Gyro time sioux falls

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Dar El Salam Market eastern Europaian and Mediterranean food

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Most Recent Comments

  • February

    I'm addicted to the fresh tasting gyro sandwiches this place serves at its Gyro Time deli. For those of us with kids, the fries and chicken strips are actually quite delicious too. This is the one place in Sioux Falls I hope can make it through this pandemic.

  • December

    Excellent food. However they don’t have a mask policy. Even workers there don’t wear masks. I’ll come again in a year but currently it’s not safe for COVID-related reasons.

  • October

    The owed is very nice and welcoming. The best Middle Eastern food in Sioux Falls. Quality food. Highly recommend anyone to try the food served at this place

More Comments(29)

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Secret Fork: Dar-el-Salam Market's pitas are amazing, and try their sides

I found myself with a burning need for good pita bread to concoct an interesting and refreshing twist on a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. I needed nice soft pita I could open like a pocket to stuff full of spiced shredded turkey, crispy quick pickled vegetables spiked up with fresh mint and parsley, and then slathered with a lemony garlic yogurt sauce. Sounds pretty tasty, right? Exactly. Hence the dire need for decent pita, stat!

Rather than run to various grocery stores only to find substandard pita or having to settle for those little round bread things favored by people who refuse to eat bread because of the carby thing, I charted a course for Dar-el-Salam Market at N. Minnesota Avenue. The sign above the door also advertises Gyro Time. Put a pin in that, we will get back to that in a minute. The location is right next door to Phnom Penh, another fantastic eatery. The name Dal-el-Salam, which is clearly Arabic, either refers to a city in Egypt or, if I have my translation right means “place or house of peace.” I’m going with that.

The chicken souvlaki sandwich at Dar-el-Salam.

Either way, Dar-el-Salam is a market specializing in “Eastern European and Mediterranean food.” To me, that description is a bit vague. Maybe that’s purposefully so or maybe my own implicit cultural references and biases make me think so. I mean, the Mediterranean is a big sea and it connects some incredible and diverse areas of our world. Open a map and ponder that for a while.

Earlier:Secret Fork: Even Thanksgiving is getting 'd

From a food standpoint, you’re talking paella and bouillabaisse on one end and hummus on the other with a huge swath of the food spectrum in between. But step into Dar-el-Salam Market and you’re going to be oriented pretty fast — we are definitely talking about the eastern Mediterranean and the parts of Europe that touch upon what most of us would refer to as the Middle East.

That’s what I found when I went looking for pita. Now, about that pita. Hands down, the biggest, tastiest, freshest, softest pita I have ever laid my hands on. You’re going to find it immediately to your right as you enter the store, snuggled in a cabinet where it stays pleasantly and slightly warm. The pita is packaged four to a bag and the price is something like $ per bag. Bargain! And, it is insanely delicious.

Split in half, it made a very generous and tasty vessel for my turkey sandwiches. I brushed olive oil on another to use as an impromptu pizza crust to use up some other Thanksgiving leftovers. I am already planning my next bag that will involve a gallon or so of hummus, plus a trip to Sanaa’s for a bunch of olive spreads.

If you can find the willpower to walk past the pita cabinet, head to the back of the store to the little deli/lunch counter where you will find a dry erase board listing the menu items available to go. That menu may look a little intimidating, but it is really pretty simple. Proteins: beef gyro meat, chicken shawarma (sort of a gyro style chicken), chicken souvlaki (grilled chunks of marinated chicken) and falafel (spiced chickpea fritters). These are available as platters, a do-it-yourself arrangement with pita and sides of vegetables, hummus and tabouli. Or sandwiches — same proteins, but wrapped in a pita along with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumbers, pickles and some tangy yogurt sauce. The rest of the menu is basically sides. The owner is very friendly and will gladly offer advice, and samples!

I went for the chicken souvlaki sandwich. The marinade for the grilled chicken contained a good amount of lemon and spices. It was grilled to perfection. Although this sounds easy, the trick is to marinate the chicken enough to impart the flavor, but now so long the acid in the lemon starts changing the texture of the chicken to an almost chalky consistency. You’ll know when it goes that far, trust me. For those familiar with the austerely garnished gyro, the array of vegetables, and the pickles especially may throw you for a bit of a loop. Don’t skip the pickles. These are not your granny’s gherkins, unless your granny is from Damascus. I can’t quite put my finger on the pickle flavors, but suffice to say they are not standard dills and overly vinegar-y.

I’ve got two other bits of advice for your food order. First, get a side, but not fries. Spend a few extra cents and get some tabouli, a salad comprised of chopped curly parsley, minced tomato, and fine bulgur wheat all dressed with very tangy citrus. One bite and you won’t think of that curly parsley as the abomination it usually is. Second, get some baklava. That’s the somewhat ubiquitous dessert made from layers of paper-thin phyllo, nuts, and a sweet honey sort of syrup. Dar-el-Salam Market makes theirs from scratch with either walnuts or pistachios. I detected a hint of rose or orange water. I’m going to need to consume a dozen or so more to drill down further on that. Whatever the formula, this baklava is nothing short of heavenly.

Dar-el-Salam has a nice selection of grocery items, too. If you’re looking for things like kefir or pomegranate molasses, this is where you’ll find it. But whatever you do, go get a sandwich with a side of tabouli, at least two pieces of baklava (you know, for a friend) and take home a bag of pitas. If that sandwich doesn’t impart a few moments of blissful peace, you’ve got the baklava and pitas for backup.



March 5,

Day-to-day operations of Nick’s Gyros have been in the hands of the next generation for several years now, but for customers, it’s the same experience and the same gyros and other Greek food.

“I want to do improvements but just kind of keep it like a mom-and-pop shop,” said Kosta Sengos, son of owner Andy Sengos, who started Nick&#;s in “I don’t want to get too fancy.”

Customers still order their gyros and hamburgers at the counter of the restaurant at W. 41st St. and eat in the dining room that’s filled with Andy’s thriving plants.

The year-old owner, who retired six years ago, still drops by in the morning. Kosta makes him breakfast, and Andy makes sure the grounds are looking good. In the wintertime, he’s moving snow and patching potholes in the parking lot. In the summertime, he’s watering and weeding the outdoor flowers and plants. A few years ago, Nick&#;s received a beautification award from the city.

“I keep nice and beautiful, and 41st especially in this area because of all the traffic and all the people gonna go through here, so it’s nice in the summertime. I love the flowers.”

Kosta also schedules Andy to work the lunch hour every Friday. “I like it to come here. I come to see my customers; I talk to my customers.”

Many of those customers make the wrong assumption and call him Nick. That’s actually the name of Kosta&#;s godfather, who owns Omaha-area Greek restaurants called King Kong.

In Sioux Falls, other restaurants and food trucks serve gyros, but with its year history, Nick’s is the defining standard.

“There’s nothing bad about it, but they know &#; it’s like, ‘Ah, it doesn’t taste like Nick’s.’ There’s just something special about what we have here,” Kosta said. The gyro meat is a mixture of 90 percent beef and 10 percent lamb that&#;s shaved to order from the traditional vertical cone and grilled. Nick&#;s makes its own tatziki sauce, and Kosta said that&#;s the key to the popular Greek sandwich, which is served on warm pita bread.

Customers also love the french fries, cheeseburgers and baklava, which Kosta makes himself.

The first location for Nick’s was tucked in one of the hallways in The Empire Mall, but there were a lot of challenges, Andy said, noting that he could have 20 customers, but the large dining room looked empty.

“It’s very hard to come here to South Dakota because of farmers here, everybody (ate) steaks, hamburgers, McDonald’s. Everybody come to the restaurant and look at me so funny and say, ‘What’s this stuff?’”

So he started giving out samples of meat to customers as they walked by. “And they’d say, ‘Oh, it’s good!’ ”

A couple of years later, he moved across Louise Avenue to the New Town Mall – now Empire East – and started to build a following.

Nick’s was there for seven years, but when Taco Bell decided to leave its adobe-style building on 41st Street and put up a new site across the street in the early s, Andy bought the property. He painted the building in the colors of the Greek flag &#; white with blue trim – and filled the inside with plants.

The menu has been mostly the same for all those years, but Kosta is making a few changes.

“My son now, you know, the new school, going to start new stuff,” Andy joked.

“We’re just trying to cater to the customers,” Kosta said. “People always write online like, ‘Oh, do you have falafel or hummus, this and that?’ So now we have a spicy gyro too that’s pretty popular.” It has hot peppers in addition to the original tomatoes and onions, and he added Sriracha and cayenne to the tzatziki.

He added hummus &#; but not falafel &#; and a kids’ menu.

Recent improvements to the building were sparked by tornado damage last year. The restaurant has a new sign out front and a new roof.

While the drive-thru menu board wasn’t damaged, Kosta replaced it with an updated, bright display.

“In the process of that, I decided I might as well do some things on the inside, so I painted,” Kosta said. “My parents go to Greece every year, so I just started getting photos up there,” he said, pointing to the walls of the dining room, which fills up over the lunch hour. There&#;s one of Andy and his brother on a beach in Greece, which Andy left for the United States when he was

Kosta said he’d love to open another restaurant in town but finding good help is holding him back.

“I tell customers all the time we’d have 20 of these but we can’t find good help. … If you can find me some employees, I’ll be like, ‘Where do I sign?’ I would love it because I&#;d like to continue what he started, and it&#;s just such a good product. We&#;ll just keep doing that here.”

Tags:  Nick's Gyros


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