds. The beef donair was nicely grilled and tender with just the right amount of seasoning. The vegetables were fresh: no mushy tomatoes or browning lettuce here. Finally, the tzatziki sauce was perfect: creamy and not the last bit runny. The biggest surprise, however, was the fries. I tacked that on as an afterthought, but the fries were gently deep fried with no oily residue. And the seasoning was off the hook. Usually left abandoned as an unwanted stepchild, the fries at Solav’s were a worthy accompaniment to our delicious gyro meal.

The Details

4600 Kingsway, Burnaby

Solav Souvlaki & Donair on Urbanspoon

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