We were early to meet friends for a concert at the Valley Performing Arts Center on the CSU campus in Northridge. We were famished from not making time to enjoy a meal earlier in the day due to our business over the hill, so we made time to stop in at Firehouse Restaurant for a bite before heading to the arts center. It was somewhat of a trek, but once we made it there, we were able to relax. We had been previously tipped off about Firehouse Restaurant by friends, and knowing how I adore a great gyro, my husband encouraged me to give it a try since our friends’ recommendation was so enthusiastically high when they spoke about it. So off we went to the restaurant not knowing what we would expect to find.
The building was a renovated firehouse from what an employee told us while we were there. It’s a small establishment. A two-story, brick facade street-side construction that’s fairly easy to miss as you turn right at the street light from Reseda onto Victory due to it being so close after the turn. If you don’t keep an eye out for it, you just might pass it. But if you do, please turn around and go back. Because Firehouse Restaurant is so worthy of your visit. The structure is trimmed in blue paint with matching shutters, and offers a small parking area for customers in the back of the eatery. If you go during a slower time during the day, such as between the lunch and dinner hours, you will probably find an available space to park there.
You can enter from the back door of the building, or there is a street front entry as well. If you arrive through the rear door after parking in the lot, a brick-walled hallway will lead you past a stairwell and into the main dining area.The furnishings remind me of what one might find inside a castle somewhere with its heavy and sturdy solid wood manufacturing and metal details on both the tables and chairs. One wall even has a hand-painted mural showcasing a pleasing-to-the-eye depiction of a serene-looking Greek harbor with drifting boats, white plastered hillside abodes, village shops, a lighthouse and a sandy shore surrounded by an azure sea that made me stop for a brief moment and wish I was there.
Dolmades, Rice Pilaf & Combo Meals
The dolmades ($1.95 each) are delicate grape leaves that are stuffed with long-grain rice mixed with vegetables and succulent ground beef topped with a savory tzatziki sauce and a bit of parsley for a garnish. We each ordered one, and relished in the sensational flavor they projected. Above, you can see the inside of one of the dolmades filled with beefy goodness, and below that, a picture of the two dolmades as they were served. Haven’t had dolmades just yet? Then it’s time to give them a try. And Firehouse Greek Restaurant is a terrific place to break yourself in.
INSIDER’S TIP: I always ask for a little extra tzatziki sauce on the side to add to my gyro sandwich. It’s warm, creamy, flavorful and garlicky enough without being overbearing. This has to be some of the best tzatziki sauce I’ve has in a very long time!
Gyro Sandwiches and Leftovers Galore
Okay, it’s time to discuss Firehouse Greek Restaurant’s sensational gyros. This single item is something the establishment is well known for. And after one bite of one of these luscious, tasty, mouthwatering Greek specialties, you will discover why. Above, the gyro sandwich is dressed with crunchy red onions, crisp greens, fresh tomatoes, and the zesty, perfectly-seasoned composition of beef and lamb grilled to excellence. The gyros are the largest portions we have ever experienced, and in reality, are large enough for two people to share. (Of course, we always end up polishing them off without the assistance of a to-go box!) The gyro ‘plates’ come with a side of either fries, rice pilaf, or a Greek salad along with a large drink and the ever popular center-of-attention gyro sandwich. The restaurant does not serve alcohol. However, we were told that customers may bring in a bottle of wine to enjoy with NO CORKAGE FEE! (Was I screaming that out loud?) And you simply have to try the pita bread that the restaurant wraps their gyros in. Light, fluffy, tender…I could literally go on about the pitas for hours..you get the picture. But you have to get the flavor as well, so give Firehouse Greek Restaurant a try. We know once you visit once, you’ll be turned into a true regular at this eatery like we were. We actually make special trips over the hill to have Firehouse Restaurant’s amazing gyros!
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: The restaurant has always been very clean, organized and welcoming when we have been there. A soothing hand-painted mural of a sapphire sea surrounded by a quaint town and harbor draws your attention to its uniqueness as you approach the counter to place your order.
- FOOD / DRINK: Scrumptious gyros with tender, lean, perfectly seasoned meat, the most tender, fluffy, tempting pita wrap we’ve ever experienced, and for the price of it all, we couldn’t be happier recommending the eatery.
- LOCATION: Firehouse Greek Restaurant is located at 18450 Victory Boulevard in Tarzana, CA 91335.(If you take Reseda to the light, turn right onto Victory, and look for the restaurant on your immediate right. It comes up very fast, so be sure not to miss it.)
- HOURS: The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 AM – 9 PM, then on Sundays from 11 AM – 9 PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: There is now table service during lunch and dinner hours. Take out orders can be placed at the walk-up window inside. The staff has always been very kind when we have visited, and they are always willing to assist if we have any requests or questions. Always a smile on their faces, and always happy to see us return time and time again.
- PRICE / VALUE: Such large quality portions for two adults for under $20 (including tax) for a gyro combo and an additional single gyro sandwich??? Are you kidding! Definitely a terrific value for the price!
- CORKAGE FEE: Here’s my favorite line again… “NO CORKAGE FEE!” That always makes me smile! Especially when the value and quality of the cuisine is consistently as incredible as it it at Firehouse Greek Restaurant.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (818) 881-3118.
- PARKING: A small lot is located behind the restaurant for customers free of charge.
- TOTAL BILL: We have at times ordered more than just one gyro plate combo and a separate gyro sandwich. But on more than one occasion, our general order includes one gyro sandwich, and a gyro plate/combo that comes with a large drink and one side as well as the gyro sandwich itself. This usually brings our total bill to about $16.80 (including tax). And so much food for two people…amazing!
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.