Whenever we visit a city, I always research the dining opportunities in an effort to find something different than what we can find here in East Tennessee… When I found a well-regarded Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant in Waco, I put it on our list for dinner…
This is Alpha Omega, a Mediterranean Grill and Bakery. Located in Waco's historic downtown district, it just opened in June of last year. Back in 1950's this building was a transmission shop. When the current owners purchased the building, the roof had caved in and only the exterior walls were standing. As you will see, this structure has come a long ways from its near extinction…
Any time we have an opportunity to partake in Greek food or any related versions thereof, we have to give it a try. We are always hopeful that we will be able to duplicate the style and quality of the Greek cuisine that we enjoyed when we lived in Chicago. Certainly the specials listed on the menu board at the restaurant’s entrance looked promising!
Alpha Omega is a “self-serve” restaurant. Customers order at the counter and when their food is ready they are called to pick it up.
As you can see, the kitchen can be viewed from the seating area and customers can watch the food being prepared. Note the spit style gyro grilling machine in the photo. This is the way that gyros are supposed to be prepared…something we haven’t found anywhere near where we live.
Somehow I failed to take a photo of the spacious dining area inside Alpha Omega… Of course, I did not miss taking food photos! This is the bakery case full of goodies… Unfortunately, we decided to forego dessert so we didn’t sample that great looking selection of baked goods.
Laurie started out with a Greek Salad. ($3.95) While it was different than Greek salads that she’s had before, she did enjoy it.
Here’s where we ran into an issue, at least from our viewpoint. We both wanted gyros…especially when we saw that gyro roasting spit. We are used to lamb gyros but the meat on the broiler spit was pork. A Lamb gyro was offered too ($9.95) but the meat wasn’t prepared on the spit.
The chef told us that pork was the traditional meat for gyros…but we’d never seen it on a menu before. Laurie ordered a Pork Gyro with pita bread and 2 containers of tzatziki sauce. ($8.00) I guess that it’s all what you’re used to. This version of gyros was OK…but to us it just wasn’t the “real thing”. Lamb is more flavorful in our opinion.
This side order of Greek Feta Fries was right up my alley! ($2.95) Loved the fries loaded with crumbled Feta cheese…
Regarding gyros…of course the chef was technically correct. In Greece, gyros are indeed traditionally made from pork or chicken. He told us that what we called gyros were really shawarma. Shawarma are actually a Middle Eastern meat preparation involving lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats. We definitely learned something new!
I also ordered the Pork Gyros…minus the onions. Laurie and I both agreed that the tzatziki sauce was very good even if we weren’t crazy about pork gyros.
Other “gyros” items on the menu include chicken, beef, chickpea, veggie, shrimp and fish. Since gyros are commonly defined as meats prepared on a spit, with shavings that are cut off the block of meat for serving as needed... when is a gyros not a gyros… The answer to that question really doesn’t matter to us. As far as we’re concerned, it’s all about lamb based gyros and/or shawarma.
Alpha Omega Grill and Bakery is located at 929 Franklin Avenue in Waco Texas. Phone: 245-732-7506. Website: http://www.alphaomegawaco.com/.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by to see what was for dinner!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave