One Big Fat Greek Treat

The way we see it, all items on the menu of the Square's newest eatery is all Greek to us — from the super-sized gyros stuffed with a whopping one-half pound of succulent lamb meat to the flaky, tasty spanakopita and oh so sweet baklava. Which is exactly what you would expect at My Big Fat Greek Gyro shop, the local chain's sixth shop in Western Pennsylvania and first in Downtown.

"We want every day to be a Greek food festival when people come in to eat," says MBFGG boss Michael Ference, who started the business with his wife Kathleen in 2005. To accomplish that mission, Michael serves up every menu item just the way he likes them — with generous helpings of fresh cooked meats, homemade sauces and a giant smile. "When we started out, I figured I could either spend money on advertising or add on a few more pieces of meat on each gyro. I think I made the right choice because every sandwich we serve is our best advertisement."

And we'll admit that we were sold almost as soon as we entered the Square and caught that first scent of slow-cooked lamb. But the inside of the MBFGG is a feast for the eyes, too. The front counter is open and airy, with a giant fork and spoon decorating the back kitchen wall. Three large squares of glass allow light to wash over the dining room and give diners street level views of the Square. On the other side of the space, three different hues of blue ripple along the wall like waves of the Aegean Sea, the body of water that laps at Greece's eastern shores. The acrylic counter underneath literally glows with LED lights that flash, fade and blink in more than 160 colors, as does Michael's own special creation — the "amniotic cloud" that floats above the room. "We can make the lights green for St. Patrick's Day, red for Valentine's Day and red, white and blue for the Fourth of July. There's a color for every mood, holiday or any other occasion."

A big fan of Downtown's vitality, Michael he had his eyes on a space in the Square even before the renovation. "There were a billion different reasons to open here," he'll tell you. "First, everyone worked together to do a fantastic job in transforming Market Square. Second, there is a built-in lunch crowd here that's continues to grow. And with more people moving to Downtown, plus the new hotel opening, the Square is going to be the place to go when people want to eat. Another reason is that many of our customers know us from our suburban locations and are glad to see a familiar restaurant here in the city."

Always looking ahead, Michael points out that the MBFGG will be able to seat up to 60 people outside during the spring, summer and fall thanks to the shop owning the longest storefront in the Square. He also hints at authentic Greek entertainment and a special place for Downtown students to showcase their talents in the weeks ahead. Speaking of students, they can get a price break on food with valid IDs. Sports and news fans will be able to keep up with their favorite teams or the day's breaking events once a giant HDTV screen is installed. During special times of the year, he'll change up the menu a bit to fit the season, such as serving fish during Lent.

While Michael and Kathleen will be on hand during the location's first few weeks, store owner Richard Machel will manage the daily operations all the time. A retired business exec, Richard decided he needed a challenge to keep him busy. After a very good first day, Richard positively beamed as he enjoyed the rewards of joining the growing family of international culinary treats in the Square. To get a taste of your very own big fat Greek gyro, the store is open Monday-Thurday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and even on Sundays with hours yet to be determined. And remember to bring your great big fat Greek appetite.


  1. awsomeeee food. Highly recommend!

  2. awesome food, highly recommended of you want a quick but very good lunch or dinner