The Breakdown: A Gyro from Saloniki
1. To achieve the pillowy texture of perfectly pressed pita dough, Jody Adams hunted down a tortilla-making machine in San Antonio, Texas.
2. The key to Adams’s spicy whipped feta? A house-made hot sauce featuring fermented Fresno chilies.
3. Russet potatoes are cut into rounds, double fried, and dusted with herb salt and Mizithra cheese (or what Adams calls “Greek Parmesan”).
4. Pork shoulder is marinated overnight in fennel, garlic, and honey, then cooked low and slow over a bed of onions.
5. A Papachristos family recipe, this lamb-and-beef meatball is spiced with mint, parsley, and Aleppo pepper.
6. With its tart-savory combination of garlic, ginger, and preserved lemons, the off-menu “secret” sauce will brighten any pita.
If you’re a chef with a household name, or have any intentions of becoming one, you don’t make your bones in fine dining. You do it with crinkle-cut fries and burritos. Look at Danny Meyer, whose Madison Square Park burger stand, Shake Shack, has blossomed into a billion-dollar franchise. Or David Chang, who’s now selling his Fuku fried-chicken sandwiches at Knicks games.
To compete in today’s culinary landscape, you have to savor the letters Q, S, and R. Quick-service restaurants are more than just a buzz phrase. They’re a revolution. And now the “fast-casual” phenomenon has one more high-profile champion: Rialto’s Jody Adams, who unveiled her Fenway Greek sandwich shop, Saloniki, in March.
Inspired by the quality gyro joints in Thessaloniki (the homeland of Adams’s business partner, Eric Papachristos), the chef has eschewed the typical canned tzatziki and cones of processed meat in favor of pomegranate-glazed eggplant, sauces laced with fresh herbs, and pita that’s pressed and griddled right in front of your eyes.
4 Kilmarnock St., Boston, 617-266-0001, salonikigreek.com.