RJ’s Gourmet Grill

It takes some gusto, opening a Mediterranean fast-food spot across from The Gyro Spot. Of course, RJ’s does go deeper than the perennial Olympia favorite, with the addition of an Indian offering. Mediterranean and Indian. Add their American burgers, and you have something commonly seen throughout many European cities — a menu with a mélange of cuisines, all which speedily can be prepared for take-out.

Illustrative image
Was the picture taken in a hurry? Yes. Do I see the need to apologize? No.

RJ’s is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the falafel gyro is good. The pita is fluffy, and the falafel has a good bite to it. I’d even go as far as to say the tahini sets the wrap apart from many of its kin. It has notes of zesty lemon, and enough garlic to keep people at a distance the next day. A curmudgeon’s dream, in other words!

It’s hard to say if the wrap is better than The Gyro Spot’s, though the proximity of the two could make it easy to compare if one is so inclined. RJ’s does serve up a flavorful gyro, at least.

The Aloo Mutter Mushroom does not score as highly. The mushrooms are rubbery, and the promise of ginger and garlic remains unfulfilled. Granted, we did go with the milder option, but a dish like this should not rely merely on spices. It’s too bad. The plate looks good on paper but is dull on the tongue, while the potato lacks much of a bite.

Conversely, I find it somewhat odd to find these items are on a What’s Good menu. It remains subjective if they’re good or not, but does that mean the rest of RJ’s selection is not good? Maybe Specialties is a better title?

We have heard some pretty stellar words about RJ’s burgers, which we expect to return for in The Great Burger Chase. The gyros make a return visit worthwhile as well, though order with care. Our impression of the Indian section is not super positive.