DENVER – In a move which has ramifications and also eweifications for sheep consumption worldwide, vegetarian Greek restaurateur Bud (“St. Romanos the Melodist”) Atheniki drew one step closer to offering tofu gyros in his Denver-based chain of vegetarian Greek restaurants, Athenian Gardens. His three different recipes for tofu gyros were made available for taste-testing at five of the 134 restaurants of the chain. “As soon as we discover which the customers like the best, we will make that available at all of our restaurants,” informed Atheniki.
“Is there any market for tofu gyros in the United States?” wondered our intrepid Onion Dome editor.
Gyros, as most of our readers already know, is a type of lamb or lamb-and-beef based, rotisserie-roasted meat loaf (for want of a better term) which is sliced from the rotary cooker and served on pita bread with lettuce and various other condiments, usually in the form of a sandwich.
“Why do you ask me a question, and then before I can answer, you insert a boring paragraph about what is gyros?” demanded Atheniki.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Atheniki,” replied our intrepid editor. “I didn’t want to confuse the readers.”
“And gyros is no longer lamb or lamb-and-beef based meatloaf. As of today, it is also available as a tofu-based meatloaf. Meatlessloaf. Tofuloaf. Whatever.”
“Is it any good?” inquired our intrepid editor. “I would be afraid that the heat lamps of the rotisserie cooker would dry out the tofu and make it into a big lump of inedible cardboard.”
“Yes, you would think that, but after many tries and failures, I have finally discovered the secret to making a roastable, succulent, tasty loaf o’ tofu,” explained Atheniki.
“Which is?” asked our intrepid editor.
“Which is a secret! I’m not about to have you blabbing my secret in your online newsmagazine, only to have it stolen by my archrival, Dean (“St. Constantine the Emperor”) Spartiki, president and CEO of Spartan Gardens.”
“Isn’t that a yellow property in Monopoly?” asked our intrepid editor.
“Try a bite,” offered Atheniki.
“Wow! That tastes just like real gyros!” enthused our intrepid editor.
“Ooops, that is real gyros. Sorry, here try this instead,” said Atheniki.
“Dang it, it’s a Friday and now I’ll have to confess eating meat on a Friday, or the demons at toll-house #379 are going to shred me alive,” whined our intrepid editor.
“Yeah, yeah,” sympathised Atheniki. “Anyway what do you think about the tofu gyros?”
After much laboured chewing, our intrepid editor replied, “Tastes just like tofu, only drier.” He then searched around frantically for something to drink.
“Hmm, that’s not what the focus groups said,” pondered Atheniki.
“Who exactly is in these focus groups?” asked our intrepid editor.
“Oh, friends, cousins, the usual gang,” answered Atheniki. “Here, try this recipe.”
“You know if this doesn’t sell at your restaurants you could always sell it as a rehabilitation aid to people who have had jaw surgery,” suggested our intrepid editor.
“Very witty,” said Atheniki drily. “How’s recipe #2?”
“Well it’s an improvement over #1,” said our intrepid editor eventually.
“It still chews like cardboard, but at least it doesn’t taste like tofu.”
“What does it taste like?” asked Atheniki.
“Cardboard,” replied our intrepid editor. “Do you have any other recipes?”
“Just one,” said Atheniki. “Here.”
Minutes later, our intrepid editor said, “Amazing. This one tastes like just like an amalgam of cardboard and tofu.”
“Clearly I have more research to do,” admitted Atheniki.
“And I need a drink of something very wet,” suggested our intrepid editor.
“Perhaps you would like to try some of our alcohol-free Retsina?” inquired Atheniki.
“Perhaps not,” answered our intrepid editor.
“Good choice,” admitted Atheniki. “Even the focus groups didn’t like that.”
Copyright © 2004-2011 by Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.
If you like Alex Riggle’s Orthodox-themed satire, you might enjoy his recently-released book, Is Outrage!, which gathers all (but one) of the Father Vasiliy articles from the Onion Dome under one cover. Just sayin’.