If you grew up or live in Beaver County, you understand the rich tradition and importance of festivals. San Rocco, Beaver County Boom, Hopewell Park Fest, Center Community Days, The Greek Festival, and the Maple Syrup Festival to name a few, are traditions that bring the community together. The communities of Beaver County take great pride in these celebrations. One of the great aspects of these festivals is delicious ethnic food. A long-time staple at these festivals is Papa Duke’s Paris Grill. As you approach, one can pick up the distinct smell of gyros that permeate through the valley. Perry Papas, owner, and an iconic figure in Beaver County with his tall, executive presence have carried on the tradition that his parents founded in 1982. Let us look further into one of Beaver County’s legendary establishments.
The gyro – It all starts with the meat. The meat is a combination of lamb and beef, it is seasoned abundantly with salt, herbs, and spices to make it super flavorful. The meat is cut straight from the spit. The foundation is heated plush Pita Bread. It is topped with lettuce, onions, and tomatoes to give it balance. It is finished with a rich, gyro/cucumber sauce to bring the gyro together. When people order a gyro, they want bold flavor, and Paris Grill’s gyros deliver on this promise!
Other menu items – Start off with an appetizer, who does not love fried, hot cheese? If you are not interested in pita bread, go with the Gyro Special which consists of gyro meat, French fries, and gyro sauce (captioned). The stuffed grape leaves are a Greek favorite, they are fresh and hand-rolled. If you want to spice it up a little, the Fire-Grilled Lamb features, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, radishes, baby spinach, with garlic tzatziki. Paris Grill also has delicious sandwiches, salads, and baskets.
Paris Grill / Papa Duke’s – original Final Take:
WHEN YOU HEAR THE TERM GYRO in BEAVER COUNTY ONE NAME COMES to MIND, PAPA DUKES, PARIS GRILL!
My final take – Places that have withstood the test of time have character, and Paris Grill is no exception. When you order something from the Paris Grill you know you are going to get tasty, consistent, affordable food. With locations in Aliquippa and Center Township, each location gives you a different look. Although Center Township has a bar, it is more of a sit-down restaurant. Aliquippa is more of a bar/takeout location. You always know if you stop in for a drink, you are going to get great conversation with some Beaver County legends. Next time you see Papa Dukes Paris Grill, grab a gyro, you will not be disappointed!
- Taste and Flavor –
(1) Bland, no taste at all, under/overcooked/dry
(2) Edible, but below average, little to no spices, herbs, or seasonings, somewhat under/overcooked/dry
(3) Decent quality, spices/herbs/seasoning used. Not going to rave about the food but also not going to complain.
(4) Restaurant/dish lives up to reputation. Flavorful, it is clear spices/herbs, seasonings are used effectively. Dishes clearly thought out and well executed. What you would expect for your hard-earned dollar.
(5) Exceeds expectations. Not only are spices/herbs, and seasonings used to perfection, at this level, highest quality ingredients/meats used. Processes such as aging, brining, and marinating are used at this level. Food is cooked to perfection at this level and meat is unbelievably tender and juicy. You tell all your friends and family immediately about your food experience.
- Portion Size – How much food do you get, is there left-overs? 5s need to wow me.
- Affordability – Average cost of entree’s and appetizers
- Ambience – The mood or feeling of the restaurant. Decorations, history, memorabilia, etc. Is it an atmosphere you could spend hours at?
To check out more amazing restaurants in the Pittsburgh area, read my first book, The Hidden Restaurant Gems of Pittsburgh: An Insider’s Guide.