Greek Devil makes round of 32 in college food bracket
The Greek Devil may already be famous on campus, but with the help of the Cooking Channel, it could become even more renowned.
The gyro on the menu of the Greek Devil food cart was chosen as one of 32 dishes to compete in the Cooking Channel’s Bracket Battle: Best College Eats, a March Madness-inspired tournament to decide the best food offered at a university eatery in the United States.
“We’re very happy, [and] we’re flattered,” said Gus Megaloudis, owner, operator and manager of the food cart. “There’s so many colleges and great places to eat.”
Visitors to Cooking Channel’s online blog, Devour, can vote for their favorite menu items in the bracket. Voting for the first round ends Thursday. The winner of Best College Eats will be announced April 6 during the NCAA Final Four.
Dishes that made their way onto the bracket had to be served at venues near or on the respective campus, popular among students and “absolutely awesome” according to the blog.
Megaloudis added that he did not apply for the competition, but his food cart was chosen by the Cooking Channel based on restaurant reviews. Megaloudis only found out his restaurant was a competitor after his nephew called him upon seeing the contest online.
The Greek Devil gyro must receive more votes than the chicken cheddar biscuit from Time-Out, a restaurant located on Franklin Street near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to make it past the first round of the foodie tournament.
“Who else would they put us up against besides Carolina in the brackets?” Megaloudis asked. “The basketball team does their business, and I want to do mine. I don’t care if we don’t come in first, but we’ve got to take care of Carolina.”
He added that thus far, he has made few efforts to recruit people to vote for the gyro in the tournament besides notifying friends and family. Even so, Duke was more than 250 votes ahead of UNC as of Tuesday night.
Word about the contest has spread around campus despite its relatively low profile and little publicity efforts by the Greek Devil.
“I voted for you three times today—I posted it on Facebook and told all my friends,” said sophomore Brandt Scheidemantel as he approached the Greek Devil Tuesday afternoon.
Megaloudis noted that he is just a salesman for the food. The food at the Greek Devil is delivered fresh twice daily after being prepared by Megaloudis’ wife in the kitchen at Vita, an Italian restaurant in Durham co-owned by Megaloudis.
When food does not sell out, Megaloudis said he gives unpurchased food out for free because he only sells fresh food.
“I really like the guy. He’s super friendly, and the lamb gyro is pretty good,” said senior Yang Zeng. “I think it’s a little pricey, but I really like the dude who’s there. His personality sells a lot of it. He gave me a gyro for free one day.”
The Food Network, of which the Cooking Channel is a spin-off, published recipes for each of the dishes in the bracket that all interested parties may access online. Some students have mixed feelings on food at Greek Devil.
Greek Devil was the first place junior Grant Oakley ate on campus as a prospective student when visiting campus.
“I really liked it and the guy was super nice, [but] there was a point in my freshman year when he started putting all the ingredients in separate containers when he served gyros, and it never tasted just as good,” Oakley said. “Maybe it was my time abroad. It’s just not as good as a good Turkish doner kebab, but then what is?”
Despite what happens in the competition, Megaloudis said he is proud to have the Greek Devil featured on a national platform.
“I’m happy—it just says that all my hard work is paying off,” he said.