If gyros platters and falafel aren't your thing, then Gyros Palace owner Asharaf "Joe" Keyno has a couple of traditional American ringers on his menu that should prove to be more than adequate.
Keyno always has offered hamburgers during his 15 years at the restaurant just west of Sheridan Road on 31st Street, and he recently added a Philly steak sandwich.
We sampled both the basic burger (combo with fries and drink, $7.99) and Philly steak (with fries and drink, $7.99), as well as a house Greek platter ($7.99) with sides of dolma (stuffed grape leaves) and falafel (deep-fried balls of fava beans and chickpeas).
The Philly steak was a monster, loaded with tender beef and good flavor, while the hamburger had an old-fashioned quality with a soft bun that had a perfect pat on the grill.
While those dishes stood fine on their own, most regulars come to Gyros Palace for the Middle Eastern fare, and it doesn't disappoint.
Our platter was anchored by a mound of tasty gyros meat with plenty of tzatziki sauce (a cool blend of cucumber and yogurt) and pita bread on the side, along with servings of spanakopita (spinach pie), hummus and Greek salad.
We dipped the meat, falafel and little spinach pies (spinach and feta cheese fried inside phyllo dough) in the tzatziki sauce and lathered the crispy (but not dry) pita bread in the smooth hummus. We even dipped a little of the Philly steak in the tzatziki, and it was great.
The falafel was well-seasoned (I thought I picked up some garlic, cumin and pepper), and, like almost all falafel, a tad on the dry side. The salad included crisp greens, olives, cucumber, tomato, onion and crumbles of feta cheese.
Other combination dinner platters, which range from $6.99 to $7.99, include such choices as gyros wrap and Greek salad; gyros meat; falafel, spinach pie and grape leaves; falafel and grape leaves, chicken gyro and Greek salad; and double cheeseburger and bacon with fries.
Pita bread sandwiches, such as gyros, chicken gyros, Philly steak, ham-and-turkey and falafel range from $4.29 to $5.99. Burgers are $2.99 to $4.69. Kids meals are $3.50.
For dessert we had squares of nutty, honey-dripped baklava ($1.25) scooped straight from the baking pan.
"I also can sell my hummus and tzatziki sauce by the pint and the meats by the pound," Keyno said.
Customers order at the counter and pick up their food when their names are called.
The cozy dining room, which has nine tables, is comfortable but not fancy. It has an unusual assortment of wall hangings, including Norman Rockwell prints, a bull fighting scene, Asian block wood prints and an American farm scene.
Keyno said he came to the Tulsa in 1989 to study engineering at the University of Tulsa, but when he sat out a year to save money, he found himself drawn to the restaurant business.
"I had worked in restaurants in Chicago, so I knew something about it," said Keyno, who also had a stint at the old Joseph's Steakhouse.
"I've developed a very good relationship with the neighborhood customers and with the workers around here over the years."
Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Gyros Palace accepts Visa and MasterCard.
6119 E. 31st St.