I’ve heard/said this phrase atleast 100 times throughout my four years of college. Being in the Epsilon Alpha chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma does that to you – makes you want to share your love and experiences with everyone around you.
However, this post isn’t about joining a sorority. It’s actually about food. That was a lie. It’s about a certain restaurant – California Gyro & Pizza (29587 Mission Blvd. Hayward, CA 94544.)
Joe and I have been going to California Gyro & Pizza, this almost-hole-in-the-wall restaurant since we started dating. We were starving one day in between rehearsals, so we went on one of our random adventures (we have quite a few) to find food. We’d seen this place hundreds of times, but never actually SAW it, if that makes sense. So, we went there on a whim and instantly fell in love. The inside has really strange 80′s looking posters of women who look like they would have been in Pantene commercials holding gyros abnormally close to their faces, and a flat screen that plays America’s Funniest Home Videos all the time. I know, it sounds enticing. But, the prices are awesome. The food is awesome. The place is just awesome in general. But, what keeps us coming back is the people. Maz and the other workers are kind and sweet. They don’t just care about the bottom line. They actually care about you. Joe and I used to go there about once a week (sometimes two or three times – don’t judge us!) and every time we were welcomed with big smiles. We go so often that they actually know our orders by heart.
We were on a cooking craze for a while, so Joe and I didn’t go for about a month (it’s almost blasphemous), and when we finally did, we were welcomed back with huge smiles, “Where have you been?!” and what seemed like even bigger helpings to our already full plates. We went there a few days ago, and when we told them it was going to be our last time eating at the restaurant for a while because we were moving to New York, Maz insisted that our meal was on them.
This wouldn’t happen in a Chili’s or an Applebee’s. I don’t think this would happen anywhere except for small mom and pop shops.
You don’t find people like this everywhere you go. In fact, I think it’s pretty rare. So, my mission for you is to find a small non-chain restaurant that you absolutely love and make an effort to get to know the people who own it. I think you’ll be surprised at what you find.
When people ask me what I will miss the most about Hayward, one of the first things I always say is California Gyro & Pizza. And I think you know why now. So, go and enjoy a combo plate and baklava if you’re ever in the area. Heck, make it a mini road trip with your friends. There’s plenty of space, and you won’t be sorry (: