Finding real ethnic food in the Land of Shellfish can be as hard as finding that real pearl in an oyster.
Of course there are plenty of Italian and Mexican eateries along the Grand Strand.
But real Greek? Not so much. Opa in Surfside Beach is one of the exceptions.
Spinach pie, lemon orzo soup, souvlaki, salad with feta, baklava. . . so many favorites.
The meat for the lamb and beef gyros sandwiches and platters is sliced from vertical spits right on the premises. Lots of area eateries offer gyros. But many if not most of them buy a big chunk of meat that has been cut up into slices – bacon style – and frozen. Separate a few strips of meat, warm it up and serve it in a pita.
Taste aside – and there is a huge difference between fresh and processed gyro meat – how do you know when you are getting the real thing?
When the cooking and slicing are done at the restaurant, the pieces of meat are not uniform. So explains Irene, one of the sweet and knowledgeable servers at Opa.
The place is welcoming. The food is good. The prices are fair. The place, right on Surfside Drive near Business 17, is easy to find. Don’t be put off if you look in the window and don’t see anyone. There is more seating toward the back, which seems to be a customer preference.
And if you order a gyros sandwich or platter, ask Irene to pronounce it for you. First, the S is silent unless it is plural. Second, it is NOT pronounced with a hard G -- as in gigantic. Rather, it’s more of a Y sound -- as in year. Kind of like “year-o,” but that isn’t exactly right.
Ask Irene. She says it best.
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