If you are anything like me, traditional Greek food fits like an old glove. You know exactly what to expect when you order your gyro, you feel at home with the familiar crunch of a falafel, and chances are you have your favorite spots with your go-to order.
Despite huge changes in Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Latin American, and other favorite regional cuisines, Greek has remained fairly steady. New Rogers food truck Persephonē on Wheels looks to break the traditional mode.
Persephonē was started by well known chef Michael Robertshaw and his partner Meredith Butler. Robertshaw’s approach has always been fresh and creative, and the take on Greek is no exception.
The first noticeable change is just the inclusion of so many fresh and vibrant fruits and vegetables. It is one of those things I’ve never really noticed before at other Mediterranean restaurants, but there is so much more here than just a sad salad or two placed on the side like your mother gently reminding you to eat your veggies. Instead the veggies are a part of every dish, mixed in just perfectly to enhance the flavor, not be a side show.
In fact the name Persephonē is the goddess of spring and vegetation, it is a not so subtle nod to the fresh influence on the menu. She is also the queen of the underworld, but we will not go there.
In reality I have no clue why other Greek is not this way. When I think of the Mediterranean region as a whole the first thought that comes to mind is the abundance of life and freshness. I have a hard time imagining Greeks sitting around the table with their chicken shawarma and a half-wilted soaked salad. It is the paradigm that makes me rethink my experience with traditional Greek while experiencing something that is anything but traditional.
The non-traditional flair is everywhere. Instead of traditional 50/50 lamb and beef gyro meat, you get pork belly and pork should gyro meat. It is absolutely delicious. You can get your falafels served in a cone over french fries. Their shawarma ditches the traditional chicken for fried cauliflower that is outstanding and wildly unexpected.
The big dish for me, and I suspect many others, are the Aphrodite Fries. This is an odd hybrid monster of poutine and a gyro. It starts with a base layer of fried tater tots with their gyro meat mixed in, topped with a smattering of fresh veggies and tzatziki sauce. Even better swing by on the weekend and they will throw a fried egg on top, because why not. It is no lie one of the top 10 best things I’ve ever eaten.
There are plenty of lighter options too. The hummus is freshly made and exceptional, served with traditional pita bread and seasonal veggies.
Overall the space will make you rethink Greek food in a very good way. It is also a concept begging to make the leap to brick and mortar, so it is certainly one to keep an eye on. They rotate out hours and try new menu items frequently so check the Facebook page before heading out. They set up at 321 S. Arkansas Street in Rogers, in the parking lot of Phat Tire Bike Shop near downtown.