When the clock strikes 11, Dr. Gyros starts filling up with customers headed in during their lunch break. The Rock Island restaurant serves up so much lunchtime business that owner John Stopoulos said he goes through 600 pounds of gyro meat each week.

One of Dr. Gyros regular customers who jokes that she should buy stock in the business because she eats there as much as five times a week is Mary Ellis. She works near the restaurant and often stops by for the wraps, salads, gyros and pretty much anything else on the menu. But no matter what she orders, Ellis says she doesn’t have a problem keeping her bill less than $10, and she always has leftovers.

“I’m a single person, so it’s nice for me to be able to have the assortment of items to eat,” she added.

Stopoulos said most of his customers keep their bills to less than $8. Gyros start at $4.75 and go up from there, depending on what toppings are ordered. His Greek salads, which are the size of a dinner plate, cost $4.59, and Chicago-style hot dogs, which come loaded, are $2.99. Any meal can be made into a combo by adding fries and a drink for $2.29.

While Stopoulos has had to raise his prices a little bit, he’s tried to hold them steady as much as possible and added daily specials to help give customers more value for their dollar.

“We try to give people a good deal,” he said. “We know people are hurting for money and we understand that.”

Dr. Gyros may be able to serve a gyro for less than $10, but Stopoulos doesn’t have too many tips for eating one without making a mess.

“Sometimes they’ll eat a little bit of the meat first and then the pita’s not quite as full and they can pick it up,” he said. “But it’s not really eating a gyro unless you make a mess. It’s not a good gyro unless it’s sloppy.”

$10 OR LESS

What: Dr. Gyros

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Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Where: 2519 18th Ave., Rock Island

Specialties: Gyros, Greek salad, Chicago-style hot dogs

Where’s your favorite spot?: Do you know of a Quad-City area restaurant, bar or entertainment venue where a meal or a night out costs $10 or less per person? Give your ideas to entertainment reporter Stephanie De Pasquale at sdepasquale@qctimes.com.

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