Souvlaki GR first started off selling souvlaki out of a blue truck to the people of Soho, Manhattan. Now, a year later, they have their own restaurant in the Lower East Side while the truck parks regularly at South Street Seaport.
Last year, the Souvlaki truck won Rookie of the Year at the Vendy Awards, which are annual awards that judge food trucks. This year, the Souvlaki truck won People’s Choice of the Year, being voted by the attendants of the Vendy Awards as their favorite.
I first started following Souvlaki GR as a food truck around a year ago. The boyfriend and I stumbled on their truck on their first day out in Manhattan. It was fate. We had already eaten lunch but the moment we walked by and smelled the charcoal grilled souvlaki, we fell in love. Their chicken sticks are sold in singles or in a box of stix. The “box” offers 6 sticks with a side of grilled pita and tzatziki sauce. They also offer pita souvlaki, bifteki sandwiches (Greek version of a burger), Greek fries and salads.
When I found out that Souvlaki GR was opening a restaurant, I was beyond ecstatic! Finally, I wouldn’t have to rely on Facebook and Twitter to check if the truck was nearby and then play treasure hunt to find it. However, life came in between the souvlaki and me. I wasn’t able to go check out the restaurant anytime within its first month of opening. I wasn’t even able to make a visit within the first six months of opening. But finally, I had a free afternoon where I was in the neighborhood and I made my way over to the restaurant that is painted the same blue as the truck.
The first thing I must comment on is the decor. Upon walking into the the restaurant I felt like I had walked into a house from the countryside of Greece. The walls were painted stark white with the beams and windowsills being a startling blue. From the pictures I had seen of the houses on the Greek waterfront, this was exactly what it looked like. We were given the option of sitting in a corner booth with pillows or on a table by the front with chairs. We chose the corner, which turned out to be really cozy and comfortable. We were then given the menu, which had not changed from the truck menu that we were used to.
For our appetizer, we ordered the Greek fries. Their Greek fries are hand-cut french fries that are then covered with feta cheese, oregano, and salt & pepper. The order was huge and definitely large enough for four people. We were a party of two and we had to take about half the order to go. It took a lot of will power to stop eating the fries, because they were just that good. The feta cheese added to the fries made it a lot tastier than any fries I’ve had before. The large order of fries came up to only $5, which I find amazing considering how many fries you get.
We ordered our usual chicken box stix. The boyfriend likes the chicken sticks more but I personally like the grilled pita more. Paired with the tzaziki sauce, the pita could easily be eaten on its own. The chicken sticks tasted exactly like we remember them – grilled to perfection without being charred or bitter. The fact that the chicken sticks are charcoal grilled gave it a very distinct flavor than a regular gas grill.
If you’re in the area, Souvlaki GR makes a great quick and cheap lunch spot. It’s been more than a year since I’ve been a faithful follower of Souvlaki GR and I will never grow tired of their chicken sticks and pita. For Souvlaki GR, I give them a 5/5 stars so definitely give them a try!