Flavors of the East | Rock Candy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flavors of the East

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 10:07 AM

QUESTION:  What is this, exactly?
What is this? I mean, it looks tasty, right? But what sort of food could this be? This artsy close-up doesn’t even begin to describe this delicious treat of a meal. The answer on the jump.

Those in the know probably recognized right off the bat that the image is a tight shot of a calzone from Layla’s Gyros and Pizzaria. Those who know me probably know what’s in it, too — lovely strips of gyro meat and hot cheese. Yay.

Yes, indeed — my favorite thing on the menu at Layla’s is the Gyro Calzone ($6.50), a big steaming pocket served up with a side of tzatziki sauce. All those great flavors of beef and lamb together in mozzarella cheese packed inside that pizza dough — what more do you need for lunch?

Well, if you believe lunch should consist of some vegetables, too, you might consider a Chicken Kifte Kebab ($8.25 for a plate, sometimes $6.99 for lunch special). The sides themselves are great — fluffy whole fresh baked pita, tzatziki sauce, wet salad, sautéed zucchini and peppers and that fragrant rice. For those more accustomed to the beef version, I think you’ll be surprised. The chicken in this kebab does a better job of conveying the flavors of the fresh spices and lemon juice, and by gawsh it’s tasty.

I keep getting reminded that Layla’s does indeed serve pizza, and I should at least try it. But I am

hooked on the gyro calzone and I’m not sure what to do about that. I even hear they have $1 baklava for dessert, but I’m always too hungry to even look for a dessert. What’s wrong with me?

You’ll find Layla’s on Rodney Parham across from Sonic and the car wash, about a block from Treasure Hills. It opens every day at 11 a.m. at its Little Rock location, open until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Same deal for the Bryant location, except it closes at 8 p.m. during the week and 9 p.m. on the weekends and is closed Sunday. (501) 227-7272 Little Rock or (501) 847-4555 Bryant. And there’s a website.

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