A Comforting Greek Lunch @ Souvla – Hayes Valley, SF

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I can’t seem to keep up with all the new restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops sprouting up around town. Luckily, I have a huge appetite and a fading desire to cook, so there will be many more Bay Area food adventures to come. I’m excited to kick off my first 2016 restaurant post with my recent trip to Souvla in Hayes Valley.

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Souvla is a Greek sandwich shop; if you like tasty spit-fired meat, then this is the joint for you. Their concept is simple… first pick your main item: lamb, pork, chicken or vegetarian, then decide if you prefer it in a sandwich (gyro) or a salad. A simplistic idea counterbalanced by complex flavors. You can smell the goodness once you step foot inside the restaurant and watch the meats baste in the rotisserie as it slowly turns over the open flames. I understand why they set a stack of napkins on the table, it’s to wipe the drool off your chin.

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We ordered a lamb and a chicken gyro, however all the diners around us had chosen a salad. I experienced buyer’s remorse, but not regret. I will be back to try that salad! But back to the gyro… the pita bread was warm, soft and chewy, a family recipe from the owner’s Greek heritage. My chicken wrap was filled to the brim with meat and (surprisingly!) navel oranges, which added a refreshing sweetness. A greek style ranch dressing was served on the side, which I added generously atop each bite along with Souvla’s homemade hot sauce.

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When lamb is on the menu, 99% of the time Andy will order it. It ended up being a hit!  We ordered sides too; as in a side of pork AND french fries of course. I mean, how could you have a sandwich and not order a starch… or more meat, in our case? #NoBrainer

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greek lunch at souvlasf-chicken
Souvla’s beverage menu includes Greek sodas, wines and beers, but the best accompaniment to the meal was a cup of greek yogurt topped with baklava crumbles. Tangy and sweet, FTW. 
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Just as memorable as the food, was the Greek hospitality. Souvla offers indoor seating but this place gets packed! Luckily you can skip the crowd and order online. Opa!

Souvla | 517 Hayes Street | San Francisco, CA 94102 | (415) 400-5458