Gyros Sandwich

The Mad Greek, Baker, California

Gyros Sandwich
Eater rating: 3.7 / 5  3.7

Today, on my way home from Vegas (to Amanda!), I had a gyros sandwich from The Mad Greek. It is a hoppin’ little greek/burger/mexican place in Baker, California, the gateway to Death Valley. The sandwich was accompanied by a side of rice pilaf.

The Mad Greek, Baker, California
The Mad Greek, Baker, California
A: WOOO HOOO! T’s back! T’s back!
T: Woo hoo! good to be back! Although, I think the two of us need to go to Vegas sometime. That would be very fun.
A: Absolutely… it is on the “must do” list for 2006. maybe we can find a weekend sometime to make it out there. so did you eat anything extraordinary this weekend?
T: the thai food we had last night was pretty darn good. We ate at a place called… something about Lotus. Lotus Thai or Lotus… something… Lotus of Siam, that was it. We got a green curry and a red curry. We requested a spiciness level of 8 and 9, respectively. Normally I’ve found that doesn’t guarantee any spice at all, but this place hooked it up! Woah, we were sweating!
A: that rocks. the hotter the better as far as i’m concerned. if i don’t feel it the next day, it probably wasn’t hot enough! 😉 Were the curries better than what we normally eat here in San Diego?
T: no, not at all. I’d say it was comparable. Actually, I might prefer what we get here. Well, it was very tasty, but the chicken wasn’t cooked to perfection. It was a little.. dry.
A: was it all white meat?
T: hmm… I believe that it was actually.
A: i figured. it’s hard to really dried out dark meat. only a characteristic of that damn healthy white shit. you know i prefer dark meat. screw health! 😛
T: I prefer dark meat too. It’s moist, flavorful, and delicious! I think that is good for the health!
A: true dat! so where did you guys eat lunch today?
T: Ah hah! Great segway. We ate at the Mad Greek. It’s a greek/mexican/burgers joint in Baker, California (near Death Valley). It was packed with people- I guess it’s some of the best food in death valley (it’s some of the onlyfood in death valley). They had billboards advertising their gyros as “the best” as far away as Las Vegas so I had to try em. I got a gyros sandwich with a side of rice pilaf and a white sauce that tasted like ranch dressing.
A: like ranch?? not tzatziki? that’s a shame. but were the gyros good??
T: It was tasty. Not top of the line or particularly authentic by any means, but it was good. I would give it a 3.7/5, and I would definately eat at the Mad Greek next time I’m in Death Valley!
A: i wonder if the burgers are any good? i really need to get off this burger kick. so bad for me. i guess a gyros kick would be worse since they are a lamb/beef mix.
T: All the workers appeared to be mexican, so the mexican food could have been good. Not that you need to be mexican to make good mexican, and not that all mexicans can make good mexican food. But hey, you know, you expect mexicans to hook up mexican more than greek.
A: for sure. i guess i would expect mexican cooks in the middle of death valley, rather than a slew of greek cooks.
T: hahah, yeah. Although strange things do happen in the desert. For example, earlier today Mom and I got out of the car at a gas station near the Nevada/California border and walked about 20 meters off of the pavement. We looked over and there was a little mini-tornado headed straight at us! I suppose you would call it a dirt devil. We got a little freaked out when we noticed how much debris it was tossing around. We had to duck behind a car and cover our heads. It passed right over us! I’m sure the people in the gas station parking lot were laughing at us.
A: i’m sure i would have been laughing at you guys too! but if i was with you i’m sure i would have been freaked out. that is about the crazyest thing you have told me.
T: Yeah it was nuts. Not quite as crazy as a band of greeks in Death Valley, but it was insane anyway.
A: you know what else is insane? the fact that i have to leave for work right now. and it’s 10 PM!!! that’s insane.
T: nooooooo!!! :-( :-( :-(

Kwaherini mabibi na mabwana!

8 comments so far:

  1. caroline says:

    T, I’m so glad you stopped at the Mad Greek! When we drove through there last time we came back from Las Vegas, I wanted to stop there, but we had just eaten somewhere else!

    I love your site and I visit often. You guys eat the most amazing things. Thanks for the yummy recipes and the gorgeous pictures.

  2. Us says:

    Thank you, caroline! :)

    I definately recommend stopping by the Mad Greek next time around. It’s not the best food you’ll ever eat, but it is an experience. And get ready to sweat- between the death valley temperatures outside, and all the vertical roasters inside, they can’t seem to cool down the place! It’s quite fun, though. -T

  3. Desert Ratso says:

    The Mad Greek was, prior to about 2003, owned and operated by a greek family. You can actually taste the difference if you had developed a taste for their souvlaki and other morsels before the restaurant was sold and the taste of the food declined. It may still be the best greek food in the area but that is by virtue of being the ONLY greek food in the area. It is not the same. The old Mad Greek had food prepared by people who knew how greek food should taste. I do not think gyros and souvlaki are standard Tijuana fare. Cheers!

  4. avea poulos says:

    all i have to say is that mad greek is one of the best greek resturaunts i have been to and it all taste delicous my mom was born in greece so she knows wat the real greek food taste like and she said it is very similar to that i think u reallt should consider goin there and the ac in there is refreshing because of the heat outside

  5. Emmanuel Kalenga says:

    your website does not have your restaurant’s adress; for us out-of-towners. So, what is it? thank you.

  6. George says:

    I’m something of a Food Network junkie. Guy Fieri’s review of The Mad Greek’s Restaurant in Baker, CA on his Diners, Drive-in and Dives show recently caught my interest. During a trip between Arizona and California I decided to take a side trip and treat myself to a “Greek experience”. Once through the front door I was confronted with a chaotic environment where no-one greets the customer. That meant I was on my own to figure out the accepted routine for getting something to eat. A friendly customer, obviously more experienced with the place than I was, offered some quick instructions to get me started. At the order counter, where three clerks at three registers shouted repeated orders to the crowd to “make three lines”, I stood shoulder to shoulder with dozens of others who apparently were little more familiar with the routine than I was. My order, two Gyro sandwiches with a water and one of the Mad Greek’s alleged famous strawberry milkshakes was quickly entered into the register and I was given a plastic “tent” with a number which I assumed I was supposed to place on my table; if I could find one. Finding the water was easy enough. It’s part of the self service soft drink dispensing machine near the registers. I sent my wife on a mission, water in hand, to find a place to set up the numbered plastic tent. I couldn’t find the milkshake dispenser. Still in “shoulder to shoulder” mode, I finally realized that they were making milkshakes at another counter and it appeared that I’d have to stand in line there to get my shake. It took about ten minutes for my shake to find its way to the front of the queue but it did finally come across the counter as number 45 and I bumped my way through the crowd in search of my wife and, I hoped, a table. I finally found her in the rear of the crowded, chaotic dinning room; she had a table and was already started on her Gyro as I sat down to join her. Greek music (at least I think that’s what it was) was playing in the background behind the noise of customer conversation, employee dialogue and typical noises generally associated with crowds trying to get their hot dogs and beer during the seventh inning stretch at a major league ball game. At this point, I figured I had earned the right to at least taste the Gyro and enjoy my milkshake. OK, so the initial experience was a bit nerve wracking. But we came here for the food, not the atmosphere. The Gyro was, in a word, excellent. Tender slices of perfectly seasoned lamb with fresh lettuce and tomato wrapped in tender pita bread and served with a little plastic cup of Tzatziki sauce on the side. I’ve had as good at some other Greek restaurants but I don’t believe I’ve ever had a better Gyro. The strawberry milkshake, created using soft-serve ice cream mixed with a rich strawberry sauce and topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of additional strawberry sauce was a real treat. Perhaps not the best strawberry milkshake in the world but worthy of much praise just the same. Give it a try but be sure to wear your best suit of patience.

  7. mary says:

    i drove from san francisco to vegas, and was not a happy camper..until i kept seeing signs for mad greek, being greek myself, i though why the heck not? i mean we are in the middle of nowhere. i must say, the food was pretty awesome! it may have been because i had been driving for hours and starving, but honestly it was great. and now i have a story to tell people because its just so funny, nothing for miles and miles, but a greek food joint. but its a must stop place, especially because afterwards i found out the food network reccommended it. if youre on your way to vegas stop here!

  8. annette ramsey says:

    I have wanted to stop for years finally did. Food was great problem was the toothpick was shoved in my sandwich to hard broke in half i didnt no untl i swallowed it. I had no ideal what it was I then panicked went to parking lot shoved my hand down my throat, out came half the toothpick.I was relieved imagine swallowing that. I went to talk to manager, a young mexican girl. her response was oh im sorry we have to put them in to keep the sandwich together. Just imagine what could have happened, I was lucky, so were they. Watch out for those toothpicks, Im saving mine to remember what a close call that was.