Kyro is located in the triangular space at the corner of Read & Cathedral streets (a quick, two block or less walk from the Washington monument in Mt Vernon and from neighborhood GLBT institutions including the Hippo, Central Station, the Drinkery, and Leons). The restaurant name alludes to both the current Middle Eastern influenced menu and its prior incarnation as an Eqyptian pizzeria (Kyro is a creative spelling for the Egyptian city of Cairo). Walls of oversized windows provide views of the historic neighborhood and people walking by. Inside, Kyro has a casual feel with a few booths and two dozen tables; the interesting large cartoon mural in the main dining space is eye catching and full of Kyro facts and trivia. Kyro doesn’t have a liquor license but has no surcharge for “BYOB” (FYI – there’s a liquor store on Charles just a block away).
Kyro’s large menu is diverse and reasonably priced with soups, salads, pasta, sandwiches and middle eastern entrees in addition to pizza. Appetizers (most $5 – $8) include tasty versions of yellow lentil soup (quite yummy!), hummus, babganush, grape leaves and falafel (a favorite of our GayLife editor). A half dozen entrée salads (most $10) include the Alexandria (with grilled lamb), a Roasted Eggplant salad and Neptune’s Delight (with sautéed shrimp in a lemon garlic sauce). Twenty-plus sandwiches (most $9) come on pita bread with choice of fries or side salad. A half dozen entrees include Chicken or Lamb Schwarma ($11) and Chicken, Lamb or Kofta Kabobs ($15). Two dozen different pizza combinations come in three sizes with somewhat uniform pricing (10” for $10, 12” for $13, 14” for $16-$18).
We most recently dined at Kyro with a large group of friends who ended up trying a handful of different pizzas. Kyro’s menu lists over 30 different pizza combinations including a handful of some quite “creative” ones (e.g., the “BallPark” with hotdogs and onions drizzled with ketchup and mustard on top of a cheese pizza). Marty ordered the Kaboria (roasted red peppers, spinach, crab and garlic) while John opted for the “Natural Pita” sandwich ($9 – vegetarian with grilled eggplant, artichoke, red pepper, scallions, sprinkled with feta cheese with tahini sauce on the side). Our friends tried different pizzas: “Four Seasons” (Spinach, Artichoke, broccoli, mushrooms w/mozzarella), “Koko” (strips of chicken, spinach, red onions, garlic w/mozzarella), “Sharmel-Shek” (smoked salmon & onions with mozzarella), “Anima” (Roasted eggplant, red peppers, mushrooms, pesto and feta). All of them liked their pizza and Marty asserted it was one of the best that he had lately.
John enjoyed his “Natural Pita” sandwich and found it tasty and satisfying. Consensus among the pizza eaters was that they really enjoyed what they had gotten; the medium thickness crusts were chewy and delicious and toppings were generous. Marty felt that the toppings weren’t “runny” and thought that Kyro provided the best pizza he had downtown in a while (a sentiment echoed by several of our friends). Between the friendly, attentive service, diverse menu with options for most people and good food at reasonable prices, Kyro is a place to keep in mind when you’re in Mt. Vernon!
FACTS: Kyro (Mt. Vernon); 900 Cathedral St.; 410-545-5112; http://www.kyropizzeria.com ; Open 7 days/week; lunch& dinner from 11 am to 10 pm; vegetarian options; no alcohol; on-street parking