Things go off to a shaky start for us at Spinners. Literally. As soon as my companion sat on the Formica bench seat in our booth, it started slippin’ and slidin’. So, we moved to a different booth and everything smoothed out – seating- and food-wise.
For this Mediterranean grill that has a great online reputation, we were a bit surprised that only a few other diners ate at Spinners while we were there. But it was a Saturday night and we figured the place must have a busy lunch trade to be able to pay the rent in Rancho San Diego Towne Center.
The shawarma on the rotating rotisserie cones (spinners) looked and smelled great. My companion ordered the chicken Spinner wrap ($6.49) with tzatziki (yogurt and garlic) sauce on the side. It arrived, alas, with the sauce inside. We pointed that out to the young guy who made and served us the wrap, and he handled the situation perfectly. He apologized profusely, quickly made a new wrap with sauce on the side, and boxed the first wrap for us to take home at no extra charge.
The wrap was pretty good, with nice chunks of marinated light and dark meat with lettuce, tomatoes and turnip slices stuffed between. The chicken was a little dry, but dipping it in the excellent tzatziki kicked it up a notch. We were expecting the wrap itself to be thin flatbread as at most local Mediterranean restaurants, but instead it was thick, soft pita bread with a homemade taste.
I chose the gyros plate ($8.99), which came with a good tabouli salad, excellent yellow rice with hints of clove, the same delicious tzatziki sauce, and sliced veggies including onions and turnips. Again, the meat was a little dry, but tasted fine with tzatziki slathered all over it.
The portions were big, with plenty of leftovers for Sunday lunch. For dessert we had the baklava ($3.50 for two) topped with chocolate. The server told us it was commercially made but not as good as the baklava his mom makes. Hers must really be fantabulous, because the commercial baklava was fantastic, stuffed with loads of chopped nuts in a rich sugary paste. We were glad we bought two so we could have one with our leftovers.
Spinners has gotten rave reviews online for their Spinner Fries ($7.99), a heady blend of carne asada fries and jalapeno hummus, feta cheese and tzatzike sauce. We were too stuffed to try them but will make room for them next time.
The grill has a nice website where you can order takeout, check out the menu and see the daily specials. The décor is typical strip-mall plain indoors, and some outside seating is available.
Total price including one drink and tax came to $22.57 – very reasonable for so much well-prepared, tasty food. Service was excellent, especially considering that only one guy was doing the cooking, serving and cashiering. If you like Mediterranean food, add Spinners to the list of East County restaurants that take pride in serving it.