Seeing and Being Seen at the Souvlaki

Blacksburg, Virginia

By Patricia B. Mitchell, 2005.

The Souvlaki

The last time we ate at the Souvlaki, Subs & More shop in Blacksburg, Virginia, was six years ago. Not that we had a bad experience then, it's just that we hadn't been in Blacksburg much in the meantime. Mike Buchanan now owns this adjacent-to-the-campus eatery, an enjoyable stop for hungry Virginia Tech students and campus-ites.

My husband and I love gyros, so that's what we ordered long ago and most recently. The Souvlaki shop has the actual revolving spit with the gyro meat on it (many gyro places now use packaged, commercial, thinly-sliced, brittle mystery meat). The pita bread on the recent gyro was a bit too soft according to my preference, perhaps because the sandwich is quickly wrapped in waxed paper after being made. Nevertheless, the beef/lamb meat was excellent, the chopped tomato and lettuce fresh, and the sauce good. (I ask for my sauce on the side so I can use the amount I like.) I would definitely order this satisfying $3.60 sandwich again.

Our daughter Sarah ate a flavorful pita pizza composed of gyro meat, feta cheese, and tomato sauce. It cost $2.75. This pita bread was also soft, so maybe that's just the way they do it here. — Oh, well, lots of places serve pitas and pizza crusts which are hard, dry, scorched, and/or burned.

Son David ordered a pita pizza with chicken ($2.50). He liked it pretty well, but said that next time he'd get more on it than just plain chicken.

Jonathan had the Steak and Cheese Sub sandwich (with “Greek Sauce”), which he said was good. It cost $5.25.


The gyro.

The place was quite busy, and Mr. Buchanan apologized for the very slow service. His nice attitude helped to make up for the long wait.

He has been involved with the restaurant since 1987, and bought it in 2001. Originally the restaurant opened for business in the fall of 1982. It was associated with the old Greeks Restaurant (now the location of the Cellar), which was established in 1920 by Nick Kappas.

Baklava, cheesecake, and a couple of other tempting desserts are available at the Souvlaki. A wide range of beers and soft drinks are offered.

The little eatery is probably not the place for a romantic date — the decor is bare-bones and utilitarian. (Plus, their website includes the menu AND a live webcam!) Still, it is a high-energy (at peak business hours) place to be. You can have a not-too-pricey, fun meal, and “feel the harried heartbeat of the campus.”