Greek food fast in Minturn
MINTURN, Colorado – The only thing better than eating Greek food is Greek food that comes to you quickly.
In Greek time, quick is any expanse of time less than it took to build the Acropolis.
But Stephen Porter doesn’t function on Greek time, he functions on entrepreneur time. So when you go to Nicky’s Quickie in Minturn you get great Greek food faster than you can say “This is the best idea since they put the pocket in pita.”
Nicky’s Quickie has been open less than two weeks, and, so far so good.
“You can eat our food with confidence. It’s hearty, healthy and it tastes great,” Porter said.
Still, the idea of Greek food fast seems like such a contradiction, like saying you’re on the cutting edge of Byzantium.
Porter got his start the same way Lou Gehrig got his, filling in for a food vendor friend who needed a day off. That was six years ago in the Vail Farmer’s Market.
He took a quick inventory of what was available for market fare and saw lots and lots of Mexican and Asian food. He saw a conspicuous lack of Greek food, so he opened a gyro stand (pronounced Yero as in hero).
“We wanted to do something different,” Porter said.
Different is good, and so are his gyros.
Porter had cooked all kinds of Greek food for himself and his friends. He figured if he liked it – and he did – he’d try the public.
He worked the Vail Farmers Market that summer for six weeks and knew he was onto something good. He bought some equipment, pitched a tent and started cooking at events around the valley.
This summer it was six events a week in this area and seven a week in Denver. Next summer they’ll expand to Boulder and Fort Collins, Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley.
A space opened in Minturn and they decided to try a restaurant. It’s just the right combination of formal and funky.
Astute readers learned last week that the Greeks invented democracy, philosophy and beer, which all tend to attract people with time on their hands. That’s twice we’ve told you this. Next time there’ll be a quiz.
Greek mythology holds that the gyro was invented so Zeus could eat with one hand, so he could make war or little Zeuses, or throw lightning bolts with his other hand. Or maybe we just made that up, which is OK because that’s what the Greeks did.
You cannot rush good Greek food, or good food of any sort. So Porter take his time cooking it, and by the time you order, all they have to do is put your gyro together and hand it to you.
The lamb and beef are prepared to their exact specifications, the vegetables and sauces are hand made by people who really know how to do this stuff.
A gyro is sort of a religious experience in some parts of the world, which is a happy coincidence because on the back of Porter’s business card is printed the symbol of most of the world’s major religions. He can accommodate every diet, along with vegans and vegetarians. Vegans will be happy to learn that Porter and his crew change out their gloves and use separate utensils and kitchen equipment when they’re preparing vegan fare.
There’s no pork or shellfish.
“We wanted to accommodate a wide variety of diets,” Porter said.
They’ll start delivering in the extremely near future. If you live anywhere in the eastern end of the valley, you can be eating in about 20 minutes from the time you place your order, Porter said. The only thing that will be delivered to you faster than your gyro is a message from your ex-wife that you’re late on your alimony check.
The Minturn spot is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.
Lunch is about $8.
“We want to make sure we keep our prices down so we can put gourmet food in the hands of everyone in the valley,” Porter said.