Cousins Pete Alexopoulos and Michael Kambouroglos recently spent some time explaining the meaning of the Greek word philoxenia to us. Its literal translation means “friending strangers,” Michael says. But he continues, “We grew up around food and family. At any event—happy or sad—everyone gets together and eats. Every meal, my grandma would always set an extra setting at the table, just in case someone unexpectedly joined. All are welcome; that’s philoxenia.” It’s that kind of feeling that Pete and Michael want to create as they expand their Lancaster-loved food truck to a fast-casual restaurant, the Souvlaki Boys Grill.
Their story started in early 2011, when after graduating college—Pete from Penn State and Mike from the Culinary Institute of America—they had the idea to open a food truck. Inspired by their familial roots and time spent in Greece, the duo wanted to bring street food to the City of Lancaster. “In Greece, that’s what we’d do every night,” Pete remembers fondly. “The toughest choice was whether to eat gyro or crepe.” So starting in 2012, they opened their food truck window and ever since have been serving Greek cuisine in a way that Lancaster’s never tasted before.
They quickly became a household name, known for their gyro—fresh pork cut into slices and stacked on a vertical rotisserie to cook. Each order is shaved off and served in a pita, on a platter, or over rice. At their new restaurant, they serve this fan favorite and have also expanded the menu to feature appetizers and dinner platter options. You can even indulge in dessert. We hear the baklava is delicious and the traditional Greek yogurt with honey drizzled on top is mouth-watering.
More than anything, Pete and Michael are sharing their love of Greek food and culture with Lancaster. When you walk into the Souvlaki Boys Grill you might be a stranger to this foreign food, but you’ll be greeted like old friends and treated like family. And trust us, it will only take one bite of gyro for these two Greeks to win over your heart.