Lamb Gyro at Bushwick Pita Palace, (243 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-456-9114), $6.50
While the hybrid Mexican-Middle Eastern food at this spot is worth trying once, it’s the lamb gyro that continues to bring us back.
To many Brooklyn revelers and late-night L Train commuters, Bushwick Pita Palace may beckon from the corner of Bushwick Avenue and Montrose like the arms of an old friend: It’s open late, it serves falafel, and it accepts credit cards long after you’ve spent your wad. On one such occasion, what drew us in was a declaration from the awning: “Mexican & Halal Food.” The allure of a gyro burrito at 3 a.m. demanded exploration.
And you can get one here for $7.50, stuffed with beef or chicken; loaded with rice, beans, pico, and lettuce; and drizzled with herby tzatziki and hot sauce along with whatever Latin-American/Middle-Eastern perversions you want to add…But for us, this place is really about the gyro, which more than satisfies at $6.50.
We shamelessly enjoy the thin-shaved, shoe-leather mystery meat “lamb” pita from any cart in town, but gyros a la Pita Palace are a different beast entirely: The meat in your sandwich maintains its integrity — yeah, it’s shredded, but it’s chewy and a little lamby, and it keeps that striated texture that tells you it’s muscle. And it’s never too salty, served in a soft pita stuffed with accoutrements that seem to depend on who’s cooking: You’ll always get fresh lettuce, tomato, hummus and tzatziki, but sometimes there are whole chickpeas, pickled bits of carrot, spicy jalapeños, or onions — if you’re picky, hover while they make it for you and point out what you want (like you would in the Chipotle line), and they’ll do what you like. We’re happy leaving it to chance. Just make it spicy.
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Restaurants open at a dizzying pace in New York City, and keeping up with what’s hot takes some serious cash. If you — like us — need the occasional reprieve from a food-forward spending spree, you’re likely always on the lookout for cheap eats of high quality. In this space each day, we’ll highlight a tasty dish that rings in for less than $10, spotlighting places worth checking out when you’d like to get full while giving your wallet a break. Know of a great affordable bite? Email us.