Tuesday, 29 November 2016

History of the Gyros

A World History of the Gyro

The word "gyros" comes from the Greek word meaning "to spin" or "to turn". The very name conjures the spin of a gyroscope, which in food terms, evolved over time into the cylinders we now see at our favorite restaurants, set into motion by hydraulic pressure. However, the modern gyro is actually a scion of a long history of meat feasts, dating back to Alexander the Great and his massive armies, known for skewering meat on long, sword-like blades over fires. A recent discovery by Julie Hruby of Dartmouth, showed that the ancient Mycenaen's used portable grills to make a skewered meat called "souvlaki", which served as the culinary backdrop for Homer's "Odyssey". The ancient souvlaki pans were rectangular and made out of ceramic, and were likely used by chefs cooking for the Mycenaen ruling class. While the traditions of the gyro were upheld by Greeks, Arabs, and Turks alike, it wasn't until 1922 that the modern version of the gyro became popularized.

Photo Credit: http://blog.oup.com/2014/02/death-alexander-the-great-poison/

As hundreds of thousands of refugees poured into Greece from Asia Minor (present day Turkey), the first gyro masters were born, many of whom had Armenian origins.  After World War 2, the gyro traveled westward, following the immigration patterns of the Greeks themselves, and shops began popping up all over Europe, the United States, and Australia...popularizing gyros as one of the world's first global fast foods.

Photo Credit: http://www.heritagedaily.com/2014/10/spectacular-finds-from-ancient-greek-shipwreck-new-antihythera-discoveries-prove-luxury-cargo-survives/105250

In 1965, George Apostalou opened Parkview Restaurant in Chicago, and soon thereafter, opened a 3,000 square foot gyro plant named 'Central Gyros Wholesale'. Apostalou's success spread the model throughout Chicago, until 1973, when Andres Papantoniou started 'Gyros Inc.', and put the dish on route to Atlanta.  As the fame of the meat sandwiches spread, innovations naturally followed suit. A man named John Garlic invented the first assembly-line gyro cones, which put the spiced meats on an vertical, inverted cone rotisserie. This paved the way for companies like Kronos Foods to manufacture the meat on a massive scale. Today, consumers eat more than 300,000 gyros a day...almost 100 million a year!!!

 Photo Credit: Hubs Gyros I, Inc.

It seems that as longs as the world is "spinning", the gyro will be one of its most beloved foods!!!

 Photo Credit: Hubs Gyros I, Inc.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

40 for 40 Challenge

Celebrating 40 Years by Giving Back

      March 1, 2016 Tony Thanoukos and family will be celebrating 40 years at Hub’s Restaurant in Skokie! We not only want to celebrate Tony’s accomplishments and achievements but also continue the legacy of his imprint on the surrounding community.  

Tony’s life began as quite a struggle, growing up poor in Stadio, Greece and not knowing when the next meal would come.  After some help from extended family who had migrated earlier to America, he was able at 16, to come to the place where the pavements were lined with gold. Hard work and determination allowed him to break through stereotypes and language barriers to finally have a business of his own. He and his brother were proud to purchase Hub’s and work behind that counter 7 days a week. Later they were able to purchase two more locations turning them into Hub’s II and III before selling and splitting the business but there was and still is much accomplishment to be celebrated. Having won Silver Platter awards, being featured on TWO Saturday Night Live Skits “You like it da juice, “ being ranked top 10 places to eat in Skokie by Yelp, ranked top 6 Gyros places by Eater, winning beautification awards year after year and many more.

            Tony’s dedication shines through all of his achievements but also by just the simple man behind the counter trying to make sure everyone who comes hungry is every bit satisfied with their experience and most of all the food. From Greek recipes passed down by grandmothers, to creative burger specials, BBQ sauces and rib rubs, soups and chili made daily his aim is to please and for 40 years Tony has done just that! But it doesn’t stop there. Growing up poor, in a village surrounded by those in the same position where one couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, his history left a very large imprint on his heart. Once his children were old enough to understand, Tony, along with this wife, Ann, taught their children the importance of giving back. Whether it was a homeless person who needed a coat and warm soup, a soup kitchen that needed food or a homeless shelter that needed donations (of any kind) just to get through the day, the message was clear … “You must give back, you must do something and you must leave your own imprint.”

            With those words engraved in our minds, we, his children, are asking YOU to not only help us in CELEBRATING the Legacy our father has created but also help us in continuing to leave that wonderful imprint of helping those in need. Those who if they just had that extra chance, that one moment to shine could move forward and upward in their own lives. A little confidence, a little extra care goes a long way and we would love for all of you to be a part of this great venture!

            If you are able to help (even the smallest amount leads to great movements) we would be so greatly moved and appreciate all of you who will take part in this endeavor. We have begun 40 for 40 in hopes that 40 business (restaurants, hotels, banks, anyone) will sign up and take part in helping us leave a greater impact. They say it takes a village and we agree. In this case, we hope our community and those around us can really help us to make that impact and to affect change. To give those who need a helping hand, that leg up to begin their lives with grace, humility and encouragement. 
            A few hours of volunteering, a couple of dollars from your pocket, bagged lunches from your book club or association you’re involved with – ALL MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!
            We ask that all who plan to participate do so as soon as they can as we will be featuring all of you prior to March 1, 2016 as partners in our efforts! We look forward to hearing from everyone and helping us not only honor a great man but continue his great legacy!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

At Home with Hub's

Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe:

  • 4 Mushrooms (3 are only pictured) 
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (dry)
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic 
  • 1/8 of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cap full of Soy Sauce
  • 6 oz (shot glass full) Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 3 - 4 oz of goat cheese 
  • 1 scallion chopped 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 1 - 2 hand fulls of spinach
  • 2 tbsp of turmeric (great for anti-inflammation)
  • 1 - 2 Garlic Cloves chopped or 1-2 tbsp garlic powder 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

*All ingredients can be added or subtracted or increased/decreased to taste. This is also a great recipe that you can constantly add to and play around with to fit to your family's liking.

Heat 4 ounces of olive oil in a skillet. Take chopped onions and garlic and toss in the heated oil.  Make sure to sweat but not brown the garlic and onions.  Add the turmeric, salt, pepper and baby spinach. Turn heat on low. Toss/Stir frequently and remove from heat once the spinach has reduced. 

While onions, garlic and spinach are on skillet place place mushrooms in a deep baking dish. Should be a few inches deep so that mushrooms toppings do not spill out/over.  Drizzle with apple cider vinegar, balsamic dressing, soy sauce, olive oil and white wine.

When toppings are done and perfectly heated on skillet (3-5 minutes) place atop mushrooms. See above picture. Scoop equal amount on each mushroom.

Then add both cheeses, scallions and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Pop the mushrooms in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Take out of the oven and cool for 2-3 minutes.

Plate and serve.

If you would like a little sweetness with the hearty mushroom add some chopped red apple. Its a great way to get that sweet, savory, hearty flavor all in one dish. :)

Happy Cooking!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Thanksgiving from our home to yours :)


From our Home to Yours....


Victoria’s Best Turkey Brine & Cooking Recipe :)
Ingredient List: (I do this by site but to start follow portions below and then create to your taste)

·         8-10 Carrots
·         3 - Onions (white)
·         8-10 Celery Stalks
·         2 - Oranges
·         2 - Red Apples
·         1 1/2 cups - Brown sugar
·         5-6 Cinnamon Sticks
·         10 - 15 Whole Cloves
·         Handful Peppercorns
·         5-7 - Fresh Rosemary twigs 
·         5 - 7 Fresh Thyme twigs
·         10 -12 Fresh Tarragon leaves
·         15 - 20 Fresh Sage
·         1 - 2 cups Garlic Powder
·         1 Stick of Butter
·         1 - 2 cups of Molasses
·         1/2 - 1 Cup of Grape seed oil or Olive oil
·         1 - Deep baking pan or foil pan
·         12 - 16lb Turkey (any size will do just adjust ingredients to size of turkey)

Brine Turkey (for 24-48 hours)
·         Use 5 gallon bucket, line with garbage bag or 2 heavy plastic bags
·         Make your own vegetable stock – boil 2 gallons of water with 4 carrots, 1 1/2 onions, 5 celery sticks, 4 rosemary, 4 thyme, 7 sage, 10 tarragon, 7 cloves and 1/2 of a handful of peppercorns.
·         Cool off vegetable stock
·         Fill bucket 1/3 off the way with ice
·         Place turkey on top of ice
·         Pour ½ to 1 cup of molasses on the turkey – lightly rub on the turkey
·         Sprinkle ½ to 1 cup of garlic powder on turkey
·         Sprinkle 1 cup of brown sugar on top and lightly rub
·         Place a couple extra 2 Rosemary, 2 Thyme, 4 Sage, 4 Tarragon, 1 Celery, 1 Carrots and 1/2 Onions fresh in the bucket.
·         Fill the bucket with the vegetable stock (toss veggies and herbs that have been cooking in stock
·         Brine for 24 to 48 hours ß if it is below 30 outside you can leave the turkey in your garage, do not leave outside in yard or front lawn as it can attract winter animals :)

Preheat oven to 400°

Prepare turkey for oven
·         In the deep baking pan or foil pan layer (to cover 1-2 inches from the bottom of the pan) sliced (circular) carrots, onions, celery, 1 red apple, 1 orange (cut peel and place inside turkey), and cinnamon sticks (they do not need to be cut).
·         Loosely layer most of remainder of rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sage, peppercorns, and cloves.
·         Take turkey out of the brine and wash off (it will look a bit brown but that is exactly how it should look) <--keep a few pieces for the cavity
·         Place turkey (breast side up) atop of the freshly cut veggies and herbs make sure wings are tucked in on the sides
·         Make incisions throughout the turkey and place pieces of cut butter inside
·         Fill cavity with 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 tbsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves of garlic, 2 thyme, 4 sage, 1/2 sliced apple, 1 sliced orange (squish in hand and drip juice inside and on top of turkey and on surrounding veggies and herbs, use orange peel and place inside turkey, 1 carrots, 1 celery, 1/2 onion, whole cloves, peppercorns, tarragon, rosemary.
·         Drizzle (sparingly) with choice of oil (grape or olive)
·         Sprinkle garlic powder on top of turkey
·         Sprinkle brown sugar and a bit of molasses on top of skin
·         Add about a cup (add more if needed) of water to the bottom of the pan
·         Place in a few cut pieces of butter on the veggies

Once oven is heated place pan in the oven on the bottom of the rack (do not cover turkey) for 20-30 minutes. You should see the turkey breast and skin golden brown with a few patches of black. This is perfect!

Lower the heat to 350° pull the turkey out, raise the rack up 1 to 2 slots depending on the stove size and cover the turkey with foil for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the red button pops (which always indicates that the turkey is done).

Don’t forget to baste turkey every 30-45 mintues to keep it juicy!
Once done, baste again and let the turkey sit for about 15 mintues.

Once slightly cooled, plate and begin to cut, serve and enjoy!!! 

Glazed Parsnips and Carrots:

·         1 ½ - 2 - Bags of Baby Carrots (cut in half)
·         3 Large Parsnips (cut in strips – try to keep similar size to carrots so they may cook evenly)
·         2-3 Tbsp of Butter
·         ½ to 1 cup of Vegetable broth
·         Dash of Paprika
·         ½ to 1 tsp of Cinnamon
·         Pepper to taste
·         ¼ Cup of Parsley (finely chopped)
·         1/8 cup of honey
·         2 - 3 cloves

Take a sauce pan and put over medium heat. Melt butter and add carrots and parsnips flipping occasional (2 -3 minutes). Add extra butter if needed to coat veggies. Slowly add vegetable broth. Sprinkle paprika, cinnamon, pepper and cloves. Let cook for another 3 – 5 minutes.  Now add 1/8 cup of honey.  Veggies should be slightly softened. Remove from heat – let cool for 2 minutes. Plate in serving dish then sprinkle fresh parsley atop and mix. Serve immediately and Enjoy! J


Cranberry Sauce

·         1 ½ bags of fresh cranberries
·         1 Naval Orange (zest and juice)
·         1 to 1 ½ cups of sugar
·         1 tsp of salt
·         1 cinnamon stick
·         ½ tsp allspice
·         ¼ to 1/3 cup of water

In a medium pot, combine the cranberries, sugar, salt and water. Stir to blend together. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and add the cinnamon stick and allspice. Continuing stirring occasionally and allow to simmer for an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Some of the cranberries will burst and some will remain whole. Add in the orange juice and zest, stir and allow to cool before serving.

Simple Appetizer that will win over your guests:


Warm Apricot Brie 

·         President’s Brie (plain)
·         Pillsbury Dough (croissant roll)
·         Jar of Apricot Jelly
·         1 Entire package of Carr’s Water Cracker/Biscuits
·         1 Egg (room temperature)
·         1 tin cookie tray
·         Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 400°

Clean cookie tray, place on counter and spray with pam olive oil cooking spray. Open Pillsbury Dough and roll onto tray.  Open brie and unwrap from white paper (you will see a white film on cheese – leave this on) and place in center openly rolled dough. Take outer pieces and cover brie. Make sure to pinch at top so that dough stays in place and covers all of brie.  Beat egg and “paint” on dough.  Place tray in oven for 8 -12 minutes or until dough is golden brown (make sure its long enough for cheese to soften/melt on the inside). Let cool for 1 minute. Plate on holiday platter and take jar of apricot jelly to cover entire dough. Line package of crackers around dough and serve immediately.   

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Burgers, Burgers, Burgers

We may be known for our tender Gyros and succulent Greek Chicken but did you know we also have a killer burger menu?  A mainstay of the American diet for decades, burgers are a major part of the country's culinary landscape (and one of our favorite types of food!)  Our oversized burgers are topped with the freshest ingredients and are always made to order. 

Check out our mouth-watering selection of Hub's signature burgers:

The American: 1/2 lb. premium beef burger served on a sesame bun, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and mayonnaise

The French: 1/2 lb. premium beef burger served on a sesame bun, topped with onion rings, pickles and raw onion

The London: 1/4 premium beef burger served on an English muffin, topped with melted cheese, grilled onion and pickles

The Veggie: Fresh vegetarian patty served on a sesame bun, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and mayonnaise.

The Mushroom: 1/2 lb. premium beef burger served on a sesame bun, topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions and pickles