« Parkway Family Restaurant | Main | Pasqual's »

Parthenon Gyros

Chicken gyroIn a word: Gre_ _e is the word.

The specs: #0474  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Parthenon-Gyros Restaurant on Urbanspoon, EatDrinkMadison listing; official web site.

Latest Parthenon news and reviews at del.icio.us

Bill B. ate the pork souvlaki.
JM ate the Hercules plate (chicken, pork and gyro).
John ate the pitza and a Wisconsin Amber.
Judith ate the chicken kabob.
Nichole ate the classic gyro.
We split some cheese fries and yogurt.
The bill was about $60, or $12/person, plus tip.
Nichole gave Parthenon Gyros a C+; JM gave Parthenon Gyros a C; Bill and Judith gave Parthenon Gyros a C-; John gave Parthenon Gyros a D (see our grading rubric).

Since we didn't go at bartime, we might have missed the point of Parthenon. We're clearly not in their target college demographic, but it was hard to get a read on that since the place was nearly abandoned at six on a Monday night. The staff had a teasing collegiality that spoke volumes about how often they needed to amuse themselves during long bouts of downtime.

Once we got up to the roof garden and took our first few bites, the fresh air and good company outshone the actual food, though a 30-watt incandescent lightbulb would also have done the trick but that wouldn't have been nearly as much fun. The classic gyro was stacked high with standard meat, an obnoxious surfeit of mild onions, and a few slices of tomatoes of wildly varying quality (some ripe, some pink, some incompletely cored.)

The Hercules plate provided a sample of pork and chicken as well as lamb.  The meat was warm but not really tasty, just sort of greasy and bland.  The lamb was probably the star though that's like saying that Lorenzo Lamas was the star of Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Technically true, but you shouldn't care.

Dinner at Parthenon

The best find of all was no doubt the yogurt, which was made in-house. For $3.22, you can get a pint of fresh, intensely zingy yogurt. With a dab of honey, it was perfect for cutting the grease between bites and would probably make an excellent ingredient in a salad dressing or smoothie.

Poor John and Judith got the short end of the stick, trying to explore the offbeat parts of the menu. The "pitza" was, well, a broiled pita pizza, with mozzarella, feta, and a few small chunks of meat. It was hard to eat and just didn't taste very good. As John opined, "If you eat only one Greek pizza this year, you're lucky." The cheese fries were no consolation, as they congealed fast and weren't a good value compared to the regular fry basket.

Pitza, cheese fries, gyro

Bill and John remembered Parthenon being busy all the time, but given the lull we wonder if it's just a bartime draw these days. One thing's for sure, Parthenon's reality pales to collegiate memories.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

A D?

A D?

I took my gf to the P and slid a gyrofry in front of her - she loved it and I knew I had to marry her - 27 years later the gyrofry test has proved to be correct.

A D?

You forgot to order the retsina to cut the gr__ce

You Zorba lovers you. Your just a bunch of haters of true gyro love

Absolutely the most overpriced, worst food in all of Madison. A good gyros is heavenly, this place is just greasy. Miserly portions as well for the cost of meat that's been overcooked and sitting around for hours. A must-avoid, especially with all of the good food within walking distance.

It's been a couple years since I last visited Parthenon. I always thought they were pretty good, back in '03-06 or so. Have they really slid that far, or did the people who don't like it now, never like it?

Aside from the greasiness, my biggest issue with Parthenon is the meat-to-pita ratio of their sandwich basket. You get enough meat for 2 sandwiches and change but only a tiny little pita to eat it with

I've been going to the Parthenon erratically for over a decade now. The gyros have been pretty consistent: good, but not great. Definitely better than no gyros at all. Of course, I like a pile of onions on mine.

The fries, on the other hand, have slide downhill from quite good to pretty bad. For years they hit that sweet spot of fluffy insides and crisp outsides. For the last few years they've been limp insults to potatoes.

This is one of the worst restaurants I've ever been to in madison, with the possible exceptions of Peacemeal and Fridas. The food is overpriced, cold, gross, and the people that work there are the most confused and unmotivated byproducts of digital porn that you will ever regret meeting. I ordered a gyro fry, greek salad and large drink that cost somewhere around 17 dollars. It took THREE people five tries to get my order right.

"Onions? No onions. My salad? My drink? That was supposed to be a large. No, I said no onions. Why are the fries wet?! That was a gyro, not pork. Everything was to go. For the sweet love of god, no onions!!

Like you guys, I was sober. It was five in the afternoon. The place was empty.

Parthenon sucks.

I've been a fan of Parthenon for almost a decade and a half now, and the only thing I've been disappointed with is the steadily rising price of gyro fry.

I used to absolutely love going to Parthenon's, but my last couple of experiences have convinced me the place is on a downward spiral. I couldn't even finish my gyro fry the last time I went, as it was a disappointing shadow of its former self. I now satisfy my gyro needs in Westport at Trader Gus.

look at the picture, can i get some meat with my gyro?gone are the days of great service and food we all miss Zorbas, and now for you idiots who think the new Parthenon is like the old it isnt, it Mc Gyro, or Mc Shit, so many other places offer gyros now, much better than Parthenon MSG in the meat thats gross!

holy crap , 10 bucks for a gyro and a soda? wtf, I can get a large pizza for less, i can go to any other place that offer gyros for cheaper and better service all around. Parthenon should be thankfull Zorbas family closed after 40 yrs, becuase no one went to Parthenon before , now you have to deal with rude service horrible prices, and really how about a greek and not some mexican that cant speak english, but oh yeah thank for greek music.....sad sad place to eat a gyro

To the not too bright guy who cant recall a great gyro at Zorbas, the best food ive ever had on state. The Zorba lovers are just that, Lovers , we cant hate Parthenon for TRYing to make a gyro. It just didnt happen in 40 yrs and it wont happen in the next 40, who wants MSG in the gyro? gezzz you took a girl to Parthenon and she married you, be lucky she didnt throw up that nasty gyro on you!

I would never take anyone to eat at Parthenon , beside the gyros being old meat warmed up from bartime the night before , some of us order other dishes and all of us got sick, and they didnt give anyone thier money back......the health inspector needs to visit more often. Im sure if your drunk and an idiot you wont mind, but we went at lunch, no one at our office will ever go again

hey guys, Parthenon is a waste of your money, The Gyro House on verona road rocks, 5 bucks and you get fries, try and finish that, lots of yummy meat , not that nasty old meat thats been sitting all day, isnt that some kind of health violation, dont waste your time or money at Parthenon

Greek pizza, really? we all know how horrible your gyros are, so now your trying to make a pizza? I saw the line out the door right across the street at Pizza Di Roma, thats pizza! and guess what not one person in line at Parthenon. Do you know spanakopita is suppose to have spinich and feta in it? not weat grass, talk about non traditional cheap way to make a buck, you guys should just close your doors

By the way, nice picture of your burnt omelet. THE OMELET IS BURNT YOU IDIOTS. YOU GUYS WOULDN'T KNOW IF I SERVED YOU HORSE IN YOUR BURGER. YOU'RE PARAGRAPH TALKING ABOUT SCALLOPS AND WHATEVER ELSE WITH YOU'RE RUNNING SENTENCES MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. YOU DON'T HAVE A LITERARY EDUCATION OR A CULINARY BACKGROUND. What makes you think that you know enough to do write-ups on restaurants.

The days when $6 bought me a freshly made gyro fry during college are long gone. A few years pass and $9 buys me a sad portion of meat that was shaved from the spit and spent the last several hours drying in a metal bucket on the griddle and soggy, cold fries. Give me an Oakland Gyro with an embarrassment of fresh meat and a big FREE bottle of tzatziki anyday.

Oh, Oakland Gyros. How I miss you.

I have been an ardent Parthenon support for years but after my last visit I can now say it has become terrible. Maybe I grew up, maybe I no longer eat there hammered or maybe it got too expensive. Either way I'll never eat there again.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.


About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog Read our food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design