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Farm Grill & Rotisserie

A gyro worthy of Odysseus
By MC SLIM JB  |  March 19, 2008

I once risked life and limb for a good gyro. I was young, living in a big city for the first time, and inebriated on a Saturday night, and thus stumbled through a very rough neighborhood on a foolhardy beeline for my favorite Greek storefront. Luckily, I managed to get my gyro (or “gyros,” as they say in Athens) without getting mugged. But to this day, I will endure much for my love of this dish (and its cousins the döner kebab and shawarma), even essaying treacherous pathways like Route 9 through Boston, Brookline, and Newton.

Farm Grill is a bright, airy space painted in the white and sky blue of the Greek flag, its ceiling a cartoon pantheon. At the level of mortals are modest, bare tables, counter service, and fresh-tasting food at family-friendly prices. There’s a broad variety of cold specialties in the wide deli case, from a big Greek salad ($6.75; $8.95 topped with grilled chicken) to cold mayo-dressed salads of tuna ($7.95) and chicken ($7.25), to Mediterranean seafood salads of grilled octopus ($8.95/half pint) or calamari ($7.95) dressed in olive oil and lemon. Bronzing, dripping chickens ($5.50/half; $8.50/whole) turn on horizontal rotisseries, while the grill sizzles under lamb chops ($14.95), baby back ribs ($11.95), and kebabs of marinated beef, chicken, and lamb ($11.95/two skewers). The warm deli case offers starchy, substantial slabs of Greek casseroles like pastitzio and moussaka ($11.95/each). These hot dishes are served with two big vegetable sides such as green beans, spinach, rice pilaf, and roasted potatoes, most authentically slightly overdone.

The best reason to visit remains the gyro plates ($11.95): scalloped hunks of lamb leg or chicken marinated overnight in garlic and fresh herbs, then pressed into a cylindrical roast and slowly turned on a vertical rotisserie before an electric grill. As the exterior browns and crisps, it’s sliced off onto a cushion of grilled pita with greens, onions, tomatoes, and tzatsiki, the ubiquitous Greek cucumber/yogurt dressing. Farm Grill’s gyros are nearly perfect, crisp yet juicy, and sublimely seasoned: delicious enough to brave an odyssey even to the outer extremities of remote Newton Highlands.

Farm Grill & Rotisserie, located at 40 Needham Street, in Newton, is open Monday through Saturday, from 11 am to 9 pm, and on Sunday, from noon to 8:30 pm. Call 617.964.7766.

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