Gyro Express: Greek and Indian food downtown

Greek fries from Gyro Express. Brian Tockey / The Watchdog

Right across the street to the west of the Bellevue Transit center between the other holes in the wall is a tiny restaurant, Gyro Express. Having had a mad hankering for a good gyro and being in the area, it seemed a perfect place to relax and grab a bite in the middle of my day.

A gyro from Gyro Express.
Brian Tockey / The Watchdog

Serving Greek and Indian food, Gyro Express has a variety of dishes to suit different moods. I’ve never seen a place serve chicken biryani and spanakopita on the same menu but it works somehow. With plenty of light vegetarian options as well, the menu is very Bellevue, appeasing a wide range of tastes.

The first thing I noticed was the size. Gyro Express is tiny – with seating for 12 inside and two outside, I’m sure seating runs out when the swarms of office workers nearby head out on their lunch breaks. My sympathies as well to those eating in who get stuck under the TV they have blasting out Indian music, it was hard to hear myself think. Diners planning to go during busy times or not into the latest in eastern dance music should probably order ahead and plan to eat elsewhere.

I picked up a regular gyro and an order of the Greek fries, seasoned fries with herbs, sauce and feta cheese. Neither really good nor really bad, the food was very average. Not terrible by any means but nothing that really stood out in my mind as being truly good. The gyro satisfied my craving adequately so I don’t have anything really to complain about.

Service was a little slow and I waited longer than I thought it would have taken to put together a gyro with some fries but I was in no hurry so it wasn’t enough to really matter. If I had a schedule to keep, I probably would have been a little impatient.

The only thing I could see giving diners real pause is the “Okay” rating given by the King County Department of Public Health, one notch above being shut down in their rating system. Signifying that the restaurant has had many “red critical” violations over the last four inspections, a rating reserved for the bottom ten percent of King County restaurants that have not been shut down, some might want to think twice.

I had no problem with any of the food and I tend to live dangerously when it comes to food anyway so the rating didn’t matter to much to me. To the squeamish, it may be a deal breaker.
Even during off-peak hours, there was a steady stream of patrons picking up food so they’ve seemed to have built a loyal following. With property values in Bellevue what they are, Gyro Express has to be doing something right in order to survive. No review I saw mentioned anybody getting sick from the food either.

With decidedly mediocre food and a questionable interior, I won’t be planning any trips back for the food and it’s definitely not the kind of place to bring friends with to discover a new gem. However, next time I’m in the area and need a quick meal away from the mall atmosphere of central downtown Bellevue, this will probably be my destination. I’ve heard decent things on Yelp about their Indian food so I’ll probably try that next time.