Parthenon is a great place to eat


Customers place their orders at Parthenon in Madison, Wis.

Ross Schuette, Clarion Copy Editor

Parthenon Gyros is a downtown hotspot for authentic Greek cuisine. Offering a variety of Grecian tastes, Parthenon is a great place for families, casual diners, and late night munchies.

Going into the restaurant is difficult, since the front door must be wrenched open, but rest assured that they won’t be closed unless it’s after 3 a.m. The next difficulty in the dining process is overcoming the pop Greek music playing in the background on flatscreen televisions. The new technology clashes with the fast food seating style, but outdoor seating and “rooftop garden” seating are available during the warmer months. People don’t go to restaurants for good seating though, they go for good meals.

The go-to meal in the joint is the traditional gyro, a huge open-faced pita sandwich consisting of spiced lamb and beef, tomatoes, onions and the homemade creamy cucumber-garlic Tzatziki sauce. The meat is delicious and tender with just the right amount of spices. The lamb and beef combination is actually made in the basement of the restaurant itself.

To start the gyro meat process, Parthenon orders 1,000 pounds of lamb and about 400 pounds of beef every week. It is then ground, combined and spiced altogether. The meat then gets frozen as a large chunk on a metal rod, ready to be placed on the slow-roaster upstairs to be cooked right in front of the customers. The meat is rotated slowly in front of a heater, and is trimmed off by a miniature circular saw blade by the staff when it is brown and done.

The entire enduring project to make the gyro sandwich is tedious, and makes for a great tasting sandwich. However, customers are not limited to the gyro for their meals. Also offered is a chicken kabob sandwich – be careful of the kabobs still in there! – which is dressed with the same condiments as the gyro. Options for sandwiches with pork and more meat are also available.

If an amazing sandwich isn’t appetizing, Parthenon also has Greek “pitzas,” coming in the styles of gyro, veggie, or cheese. All of the pitzas are made with “garlic infused olive oil sauce” and topped with Greek feta cheese.

French fries and salads are also available, but in limited variations. The salads are the option of either Greek or Caesar,and the fries come plain or cheesy, but sides may be passed on since the sandwiches are very filling. Regardless of whether it’s too much food, the fries are hot and crispy, and better than the average fries.

The hot fries are well washed down by your choice of Pepsi product, or the lesser known Blumer’s Root Beer from Monroe. The root beer comes from a tap and is well chosen over the standard fountain sodas. Beverages are not limited to soft drinks, either. Parthenon offers a large selection of beers, including Corona, Coors Light, microbrews such as Spotted Cow and even an imported Grecian beer, Mythos.

To top off the meal is the ever-enticingly sweet baklava. This flaky layered pastry of honey and nuts is sweet beyond imagination. The dessert at Parthenon fits the preconceived notion of sweet pastry, although in a soggier form than imagined. If sweetness is all that is desired, then the baklava is a fitting choice.

Parthenon Gyros is a great place to eat. The staff is friendly and the food is overall stellar. The gyro calls your name and your wallet, so indulge!