Authentic Greek Food in Kalamazoo
How does a kid from the far west side of Kalamazoo, Michigan start an authentic Greek food trailer and restaurant? It goes back to eating gyros for many years here in the United States. Then, while on vacation in Greece, Nick ordered sandwiches that he found to be quite different from home that tasted excellent. The main difference is an authentic Greek gyro, made from fresh cut pork or chicken compared to a homemade gyro made from processed meat remnants. The other important difference was putting french fries inside the sandwich instead of on the side.
At the same time, mobile food trucks were starting to pop up around the area. Nick connected two dots, and the idea blossomed into action. First, Nick returned to Messolonghi, Greece to visit a friend, Mario, for two weeks. Mario arranged for Nick to learn the authentic way of making gyros from a restaurant that produced around 3,000 of the sandwiches every day. After a week, the owner of the restaurant liked Nick so much he told him how to make his secret spice mix for the pork spit. It’s a recipe that is unique and highly guarded, with only one other person knowing the mix. The next week, Mario and Nick visited several Greek grandmothers (yayas) who showed them how to cook real spanakopita, baklava, make tzatziki from scratch, and other wonderful dishes. The assistance of these Greeks will never be forgotten.
After returning, Nick ordered a 24’ food trailer and spent three months in the winter building a highly functional and high output platform for his new enterprise. Nick’s Gyro’s opened in the spring of 2015 doing festivals, parties, and street side events. After 18 months, Nick’s was able to open a sit-down restaurant at 2727 West Michigan and expanded the menu. After three years, it’s easy to see the difference between Nick’s Gyros and many other casual sandwich shops. Nick is still making things fresh and from scratch. He makes his own hummus, falafel, stuffs his own sausage, bakes bread, and stacks a fresh spit of meat every day. But this is only the beginning, as Nick’s continues to craft new creations now and into the future.