Get a Gyro Fix at the Samos Grill Food Truck

Vladimir Demin was an IT recruiter when he decided to quit working for other people, a decision that led to the launch of the Samos Grill food truck.

Originally from Russia, Demin grew up in Brooklyn and lived in New York for 25 years. “I got a little tired of the New York rat race,” he says. “My commute was two and a half hours one way. Five hours a day commute. Imagine three-quarters of your day going to and from work?”

So, in 2018, Demin moved to Colorado. Then, “just before COVID, I took out a personal loan to refinance my credit cards, and I had about $10,000 that I could put towards my student loans,” he recalls. “I’m like, shit. Let’s open a business.”

After speaking with his friend/former business partner, who had extensive experience in the hospitality industry and saw the potential in Demin’s culinary abilities, the two decided to get into the food truck game. In 2019, Demin used that $10,000 to buy a 6-by-6-foot trailer and “spent a lot of that money getting it up to code for Denver,” he says.

The Mediterranean food trailer, then called Assos Grill, launched in July 2020, and “after a while we realized, hey, our food is really good,” Demin recalls. But the space, which could only accommodate two people, was cramped and “claustrophobic”, he admits. So, using money from his 401(k) and a $20,000 loan from his parents, he bought a thirteen-foot bus that once served as a shuttle bus to Denver International Airport.

Click to enlarge

Look for the dark blue Samos Grill food truck for a gyro fix.

Chris Byard

A year ago, Demin and his original business partner parted ways. “We couldn’t get along,” he says, “and I had to change the name, but the quality stayed the same.” Now on his own, Demin has decided to continue serving Mediterranean-style cuisine under the name Samos Grill, named after a Greek island.

Before becoming a food truck owner, Demin had very limited experience in the hospitality industry. He had briefly worked in catering halls as a waiter and had a stint as a waiter in restaurants. But “I grew up watching my mom cook and just started splashing around,” he says. “I’ve always had a passion for food, and then when I was ten, we were in Staten Island, at the park, having a family barbecue, and I was just an idiot barbecued bananas. I remember thinking to myself, if I could do this for a living, if I could barbecue, I would be so lucky Now look at me: I barbecue for a living.

Mostly self-taught, Demin is quick to admit that he faced challenges when going out on his own. “Oh, it was a very steep learning curve, because my former business partner had about 27 years of experience,” he admits. “He had high standards and I learned a lot. But doing things from scratch, doing all the prep work, is a lot of work. And that’s why the menu is limited. … I I make the lamb and the beef, I make the chicken, I mix it, I marinate it, I make the sauces, and everything is sliced ​​fresh daily.

Click to enlarge a chicken gyro wrapped in a pita with tomatoes and arugula

The chicken gyroscope.

Chris Byard

Demin says he’s finding his groove and perfecting his recipes. His favorite item on the menu is “the lamb and beef gyro, by far. It’s a deconstructed gyro, because it’s not cooked on a vertical spit, but rather cooked horizontally on the grill,” he explains. -he.

It uses a mixture of 20% lamb and 80% beef, which is mixed, marinated and shaped into a patty before being grilled and baked. “Once it’s done, I use a slicer to get thin, even slices,” he explains. “The inside is juicy, but the outside has a little crunch from the grill. But the secret is to use the juices from the cooked lamb and beef to coat the sliced ​​meat before serving. where all the flavor is.” The lamb and beef gyro is wrapped in freshly baked pita bread with onions, tomatoes, arugula and a garlic yogurt sauce.

Other options on the Samos Grill menu include chicken gyro, grilled cheese panini and Mediterranean salad. “Basically, each item has four or five ingredients. It’s good and good for you,” Demin adds.

Looking to the future, he hopes to continue to grow his food truck business and potentially open a stand in a food hall. For now, however, you can find the truck schedule on Instagram @samosgrill_.

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