Having grown up in Chicago, Las Vegas’ dearth of good Greek restaurants has always bothered me. Where the landscape in my old hometown was dotted with diners and gyro joints, there have only been a handful of passable places here—by far the best of which is the Fat Greek near Flamingo and Decatur.
After that place changed hands a few years back, the original family stayed in town and opened a smaller, casual spot, the Great Greek, east of Stephanie on Warm Springs. Being infatuated with the Fat Greek, I was excited for my trek to Henderson, and I’m no less enthusiastic after experiencing it.
The menu is more limited than Fat’s, but while the taramasalata isn’t available, one of my other favorites, the avgolemono ($3.50), remains. It’s a solid version of the dish—a light, traditional soup consisting of chicken, lemon and rice—though a tad bit more dill certainly wouldn’t hurt. It’ll be even more refreshing once we’re clear of the summer heat.
The Great Greek’s hummus ($4) is passable, but a better starter is the miraculously light spanakopita ($2.50), spinach and feta nestled in a flaky puff pastry with a hint of dill. Entrée-wise, Yia Yia’s Pasticcio ($10), essentially a Greek lasagna, is surprisingly ethereal for a colossal piece of layered ground beef, cheese and tubular pasta topped with Béchamel and baked. The Béchamel doesn’t overwhelm, and a hint of saltiness from the kefalotyri provides a nice contrast to the tomato sauce’s sweetness. You might struggle to finish the enormous dish, but you’ll find it harder to stop taking just one more bite.
And now to my ultimate declaration: The Great Greek is home to Vegas’ best gyro. Layers of juicy beef or lamb blend with feta and house-made tzatziki for one unbelievable sandwich. Sharp and savory in each bite, it transports me back to Olympia Fields’ Perros Brothers, my go-to gyro joint growing up. Ah, the memories of my misspent youth!
The Great Greek Grill 1275 W. Warm Springs #160, 547-2377. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.