What Chipotle is to the idea of quick, healthy-ish Mexican food, Glory Bound Gyro Co. is to Birmingham’s classic Mediterranean joint. Often, our city’s Mediterranean food niche is about a certain hybrid comfort food, available at odd hours. Glory Bound offers a lighter approach, in line with the Parkside neighborhood’s active branding.
Despite gyro being part of its name, grease is hard to find at Glory Bound. The original gyro features meat that’s tender and fresh-tasting. It’s topped with a tzatziki that’s tangy and delicious, a partner to the meat rather than a counterpoint. The pita bread is warm and fluffy, and the cottage fries are thick potato wedges. The Greek salad is relatively light on dressing but wonderfully heavy on feta. And Glory Bound even has a liquor license, should you decide your falafel pairs best with a brew.
Glory Bound’s interior is charming — Parkside modern with just a hint of country store — but the restaurant’s outdoor space makes it special. Situated by the Rotary Trail entrance, it’s literally across the road from one of Birmingham’s best outdoor spaces. The combination of north/south traffic on 20th Street and east/west action on Rotary Trail rates Glory Bound high on the list for people watching.
This part of Parkside is becoming a corridor of convenience for both the UAB medical district and the downtown Loft District. Chains local to national bring all your basic essentials to the area: in the same block of Station 121, you can work out, get a haircut, and grab dinner. Add another block, and you can grocery shop as well.
It’s no accident that Rotary Trail is the defining outdoor feature on this end of the Parkside district. Unlike the lingering vibe around Railroad Park, there’s a forward energy to the trail that works well with the businesses here. The area is an urban reimagining of a well-stocked suburban shopping complex, and it’s Birmingham’s newest lifestyle center.