The Erie Seawolves Monday Buck Nights mean cheap baseball and even cheaper dinner, however, last night, Amanda and I stopped at Peninsula Gateway at 2860 West 6th Street for a bite before heading to enjoy a game. This small, diner-style restaurant offers a variety of Greek specialties as well as burgers hot dogs, and fries; they also offer large trays of food for parties. The inside of the restaurant has six or seven booths, but they also offer outdoor seating, which is fantastic on a breezy summer night. We took our time examining the menu board and talking to employees Stavros and Xavier about their favorites. There were three full tables of people inside when we arrived with more patrons seated outside, so we placed our order, grabbed a table, and waited for my name to be called.
A few minutes later, a delicious smelling tray of food appeared. Amanda decided to go the traditional route and try the standard Lamb Gyro. Served on a “plain” grilled pita, strips of lamb are topped with shredded lettuce, fresh tomato, sliced red onion, and their creamy, cool homemade tzatziki (sauce made from yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil). Although the gyro was tasty, I would have liked for them to use lamb fresh-cut from a rotisserie instead of the ready-to-grill strips. Not that the meat was bad by any means, I just think it would just elevate the entire sandwich to a new level and would really set this place apart from others in town.
I ordered the Pork Souvlaki Deluxe Gyro. Pork souvlaki is made of chunks of pork that have been marinated in oil, some sort of acid (vinegar or citrus juice), garlic, oregano, and other spices/seasonings. Traditionally served on a skewer, the pork for my gyro was grilled with the marinade until it was hot and tender. I could have easily eaten an entire bowl of just the souvlaki, it was so juicy and flavorful. The same type of pita used for Amanda’s gyro was grilled for mine as well, and the vegetables and tzatziki were used too, but the sandwich also included a small handful of French fries inside the pita that added a layer of crispy, fried goodness that was phenomenal. I think next time, I’d like to order an extra side of the tzatziki to use for dipping my gyro because their recipe is simply delectable.
In addition to our gyros, we ordered a piece of the homemade Spanakopita. Meaning spinach pie, this dish consists of a mixture of seasoned spinach, onion, and cheese wrapped and baked in buttery, flaky phyllo dough. We couldn’t get enough of this delightful pastry. The spinach mixture was very rich in flavor and when combined with the lightly crispy phyllo, it melted in my mouth.
For dessert, I’d heard that the Rizogalo (Greek rice pudding) was fantastic and Xavier suggested that I try the Strawberry Pasta Flora. The rice pudding can be served either warmed or chilled. Amanda prefers hers warm, I like it cold. The consistency stays thick when it’s served cold, so that might turn some people off. Either way, it is wonderfully creamy and fresh and when the ground cinnamon is added, it is transformed into a bowl of heaven. The pudding isn’t super sweet and makes for a very refreshing dessert on a warm day.
The Pasta Flora is a fruit tart made with strawberry or apricot jam. I opted for the strawberry based on Xavier’s recommendation, and it was a fantastic decision. The sweet, cookie-like shell was well-balanced with butter and citrus and paired perfectly with the sweet strawberry filling inside. The top was decorated with beautiful latticework that gave it a homey touch.
I have heard that some think the food at Peninsula Gateway is overpriced, but for $20, we got two delicious meals including drinks and desserts. Thank you to Stavros and Xavier for the friendly service, helpful suggestions, and incredible food. We will definitely be coming back to try more menu items soon. Peninsula Gateway is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from May through September. Also, remember to stop at an ATM before your visit because they are a cash only establishment.
Andrew — Beard vs. Food