Covo Gyro Market (1482 N. Milwaukee Ave.) recently opened in the heart of Wicker Park giving every hipster boy and girl another tasty spot to hang for a while. Large high top communal style tables adorn the center of the restaurant with regular dining tables encompass the perimeter.
We approached the counter and read the easy to follow process of ordering. You choose a protein, method of delivery and then you choose your toppings that are attractively displayed before you. The Schwarma style meat slowly cooks on spits along the back of the line in view of everyone.
The meat looks incredible. It glistens as the infrared warmers slowly cook the lamb and beef, chicken and pork. The aromas in the dining room are intoxicating.
The food looked fresh. Overall, the atmosphere, way of ordering and quality of food struck me similar to that of Chipotle – Gyro style. We ordered the lamb and beef combination and added a lot of fresh ingredients. Cucumber, tomatoes, onion, capers – an awesome addition, cheese and a zesty chipotle sauce instead of traditional Tzatziki style.
One of my main complaints of other gyro spots is the balance of ingredients in the sandwich itself. Too much meat to pita. Not enough veggies, sauce is misplaced and you basically have to reassemble the sandwich at times. Not the case here. The way the pita is filled, layered and wrapped is nothing short of genius.
The perfect amount of each ingredient didn’t overpower any particular one. The creamy but still light and tangy sauce was sparingly used and worked nicely with all the fresh veggies. All in all, the sandwich was awesome. The fries were hand cut and twice fried. Crispy and well seasoned with simply salt and pepper.
In addition to a Gyro we tried Covo’s house specialty Baba Ghanoush. It was well mixed, very flavorful with nice herbaceous and vegetal notes. Really fresh and a bit creamy. The thick cut pita chips were perfect. Not too crunch with just a bit of tender chew, they were served warm and for the price, the side item was a steal.
Covo has something special going on here. I could see there being a Covo across the whole country. The food is fresh, served quickly, with options galore. The staff is knowledgeable and the spot is clean and modern. Keep it up kiddies!
I’m hungry. Let’s eat!